Facebook Page SEO: Will It Matter?

facebookImage by sitmonkeysupreme via FlickrToday I posted an entry on 360i's blog relating to search engine optimization on Facebook. I'm not going to repost the whole thing, but it's an interesting issue, one I've been discussing quite a bit with my colleague Mike Levin. The post includes quotes of mine from MediaPost's coverage of the story.

The impetus for the latest discussion is that Facebook now will include links to Pages (the stuff you say you're a fan of) in public profile listings. Public profile listings are indexed by Google. Google likes links. More links means (to oversimplify it) better search rankings. Do the dots all connect?

There are a few key things you should pay attention to:

  1. There are no guarantees that this will have a major SEO boost. The more I dive into this, the more it's apparent that Facebook is guilty of so many worst practices. That can change, but SEO is not high on their priority list.
  2. We also don't know how many fans are needed to really rev up the Facebook Page rankings.
  3. If the answer to #2 is "a lot," then marketers will have to really earn those fans, so there will be some cost/benefit analysis around that. Do you spend the manpower along with a potential Facebook media buy to push these Pages and get the SEO value, or do you invest resources elsewhere?

Meanwhile, here's some of the coverage from 360i's blog. Click to read the complete entry on Facebook SEO:

If you’ve ever done some vanity searching in Google (come on, admit
it) and you have profiles on a number of sites, you probably found that
your LinkedIn page, Flickr account, and other links come up before
Facebook. We were doing a lot of vanity searching in the office
yesterday to test this out, and Facebook links were out there, but
generally buried.

Some of this was addressed in MediaPost:

…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.

He continued: “Facebook does evolve pretty quickly, but so far they’ve been a little behind the curve when it comes to SEO.”

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