Facebook Public Profiles Actually To Become Public?

Ok, so assuming that you’ve kept abreast of my recent posts about Facebook public profiles (and you’re not sick of reading about Facebook) read on! (if I keep up at this rate I’ll overtake Andy Beal as unofficial facebook rumour blog!)

I logged into facebook this morning (as every self-respecting citizen should) only to discover the following box on top of my news feed:

Facebook public profile info

And expanding the ‘read more’ tab gave me this:

Facebook public profile info expanded

Now - the part I find most interesting in this is: “In a few weeks, these public search listings can be found in search engines like Google”. Now, depending how you read this, it might be taken to mean that once you activate your public listing option then a few weeks later it will be indexed by Google. Or, it could mean that in a couple of weeks Facebook are going to be implementing some kind of internal linking structure such that these public profile pages actually rank in Google. Wow. They took my advice! (or stole my idea, whichever you prefer! Incidentally, Muhammed Saleem has a good post explaining how every man and his dog has a claim to have invented some part of Facebook. I guess you can add my name to that list as inventing their SEO strategy :-p )

I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one - it’ll be interesting to see what happens and which way they go. Currently, my public profile still isn’t very public - the only search that it shows up for is [tom critchlow facebook] and even then it’s 3rd!

Update: Danny from SEL has written a great piece on this topic, check it out here. Also, John Battelle raises a very interesting point - if all these public profiles DO begin ranking, will Google onebox them? So many questions, so few answers!!

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  1. To be fair you keep mentioning your search phrase on this site and clearly Google thinks this site has more relevance! Shouldn't that be a good thing? ;)

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  2. Kristal

    I for one have blocked my Facebook from being on the search engines. Imagine the professional ramifications if clients see my profile, even the picture - when I'm dressed as a burlesque dancer at new year - gutted!!!

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  3. I'm rather with Kristal on this one. I know that I get Googled a lot, for terms like [bill hilton copywriter] and its variations.

    Right now, clients can find my Facebook profile easily because it's listed in the sidebar of my homepage blog. None have added me so far, and I'm beginning to wonder if I want any of them to.

    I work with quite a few clients in the mid-west of the States, where attitudes to the kind of bad behaviour I get up to in my spare time are stronger than they are here.

    Do I want them to add me (I can hardly turn them down), and then read "hey bill u were really sh1tfaced last night did u get your jeans back lol??xx" on my Wall?

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  4. Arggh! Grammar error in my comment!

    None has! None has! None has! Not 'none have'!

    [Runs away, clutching head and screaming.]

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  5. Lol - thanks for stopping by Bill. I've only really focused on getting it ranking in this post, you're right that there is a whole other side debating whether you WANT people to see your facebook profile!

    I think the answer lies in carefully setting your privacy settings then letting people see your limited profile. That way you don't reject them but they don't see you at 3am in a gutter!

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  6. Very true. I for one have been thinking about Facebook's commercial potential lately and am a little wary of allowing my profile to be seen on a Google search.

    I think you need to either keep your Facebook friends only people who are actually 'friends' (as opposed to work contacts) or tone down the casual nature of the communication. Maybe creating a second 'professional' facebook profile for public listing is in order??

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  7. Jason: me too. I think the commercial effect of a lot of what FB is doing is being under-reported at the moment.

    As for the public / private thing: it's a tough line to draw - especially in an industry like ours where so many of my work acquaintances are on the social media sites and sorting friends from random internet contacts is hard...

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