I was reading Chris Brogan’s book Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything on Kindle and took particular notice of something Chris said…
When justifying Google+ against Facebook, Chris states that “…Facebook doesn’t even permit Google to index its content”. “Really!” I thought? (I actually said that out loud too…) Sounded a bit over the top to me, which inspired some research into this assersion.
First up, you need to be aware of what tools are at your disposal in order to narrow your search results. One that I use frequently for testing a Google search is Google Advanced Search (https://www.google.com.au/advanced_search). Using this tool, I can search for a specific string of text on a specific domain. If Google has indexed it, the Advanced Search will find it.
Even in the standard search bar, if I type the exact text “We do YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA including design, set up, training and management” site:centricsm.com.au then it will find the only place on this website where that text is found…the Home Page. The quotation marks define an exact string, whilst the site: command tells google to only look in one place. Here! Try this with some of your content on Facebook, or to even search for every place on Facebook that has “social media” written, copy & paste this into your search query:
“social media” site:facebook.com
OK. Now that you know how to test your content in search, here’s what was done to validate the assertion that “…Facebook doesn’t even permit Google to index its content”.
A search was performed on some Facebook wall content from Centric Social Media that has been on the wall for more than 1 month (allowing it plenty of time to be indexed by Google). The result? Your search did not match any documents.
So. Is wall content indexed? The answer appears to be no. However, one theory is that because wall content has a very short shelf life, it may not appear at all. But, because of conclusions proven with advanced search, I’m fairly confident in saying your wall content isn’t indexed at all.
However…search for your business name and target Facebook’s site, and you will find your Business Pages and Applications (if you have them). This means that Applications on Facebook ARE infact visible to search and DO get indexed. This is important to know for a very valid reason. Facebook Landing Pages and Customised App Pages are built, more often than not, using shortcuts. That is, all pictures and text are layed out nicely using graphics software and then plonked onto the app because it’s faster than having to code it all in HTML. And I’ve even seen the lareg digital media agencies do this. For shame! It is imperative that if you have a Facebook Application on your business page, that the text isn’t just a fancy graphic, but infact is actual…readable…text! Otherwise you’re only hurting your own SEO.
In addition to Facebook, we also researched LinkedIn. To our suprise, LinkedIn Status Updates do not appear to be indexed either. However, Profile and Company Page information appears strongly in generic search results…and that’s without targeting the site!
Nb: If you just mumbled the words…“What’s a Company Page”…please contact me now. You’re missing out!
So the take-away here is…make sure you’re Profile and Company Pages on LinkedIn are 100% complete, with all the required keywords you’ve discovered using the Keywords Tool.
Google+ and You Tube
Rightyo. This may come as a shock…but with Google being the world’s largest (and best) Search Giant; and owning You Tube and Google+; it stands to reason that pretty much all content on both sites is indexed. And it’s indexed quickly!
Because relevant and linked content is important to your business being found online, it’s even more important that your daily content is;
- relevant, and
With this in mind and by consistently applying the methods stated above (relevant, strategic content using keywords that are in line with your business and your website), your social media efforts need not go to waste. Even if you’re not that much into Google+ yet, I urge you to simply start an account and replicate your Facebook posts across both channels (i.e Facebook AND Google+). Purely and simply because by getting that content to start building in Google+, you will now be posting to a platform that will begin to index and return your content in search results.
This is not just wasting time…it’s science. The type of science that is calculated and, with persistent and consistent use, will definitely improve your search rankings.
And before I sign off, there’s one last tip I offered to the Angela’s Business Mix audience last Monday, which was a formula for posting to You Tube to ensure you get the best value out of your video efforts. The secret isn’t in the video per se (although it would help if the video rocked too…so people want to share it! In the words of the great Scott Stratten…”When you do awesome things, it makes people want to share the awesome.“), the science behind You Tube in maximising your content searchability, is how much attention you give to the text components of your video.
- Make sure you use keywords relevant to your website and video
- http://adwords.google.com/ > Tools and Analysis > Keyword Tool
- Put your business name in the title of the video
e.g. How to eat bananas | The Great Aussie Banana Company
- Put your website URL and contact number FIRST in your description
e.g. www.website.com | Ph: 1300 111 222
[video description here]
- Below the video description, add a generic description of your business that is keyword rich
- Keywords –> Tags. OK?
If you’d like to see an example of this in action, click here. The link is one of our own video’s showing you how to set up a Google+ Page for your business.
And finally, I will say this. Getting the discipline in place to do this this is not easy. Heck, I’m not so great at it myself at times, particularly when I’m in a hurry. So even if you skip it the first time (particularly in You Tube or where you have editable content), go back and optimise that content as best you can.