Facebook Opening Up Profiles to Search Engines

Facebook seems to be getting around to taking a play from MySpace.com’s play book by opening up their user’s profiles to search engines like Google.

Arguably, this isn’t new news, since we wrote about it here back in May, but in reality, Facebook has less pages indexed by Google today than they did in May. Three months ago, Facebook had 276,000 pages indexed by Google compared to MySpace’s 19,600,000. Three months later, Facebook has 102,000 indexed pages:

Facebook Pages in Google

compared to MySpace’s 23,700,000:

MySpace Pages in Google

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that a site with 23 million pages in Google’s index is going to get more free traffic from search than a site with one hundred thousand indexed pages.

As Om Malik explains it, Facebook’s plan is to make public profiles of their 18+ year old users available to search engines. This will cause millions of Facebook pages to rank high in search results for personal names. Since so little comes up on searches for most individual’s names, it seems likely that Facebook will begin to dominate search results for the names of their users almost overnight.

In fact, Facebook is better positioned to rank competitively for personal names than MySpace since Facebook users are MUCH more likely to use their first and last names in their profiles.

Is this a good thing? Yes, unless you don’t want to be found. Of course, is that’s the case you probably shouldn’t be publishing content under your own name anywhere on the web.

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