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Planning in the Shadows of Facebook

March 17th, 2010 | | Social Media & SEO

At the beginning of the month I discussed the issues surrounding planning an SEO strategy with the understanding that indexing as we know it in Google is going to change.

Some claim to test and know how the new indexing will work. Others, like me, don’t claim to know how it will work. Sure, I played in the Caffeine sandbox, but doesn’t that mean the version of Caffeine I played with will be the same as the one that finally gets released.

And the Caffeine release date has been backed up til probably the ‘Fall 2010.

One could linkbait speculate til the events are in hindsight as to the reason Google backed up Caffeine, but there are 3 events that probably contribute to the reasoning – despite Matt Cutt’s comments that the delay is contributed to Google’s desire to be thorough (don’t get me wrong – big fan of the way Cutts tries to keep the game pure).

My guess at Google’s 3 Reasons for the Buzz backup

  1. The less than lackluster results of Google Wave
  2. The backlash swarm that descended upon Google Buzz

But it’s the third point that caught my eye.

On Monday, March 15, 2010, Hubspot reported that web analytics firm Hitwise revealed data that wasn’t expected so soon:

For the weekend ending March 13, 2010, Hitwise reported that Google was not the number #1 most visited site for the week.

The #1 most visited site for the weekFacebook.

It was expected that social search was going to overcome search engine search by the end of 2010, but I don’t know who expected to see it happen before Easter.

How does the rise of Google effect SEO?

Honestly, not too much.

It wasn’t that traffic to Google took a dip. It’s that people use Facebook that much more than even a year ago. Facebook’s impact on Google is similar to the impact the rise of email had on the phone.

When email rose, traditional mail took a hit. The Post Office is still having issues. But phone usage stayed the same.

At this time, people are using Facebook in addition to Google. And because Facebook has an intranet email system and other likewise tools, the traffic source that is probably taking a hit is email.

Speaking of all the intranet tools Facebook gets credit for:  Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim points out that Google doesn’t get YouTube credit and Yahoo! doesn’t get Flickr! credit. Imagine the numbers then (by the way, thank you to Dave Woodson for the Beal link).

Either way, the Post Office doesn’t have a chance.

Then again, this could all change. Even Google has finite resources and seem to have dedicated quite a bit on Buzz. Imagine what will happen when they figure it out.

SEO tactics I’m going to use to account for the rise of Facebook

  1. Add canonical links on the pages that are receiving traffic from Facebook
  2. Add Facebook Connect to my site (if I haven’t already)
  3. Make Facebook Fan Pages and get to 25 users as fast as possible. Then use the pretty url.
  4. Write the headers on my Facebook info like I’m writing meta data. The Facebook algorithm is simpler – from what I can tell.

Yes, I’m planning broad.

What more steps are you going to take to optimize Facebook?

Facebook   IN   Stumble Upon   Twitter   Sphinndo some of that social network stuff.