Live From SMX East: Facebook SEO – Free Ways To Be Found On Facebook

By Evan Levy | Oct 5, 2010
More Articles by Evan

After a fun night of exploring New York City, strolling around Times Square, and wandering through the biggest Toys R Us I’ve ever seen (all while Foursquare was down), it’s time for another day of SMX East!  Today I’m starting with Facebook SEO: Free Ways To Be Found On Facebook.  Speakers included: Greg FinnChris Silver Smith, and Marty Weintraub.

First, what is a SERP? – Search Engine Results Page. To gather data, Marty and his team tested across 5 profiles, 4 mature accounts and 1 new account to see how to get specific information showing in the SERP’s.  Things that were noticed to affect personalization:

-you like it

-your friend likes it

-you’ve got 2nd degree friends

-you’ve been invited

-you’ve visited it before

-you’ve listed it as an interest on your profile

What ranks in the auto-complete box: your name, events you are invited to, friend with keyword in their name, 2nd degree friend with the keyword in their name.  Also, questions with the keyword in it, groups you have joined, a page that a friend likes, and many other things.

The main search function starts with friends and second degree friends, followed by pages with a large number of likes.  When searching people, ranking starts with the name of a friend, or a 2nd degree friend, then keywords in a wall post, something in their interests, their workplace, region, or a Page.

The search is “too messed up to rank logically.”  Search is very personalized, so to rank pages, make sure you use the fields that Facebook is pulling from

Event results are not based on geography, or based on friends attending, or invites, or keywords.  So it’s not exactly clear what they are pulling from.

Applications are very hard to find as well.  What matters is if you’re already using it, or if a friend is using it.  To rank an app, put the keyword in title, and in the body, and try to get 1,000 users.

Facebook questions are brand new.  To rank for a question, make sure there’s a keyword in the title, the answer, the URL, and try to gain multi-user engagement.

Other methods for ranking pages: use a relevant page name, build the number of fans, and number of fan friends.  Search results can be ranked by number of fans and people that like your page.  Engagement is also an important factor to showing in results.

Facebook events- “can be a spam sandwich in the face sometimes.”  To really pick it up, use profiles to kick it out to your friends.  There’s an option that you can message all of your friends without them accepting, and this can easily lead to annoyance.

Where is Facebook search going?  They’ve come out with something called page browser.  This can help a user find more pages they may like.  You can click and like pages without leaving the page browser.  This has the potential to boost the number of people liking pages dramatically.

How would you prepare your Facebook page for the page browser?  If you want to be listed, you need to be “liked.”  Ads can also help to make a page rank if you try to show with similar interests.

The goal is to take people, and turn them into fans.  One way to do this is a Facebook promotion.  They have a new guideline system that forces approval from Facebook before the promotion happens.  One way to get around this is to get people to donate to a cause.  Think about giving $1 for every comment on page.  People will sign up so they can comment, and to give to charity.

You can also put exclusive content on your Facebook page.  Use the “visible-to-connection” tag.  If someone likes your page, they’re going to be delivered specific information.  If they don’t like it, they won’t get the value.  You could use a coupon, or exclusive previews of new products, etc.

To convert offline fans more effectively, try to avoid the “find us on Facebook” signs, because we just went over how hard it is to actually find anything on Facebook.

One way around this is to use QR codes.  People will scan the codes, and it will take them directly to your Facebook page, without any of the ambiguity.  This could also be used with Facebook places to help people check in.

Google QR generator to make your own code.  With one touch, you can check into a place, or like a page.

Optimizing status updates in Facebook.

If you’re looking for more exposure on Facebook, you want more people to see your status updates.  To encourage this, mention things in your updates that probably have pages themselves.  For example, if you mention something about Manhattan in a status update, the people that have liked the Manhattan page could see your update on the Manhattan page.

Information on Pages gets pulled in from many sources including status updates, wikipedia pages, and other websites.  Be sure to tag reference pages for more attention.  To tag something on Facebook, use the “@” symbol as if you were referencing something on Twitter.

Optimizing page code for Facebook entails using the open graph protocol based on RDFa.

Pages coded with this protocol make it easier for your content to be included in the Facebook environment.  Yelp! has started using this protocol.  It allows locations and reviews to show on Facebook, as well as how many check ins and likes there are.  Location pages allow you to add the latitude and longitude in the code, an image URL, address, and even allows you to see some usage data from the page.

Remember, once ten or more people have liked a page, you can no longer change the title or description information, so make sure you have exactly what you want in those fields.

That’s all for now, stay tuned for more sessions later in the day!

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