Will Facebook Give Away Vanity URLs in a Landrush?

fblogosmallWhile some businesses working with Facebook have been able to get a Facebook vanity URL for some time now, rumors are surfacing that Facebook may soon open up vanity URL registration to any user who wants one in a first come, first served land rush.

Under such a system, users would be able to get URLs like facebook.com/mark for their own personal profiles. (However, some of the most common first names are already taken.)

Administering such a landrush would be a significant challenge. Presumably, Facebook wouldn’t let users register trademarked terms or generic words like “lasvegashotels” that could be used to simply generate spammy SEO traffic. Facebook would have to establish clear rules for how the vanity URLs would be distributed.

Clearly, vanity URLs represent one of the best SEO opportunities on Facebook ever – and more vanity URLs would be good for Facebook’s own SEO efforts, too. However, Facebook has to be careful how they roll out the program, because URL changes are hard to undo in the SEO world. Facebook pages with vanity URLs are especially valuable to businesses, many of whom would likely be willing to pay significant chunks of money for the rights to a good vanity URL. Such a program could be a nice secondary revenue stream for Facebook.

As of yet, Facebook has not officially stated how it decides who gets vanity URLs, or what its future roadmap for vanity URLs will be. A Facebook spokesperson recently told Inside Facebook:

“We don’t offer specifics on which parties may have received ‘vanity’ URLs, but it’s something we’ve experimented with and have only offered on a very limited basis. We’re looking at how we might roll this functionality out to all of our users, but we don’t have anything to announce at this time.”

In other words, Facebook is still evaluating different ways of rolling out vanity URLs to balance SEO and direct sales opportunities. Personally, I’d open up the bidding to businesses first before giving away vanity URLs to users.

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Leave a Reply

15 Responses to “Will Facebook Give Away Vanity URLs in a Landrush?”

  1. Roie says:

    They should have done so a long time ago… twitter accounts are already getting nice SEO traffic thanks to the pretty URL’s.

  2. Finance Geek » Bing Is Live (And Live Is Bing) says:

    [...] Facebook could give away vanity URLs [Inside Facbook] [...]

  3. Gabe Diaz says:

    This isn’t new…Kevin Rose and Gary Vaynerchuk have had their vanity URLs for some time now.

    Basically you either have to work at FB to get your single name URL or be a friend of someone. I think Kevin’s tweet about the URL, named the person at FB who hooked him up.

    facebook.com/kevinrose
    facebook.com/gary

  4. Trademark says:

    …if the domain name experience is anything to go by, even having a sunrise process ends up being a rush. Given the relatively low entrance criteria for sunrise phases (you normally just need a national trademark, doesn’t matter what classes), it narrows it down, but it’s still a random selection of applicants. It will be even harder for Facebook to make a sensible system, whos users are not used to protecting a brand.

  5. Η Μεγάλη Μάχη των Facebook Vanity URL | Newsbytes.gr says:

    [...] επιβεβαιωθούν οι φήμες τότε σίγουρα αναμένουμε να ξεσπάσει μεγάλη [...]

  6. I Am The Sharper Image says:

    H’mmmm…..vanity urls just seem like a mean name for those pages.

  7. Breaking: Facebook Username Landrush to Start June 13 at Midnight says:

    [...] Facebook username landrush is on. Starting this Saturday night, June 13, at 12:01am PT, Facebook users will be asked to choose [...]

  8. Facebook Vanity URLs Coming This Weekend | Wizpress.com says:

    [...] Will Facebook Give Away Vanity URLs in a Landrush? (insidefacebook.com) [...]

  9. Christina Viering says:

    Good idea!

  10. a great week. « dajiuzh——朱大九走向世界 says:

    [...] Will Facebook Give Away Vanity URLs in a Landrush? (insidefacebook.com) [...]

  11. a great week. « emake, dream to fly says:

    [...] Will Facebook Give Away Vanity URLs in a Landrush? (insidefacebook.com) [...]

  12. a great week. « zhudajiu朱大九——龙泉之眼 says:

    [...] Will Facebook Give Away Vanity URLs in a Landrush? (insidefacebook.com) [...]

  13. a great week. « faezrland, our fatherland under angels’ feather says:

    [...] Will Facebook Give Away Vanity URLs in a Landrush? (insidefacebook.com) [...]

  14. trademark says:

    Facebook policy of not registering generic terms as Vanity URLs is understandable. But what if a small business owner wants to register vanity url under his business name to attract this customer as an advertising campaign, why can’t he do that? what if he provides a proof of his business registration? and has a domain name registered with same name. can he get Facebook Vanity url same as that of his business name.

  15. SEO says:

    I think Facebook’s policy is understandable.

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