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.