Facebook Steps Up SEO for Brand Pages with Millions of New Indexable Links

In a move that will increase the amount of Page Rank and traffic Google gives to Facebook Pages, Facebook launched a new feature over the weekend that essentially added hundreds of millions of new internal links to Facebook’s brand Pages in users’ public search listings.

Public search listings are Facebook’s way of exposing user information to Google. Before today, the default public search listings included users’ name, profile picture, network, and a few friends’ photos. Now, Facebook has added Pages that users are a fan of to users’ default public search listings.

This means that if a user is a fan of The Gap, U2, or Barack Obama, that information is now listed in that user’s public search listing. In addition, each of those items listed point back to Facebook Pages – such as The Gap’s Facebook Page, U2′s Facebook Page, and Barack Obama’s Facebook Page.

The net result? 112,000 links to The Gap’s Facebook Page just appeared this weekend. 188,000 links to U2′s Facebook Page just appeared, and 3,100,000 links to Obama’s Facebook Page just appeared.

Considering that Facebook turned on links to Pages from about 120 million profile page public search listings, the number of new internal links to Pages on the facebook.com domain this weekend likely increased by several hundred million.

The SEO experts in the crowd will be able to gauge how impactful this change will be in light of the thousands of complex factors Google looks at when deciding who to give SERP real estate to.

Facebook describes the update to users as a way to make it easier for friends to find you in search results, and that is surely the case:

But ultimately for marketers, this step by Facebook increases the weight Google will give to brand Pages. Brand and marketing managers should not be surprised to see their Facebook Pages rising in Google search results in the months ahead.

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48 Responses to “Facebook Steps Up SEO for Brand Pages with Millions of New Indexable Links”

  1. Nick O'Neill says:

    Hey Justin,

    One part of this isn’t accurate. Gap didn’t get 112,000 new links because only 5 fan pages are shown with each profile. The same thing that happened to you happened to me and most of the fan pages that are publicly displayed for me are for the Facebook pages I’m a fan of.

    It’s random chance whether or not a page receives a link.


  2. Justin Smith says:

    You’re right, it won’t be exactly 112K, but it should be fairly close. You’d need to know the mean and median distribution of the number of Pages users are fans of in order to precisely calculate the total number of links added for all Pages and for any Page in particular.


  3. Facebook links users’ search profiles to ad Pages » VentureBeat says:

    [...] change could send hundreds of millions of links from Facebook profiles to Pages, as Justin Smith estimated after he spotted the changes this [...]

  4. Mauro says:

    All those links comes from the same domain, so Google is not going to give them much Pagerank.

  5. Adam from PageRush says:

    Keen observation, Justin. As I understand it (from my limited use of Google’s Web Master tools), Google gets information about the hosting site from internal links. Seems like this will help the page rank high for “Gap Facebook” but not have much effect on the page ranking high for “Gap”.

  6. D&G says:

    you probably have never tasted the power of internal linking juice of a high authortive site…?

  7. Anil says:

    Mauro is partly right – as all links are from same domain so google won’t give them much love. But look at it from another angle – with their fav Facebook Pages now in everyone’s public profile, the number of clicks (and subsequent conversion)to those Pages would have a snowball effect. This would lead to higher traffic to their sites – working well in Page owners’ favour big time!

  8. Facebook įgijo dar didesnį Google autoritetą | Martyno Jokubausko tinklaraštis says:

    [...] http://www.insidefacebook.com/2008/11/17/facebook-internally-seoing-brand-pages-wants-more-traffic-a… [...]

  9. Your Personal Brand is Public on Facebook PERIOD « Personal Branding Blog - Dan Schawbel says:

    [...] was going to blog about this a long time ago, but I found a recent post on the Inside Facebook blog that pushed me to do this one. What a lot of people don’t know is that when you search for [...]

  10. Melanie Notkin says:

    And with that… anyone know how to move an FB Group to become a Fan Page? I created the Savvy Auntie FB Group before Fan Pages existed. Is it even worth moving over? Thanks – Melanie

  11. David - Los Angeles Internet Marketing says:

    I actually think this may lead to the whole friend train issue that myspace had until they made their links non-SEO friendly

  12. Facebook says:

    [...] [via] [...]

  13. Caitlin says:

    Is this in effect for all public profiles? I tried searching a few of my friends who I know are fans of various things and didn’t see any more than their basic info and “some people they are friends with.”

  14. Justin Smith says:

    It looks like Facebook still hasn’t fully launched this yet…

  15. Search Engine Optimisation says:

    I agree with just in. Facebook hasn’t launched it fully.

  16. Search Engine Optimisation says:

    I am sure some blackhat will be coming up with some ideas to manipulate the whole thing.

  17. Catfish SEO says:

    Page Rank is not domain specific. Internal links pass as much PR as external links. Other things like anchor text and trust may be weighted differently but Page Rank is not dampened between domains.

  18. Link Building Blog says:

    A site this powerful directing all that link juice to the pages will have a great effect….they really won’t need much help ranking anyway with the power of the facebook domain alone.

    Facebook has somewhere around 10 million inbound links….jeepers!

  19. Mari Smith says:

    Awesome post, Justin. Really good news for marketers/SEO peeps. I just wish Facebook would make it *much* easier to locate where and how to set up FB Pages.

    Pages are an awesome feature of FB, but most peeps don’t know you have to scroll down to the very foot & click on Advertising. I wrote a post with tutorial vid here: http://whyfacebook.com/2008/09/25/how-to-create-and-promote-your-facebook-fan-page/


  20. Dave (originial) says:

    RE: “The net result? 112,000 links to The Gap’s Facebook Page just appeared this weekend. 188,000 links to U2’s Facebook Page just appeared, and 3,100,000 links to Obama’s Facebook Page just appeared.”

    Just how stupid do YOU think Google is??? While Google shows inbound links from external sites you can bet London to a brick ‘noise’ links (like these) are simply discounted.

  21. SeekGeek says:

    One problem: many SEOs are in agreement that the G algo prefers pages that build up links slowly over time (aka more naturally) than one isolated big hit (which is a great indication of spammy link-building tactics)

  22. Dave (originial) says:

    Yep, fully agree, SeekGeek. Google goes to great lengths and expense to ensure Stanford’s prized PageRank is NOT easy to manipulate.

    ALL this ill thought through scheme will do is raise a BIG red flags on sites that TRY to take advantage of this *perceived* loophole.

    Gaining massive amounts of inbound links is fine IF you can maintain the trend, if not you ARE your OWN worse enemy for trying to fool Google.

    It’s SITE like this one who post opinions as fact that give the ENTIRE SEO industry a black-eye.

    DREAM ON Justin Smith :)

  23. hello web says:

    I agree to this point but not all the softwares produce the same amount of backlinks or the sites. iwebtool, alexa, urltrend. give differrent version of backlinks for the same website. Big confusion, who to believe.

  24. Dave (originial) says:

    There are backlinks that pass on PageRank AND traffic and then there are backlinks that pass on traffic ONLY. Links from Blog post, Forum posts, Newsgroups, Social Media sites, GuestBooks etc all fall under “backlinks that pass on traffic ONLY”. Social Media sites pass on ‘junk traffic’ ONLY.

  25. Facebook Embraces Search, Disses Apps for Brands | Blind Five Year Old says:

    [...] recently Facebook added fan links to public pages, creating a tremendous density of internal links to brand and product pages. The likely goal of [...]

  26. Internet Marketing News Roundup for Nov 2008 says:

    [...] Facebook steps up SEO for brand pages (Inside Facebook) [...]

  27. Social Media Examples - Marketing Your Brand Online says:

    [...] Inside Facebook talks about improved SEO with Brand Pages. [...]

  28. Inside Facebook » Facebook Adds More Pages SEO Juice in Public Search Listings says:

    [...] Inside Facebook detailed updates to Facebook’s public search listings for users designed to increase Facebook Pages SEO juice by adding millions of internal links. At the time, Facebook’s design for public search [...]

  29. Seo says:

    Wow, millions of links point to a page in one day, does SEs ban it?

  30. Bruce says:

    Unfortunately Facebook only gives out nofollow link tags.

  31. James Tan says:

    I didn’t know Facebook pages are sooooo easy to create! Thanks for the heads up. I really love these Facebook pages.

  32. Bertus says:

    Thanks for the article, I started 2 fan pages which both jumped to more than 25 000 fans each in its first weeks, of which the brands appear # 1 on the google search rankings now.

  33. Who Gets A Vanity URL on Facebook? says:

    [...] URL” (like http://www.facebook.com/barackobama) in order to make them easier to find and improve their SEO. In addition, some have reported seeing survey questions from Facebook asking users if they would [...]

  34. Will Facebook and Twitter Become Communication Tools or Identity Platforms? says:

    [...] contrast, Facebook is largely private. With some notable exceptions (like profile photo and fan pages you’re a fan of), almost all personal profile data, photos, [...]

  35. Facebook Vanity URLs Only Available to Pages With More Than 1,000 Fans says:

    [...] the Username Landrush of 2009 for Facebook profiles and Pages – and with it perhaps the greatest Facebook SEO opportunity to [...]

  36. Facebook SEO for Lawyers « Internet Marketing Blog with PaperStreet Web Design – Law Firm, Business & Professionals says:

    [...] You can now optimize a page in Facebook for higher rankings.  Actually you have been able to do this for awhile (almost a year). [...]

  37. MarianaGrigorian says:

    I am still not clear about the nofollow attribute: Facebook has that for all the outbound links, so what the value for SEO?

  38. How to build a great Facebook Fan page with tips and tricks for business says:

    [...] positions in the search engines as it is a massive site and has a lot of trust with Google so when they started making fan pages a priority it was time to get serious about your own page. You will find some great resources here [...]

  39. The Problem with Facebook (for Marketers) says:

    [...] with Facebook: it’s a proprietary network.  Yes, the Gods of Facebook have made it easier to find your branded page via Google.  Yes, they’ve made it easier to find your content from within the network.  But [...]

  40. siva says:

    iam agree this one

  41. Martin Kamenov says:

    I am agree, too

  42. 10 Key SEO Strategies Every Facebook Page Owner Should Know | Instant Money Machine says:

    [...] Facebook places links to Facebook Pages on the default version of Facebook users’ profile pages which are visible to search engines, the more fans you get, the more links you’ll have to your Page within Facebook. For Pages with [...]

  43. hampton roads web design says:

    totally agree!

  44. link building says:

    I liked the part regarding building links. Backlink building is a very important part of SEO for each blog. Also you cannot forgot on page optimization.

  45. portsmouth window cleaning says:

    i very much agree with this!

  46. chaleil says:

    bonjour je crois que tous se que j’ai lue je suis toujours avec mes questions jaimerais que vous m’expliquer clairement comment créer une page facebock qui tourne bien je voudrai a travers cette page parrainer pour le site d’enchere que je joue car beaucoup y arrive et moi pas j’ai tous essayer j’espére que vous pourrez me répondre rapidement car tous ceux qui arrive ne veulent rien dire il me promene coordialement

  47. Why You Should Be a Fan of Facebook Fan Pages - KoMarketing Associates says:

    [...] on Search Results: Inside Facebook reported in November that the pages are being given SEO friendly links in public profile listings. [...]

  48. So You’ve Put Up a Facebook Page, Now What? 10 Tips for Business Community Building on Facebook | Likeable Media - A Social Media and Word of Mouth Marketing Firm says:

    [...] from Facebook’s site, throwing up a Page without knowing how to grow it, or both. Now, with forthcoming changes to Facebook’s link structure profoundly affecting Google’s natural s…, the need to have your Facebook strategy on target is key. We at theKbuzz believe there are vast, [...]

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