Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Oficial End of Facebook Privacy: You've Been Spidered!

I got a google alert on myself last night and here it was: my Facebook profile popped up on the first page (number 6 actually if you Google my name).

So what people can learn about you from this link?

  • Obviously, they can get an idea how do you look like if you have your profile photo public.

  • The can see what networks you belong to (in my case it's my company's network and my geo local community)

  • And they can see your 5 random friends (probably it will rotate since spider crawls your profile everytime, but so far I have Danny Sullivan smiling face :)
As you can see my firs/last name combination is rather unique, but in case you need to find John Smith there's an option to look for all users meeting this criteria, but you need to be Facebook member to continue with advanced search.

So with all that how will it change our daily lives?

  • If you have facebook profile and you make it "public" it will appear in Google results (duh!)
  • People will see your photo - your avatar is displayed in search results! So please select it carefully since there are people besides your friends who are searching for you. For example it could be your prospective employer or mom of your girlfriend. Just something to keep in mind..

  • Your 5 random friends will be displayed. So the advise to choose your friends carefully goes a long way here...

What does it mean to search marketing?

If your company product or brand has facebook profile or page it will take a shelf space in Google SERP. It rarely can be a bad thing for both branding and reputation managenent. I really don't see any downside at this point, but I learned that any publicity is not always a good thing in spite of old saying!

Happy facebooking everyone!

1 comment:

Peter@Web2NewYork said...

I put my Facebook account on ice when they introduced Social Ads/Beacon. I don't understand why Facebook still gets so much credit from kids who would scream bloody murder if Microsoft pulled the same crap.

I'm not a privacy purist and applaud websites making money, but the way Facebook goes about it seems dishonest to me.

Facebook originally lured in users with a closed environment. Now they're trying to cash in on all the collected personal data by gradually opening their databases - while Zuckerberg is selling off stock.