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Facebook’s New Vanity URLs & Google Reputation Management



Despite the lack of publicly displayed information, I’ve always liked Facebook profiles for Google reputation management. I mean, just take a look at the number of times "Andy Beal" is mentioned on my limited public profile:

Coupled with your name in the Title tag, Facebook is pretty useful for occupying one of Google’s ten blue links–especially if you don’t already have a lot of positive content in the search results.

Well, Facebook is getting ready to allow users the ability to pick a username for their profile URL–as opposed to a randomly assigned series of numbers.

Now, how much of a benefit this will be to you, will depend on your goals. For branding, it’s certainly a good idea to try and snag facebook.com/yourname–especially if you don’t already have yourname.com. For Google reputation management purposes? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Why? Because, while Facebook says your current profile URL will achieve this benefit:

What already shows up in Google’s results is this:

As you can see, my public profile URL already includes my name, so the benefits of this switch could be negligible for Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM) purposes. The only issue would be if Facebook decides to remove the "/people/Andy-Beal/" directories in favor of only showing individual user profiles. If that happens, you’ll want to try and snag your preferred URL, so you still have some Google visibility.

Still, you might want to camp out at Facebook for the 12:01 a.m. EDT on Saturday, June 13 release–and subsequent "land rush"–of the personalized URLs.

  • http://www.scott-edwards.com Scott Edwards

    Does anyone know if the 12:01 time is Eastern time? Does that apply to the whole country or is it 12:01 in the time zone your profile is located? Probably makes a difference for some common names.

    Scott Edwards’s last blog post..The Ultimate Wearable Technology

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Scott – Eastern time for everyone.

  • http://www.RestaurantMarketingBlog.com Joel Cohen

    Remember that you need a minimum of 1,000 fans to be eligible!! (I think I posted this already but I don’t see it.

    Joel Cohen’s last blog post..Restaurant Marketing: ?Grass Is Always Greener? Restaurant Marketing

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Joel – that minimum is for Facebook Pages not personal profiles. ;-)

  • http://souravsharma.com/blog/ Sourav

    Thanks, for a moment I got shocked to see that comment that you need 1000 fans as an eligibility….thanks @andy for clearing it up that it’s not for personal profiles :)

    Sourav’s last blog post..What Are Blogs Good For?

  • http://www.RestaurantMarketingBlog.com Joel Cohen

    Andy, pardon my ignorance, but what’s the difference? Somehow, I thought in their blog they said “minimum 1,000 fans.” Kindly set me straight, as I swelter here in Raleigh.

    Joel Cohen’s last blog post..Restaurant Marketing: ?Grass Is Always Greener? Restaurant Marketing

  • http://www.RestaurantMarketingBlog.com Joel Cohen

    From their blog: “Your Facebook Page must meet two requirements: it must be live on Facebook prior to the May 31, 2009 cut-off date and have a minimum 1,000 fans as of May 31, 2009.”

    Joel Cohen’s last blog post..Restaurant Marketing: ?Grass Is Always Greener? Restaurant Marketing

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    “Andy, pardon my ignorance, but what’s the difference? Somehow, I thought in their blog they said “minimum 1,000 fans.” Kindly set me straight, as I swelter here in Raleigh.”

    Fan pages and pages for businesses are different than normal profile pages for individuals. They function completely different as well.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Time For FaceBook Vanity URLs on Saturday June 13th, 2009

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Joel – what @Jaan said. :-)

  • http://www.brian-hancock.com Brian Hancock

    You made some great points here that are being missed in the whole panic of reserving your name. Obviously it would be nice to have a Facebook URL without the extraneous characters, but as you mentioned, they already have your name in the URL and decent content to back it up.

    Brian Hancock’s last blog post..Top 10 Surprises at SMX Advanced 2009