So this morning i got an email from my CNET subscription about Facebook’s recent announcement that you can set up a keyword rich Facebook vanity URL to be used instead of (or in addition to) your alphanumeric web address for Facebook. SEO companies are running faster than the angriest bulls in Pamplona to build portfolios of Facebook accounts with keyword rich URLs.
Here’s the post I got:
Facebook’s 200-plus million members can now customize the URLs to their profiles. This is a move that will help Facebook profiles get better traction in search engines, potentially upping traffic–and give people-search sites a run for their money in the process. For brands whose “fan pages” are a crucial part of Facebook’s marketing and advertising strategy, it’ll make their pages easier for people to access without needing to click around much. But there’s fine print! “Think carefully about the user name you choose. Once it’s been selected, you won’t be able to change or transfer it,” a blog post by Facebook’s Blaise DiPersia read. Need help figuring out what to do?
So i visited my Facebook account and lo and behold there was an invitation to add a vanity URL. So i chose www.facebook.com/jasonciment. Now though i run a web agency, where I offer through our Los Angeles office web site design, search engine optimization and web software services for a CMS and an ecommerce shopping cart software platform, PLUS I still have a magazine subscription service, i still chose to make my vanity name my personal name instead of a keyword rich vanity URL like www.facebook.com/magazinesubscriptions (which by now probably someone just snatched).
here’s my recommendation to Facebook. Stop the insanity. PROHIBIT keyword rich vanity URLs. Don’t allow common names to be registered. Since when does someone’s personal name sound like a noun. Next time I meet someone who says his name is web design, I’m checking my shot glass for some milky residue because I must be drinking something funny.
Here’s my second recommendation to Facebook. if you want to allow the registration of common nouns, then setup a separate directory just for “business” use and call it www.facebook.com/business and put all the common nouns in that directory. this way people will be able to distinguish a real PERSONAL facebook account from a company’s account.
Now since Fcebook is probably not going to follow these recommendations right now – though let it be recorded forever in the web sphere that i am the first one writing this idea on a Sunday morning in 2009 – if you are interested in taking advantage of the fantastic opportunity this presents for search engine optimization purposes, then find someone who has registrered their facebook accoutn befpre May 31st and have them give it to you so that you can get the keyword rich vanity name before it is taken.
Hey! maybe Google, Yahoo and MSN will do the right thing and absolutely ignore the keywords in the URL’s and really screw with the SEO companies who don’t miss a beat (me included).