Social Media Optimization: Facebook Pages Now More Important than Ever in Google Search

This week, Facebook Pages (typically created by businesses, organizations and artists) have started to appear in Google search results. With this highly anticipated move, it’s more important than ever to include Facebook as a vital part of your social media optimization (SMO) and SEO campaigns. Bold prediction: by the end of 2010, don’t be surprised if users searching for your company in Google find your Facebook Page before your Web site. In the case of some smaller businesses, this is already happening.

After six years, Facebook is still gathering influence. The company estimated earlier this year that out of its 400 million users, 175 million log into Facebook every day. Many users enthusiastically interact with brands and artists in Facebook as well as other Fans of those communities. Facebook IconRemember that all of this is indexable content, and everything you do in this realm can play heavily into your future SEO strategy. The increased emphasis on fresh content in search may also play a heavy role in search ranking.

Here are the three most important building blocks to consider right now:

Regular and Relevant Content Updates – your Facebook posts will be contextualized though image tags, keywords used on your Page, your page title and other relevant content. The more focused your posts are topically, the more likely they are to help your overall SEO strategy.

Jump-Start Fan Growth – there are many reasons to want to create a critical mass of Facebook Fans (commerce potential, for one). But knowing that Google search is increasingly personalized, increasing your social network in Facebook may prove to be incredibly important down the line. Already, Google’s social search serves up content that your friends logged into Google social products have published or interacted with, much in the way that Facebook’s post quality now partially determines the “Top News” in your Facebook news feed. It’s completely conceivable that the same effect may start happening with Facebook Pages in Google down the line.

Facebook Connect – start looking for ways to introduce Facebook connect to other social and non-social Web properties you operate (blogs, Web sites, community areas). It’s unknown how this might affect your overall search ranking over time, but it’s a good idea in general to begin weaving your Facebook presence into your other properties.

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