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:
And expanding the 'read more' tab gave me this:
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!!