Facebook's Funnel Into Google Renews Focus On Privacy Management

Google Realtime Search

How Google streaming Facebook public status updates change advertising in search

Now, Google gives brands with fan pages a funnel to Facebook from the search engine.

Google on Wednesday began indexing Facebook Fan page status updates in real-time search results. The announcement, made through a tweet on Twitter, fulfills the promise the search engine made Dec. 7 at the Computer History Museum.

And the promised funnel from Google into Facebook runs deep. Following Google with 147.8 million monthly visitors in January 2010, Facebook became the No. 2 site on the Web with 133.6 million unique visitors, according to Compete.

Although it's not clear if everyone's public pages will end up indexed in Google, experts suggest people and brands need to pay closer attention to privacy settings. No one wants a repeat of the Google Buzz privacy debacle.

Buzz, Google Gmail's social network add-on, brought to light privacy issues, in part, because people had a difficult time making the transition between a private from of communication, email, and Buzz's public social network forum. Some thought friends in their email network were the only people who could read public messages, not realizing the search box in Buzz let anyone search and discover the content.

AimClear founder Marty Weintraub says people need to become more aware of managing their reputation and those of their brands.

When I asked Weintraub if the Facebook updates in search will have an influence on PPC ads, he says my statement assumes the updates are streamed and blended into Google.com's organic SERPs (search engine result pages), which he has yet to see.

He makes the connection by telling me PPC has been used to manage reputation events, both positive and negative, for years. Still, as Google continues to pull status updates into search results, people need to pay far more attention to privacy setting and what's being written in status updates.

"Now those snarky little updates are going to be publicly indexed," Weintraub says. "Brands absolutely will be buying AdWords to protect their reputation."

Weintraub suggests that people "watch your own ass" and make proactive privacy decisions. "You sure wouldn't want to lip off to your mom, only to have a future employee having a gander at your snarky attitude," he says.

Overall, Weintraub expects favorable impact for Facebook as content become more discoverable. Look out for the spam, though, he warns. Building real-time status updates into Google's organic SERPs could mean "legions of hacks will take aim and fire."

At least one black-hat SEO expert tells me Google's move to index Facebook status updates in real-time search provides another way for spam to index in search engine results. It creates more work and money for spammers who set up Facebook pages. Similar to indexing Twitter's tweet stream, "it's just another way to get above the fold without any effort," he says, calling real-time search streams the "biggest waste" in the world because there's not enough information in posts to determine their meaning.

Recommend (3)
1 comment about "Facebook's Funnel Into Google Renews Focus On Privacy Management".
  1. Megan Leap from MarketingProfs , February 26, 2010 at 1:48 p.m.

    The Internet has never guaranteed any amount of privacy, so individuals and especially companies should have been monitoring their online presence from their first logon via AOL back in the day. However, today it is so much more important, especially with social updates becoming a norm in search engine results.

    Even if you have your privacy settings up high, it's still important to only post things you'd be comfortable with the world seeing; you never know when Facebook is going to change their settings again and default you to public!