Facebook is Stealing Your Hard Earned Rankings

You’ve probably spent time, budget and endless stress on building high rankings for your keywords. A new player has come to town and is creeping up on your current position without even trying. Whether you sell shoes, music, tickets, heck, even Disney movies, your business is not safe.

Facebook is creeping into search results through events, groups, fan pages, and iLike pages. Events were touched on by earlier this week making us all think about the security side of indexable event pages. While that’s another can of worms, indexing groups, fan pages and iLike pages bring up big questions of where, why and how for your business.

Where are these rankings showing up? Searches for Victoria’s Secret, Nike Shoes, Vodka, and Coldplay bring back Facebook as the 28th, 30th, 51st, and 28th result respectively. While ankings 30th isn’t impressive, the fact remains that Facebook isn’t trying and they were also not ranking AT ALL a few days ago. It’s hard to know when Google started indexing because these weren’t on anyone’s radar at position #452, but being at #28 definitely raises a brow to how far these could move.

For Nike Shoes, Facebook is one position behind Facebook staggered one ahead of Vox for Vodka. They jumped one behind a small site called for Coldplay. Some big names are getting a small bump back.

Nike Shoes on Facebook

Why are these rankings showing up? The groups and fan sites are ginormous. Victoria’s Secret, Nike Shoes, Vodka, and Coldplay each have hundreds of thousands of fans. The college kids like vodka with their Coldplay. Who knew?

These sites aren’t just full of disheveled forums, but contain videos, photos, events, message boards, product offers, downloads, even discographies. They are turning into the unofficial pages for products, services, bands, stores, and even Disney movies.

These results are relevant and definitely give some retailers, ticket websites, music sites and others a pinch in the arm. Can a business create and manipulate a group? Not likely. Spamming for fan groups is a no-no and you’ll need to build a base of at least 50,000 fans to gain any traction in the engines.

What can be done? All links on Facebook pages are already no-followed, so joining and spamming isn’t a good option for Google results. A few businesses have been able to capitalize like Rhapsody, iTunes and Amazon. They are taking advantage of iLike pages that are beginning to show up (System of a Down ranks 53) by having favorite songs downloadable through the band homepage.

iLike Example

So if you’re able to download songs, buy shoes, and purchase lingerie from links on these pages, what is stopping Facebook from becoming the largest affiliate marketer on the web?