21 Nov Facebook Adding ‘Fan’ Pages To Public Search Listings
Online Media Daily, By Mark Walsh, November 20, 2008
In a potential boost for marketers, Facebook will now show in public search listings that branded Facebook Pages users have designated as their favorite brands. So if someone is a fan of the Gap, that will appear in a search listing and link back to the company’s Facebook Page. The social network opened up its network last year by making members’ profile information available through Google and other search engines. The public search data included basic data such as a member’s name, profile photo and photos of some friends. The idea was to allow people who are not registered members to be able to find friends who are on Facebook. The new feature could help drive traffic to the more than 150,000 sites that marketers and others have set up on Facebook. The expanded public search entries include links to up to five Facebook Pages someone is a fan of. “Considering that Facebook turned on links to Pages from about 120 million profile page public search listings, the number of new internal links to Pages on the Facebook.com domain this weekend likely increased by several hundred million,” wrote Justin Smith, who runs the Inside Facebook Blog and reported on the expanded search listings this week. So the Gap’s 113,000 Facebook fans translate to as many links via search engines. U2’s Facebook Page would generate 195,000 links and Barack Obama’s would generate more than 3.1 million. “This step by Facebook increases the weight Google will give to brand Pages,” wrote Smith. “Brand and marketing managers should not be surprised to see their Facebook Pages rising in Google search results in the months ahead.” But potential traffic gains for branded Pages from search engine listings could be limited by Facebook’s lack of focus on search engine optimization. “The way links on Facebook are structured right now, they don’t have the type of permanence that search engines are looking for,” said David Berkowitz, director of emerging media and client strategy at search engine marketing firm 360i.