Hey Facebook: Who do You Think You Are?!

If you’re like me, you’re up in arms about Facebook’s recently revealed changes. Not only from a personal level with all of the privacy issues, but also from a business perspective in higher ed and beyond. This brings up a lot of issues across the board for everyone: personal users, professional users, the government. Wow, way to really eff up, Facebook!

From an SEO perspective, the ‘Like this’ function is something to consider. Do we all run out and immediately add it to our web pages and blogs? Sure you’ll get instant traffic, but is it an added step in what otherwise would have been found and shared content? Sharing content in Facebook is nothing new: people use several different ways to do this, be it Stumble Upon, Google, or just simply cut and pasting.

This week’s Whiteboard Friday from SEO MOZ sums it up: Facebook thinks it can out Google – Google. Liking is not truly bookmarking. Its sharing. How often do you share web content versus how often you bookmark items. Also, do you primarily share content in Facebook or do you do it more so in Twitter? I’d argue that those who are web savvy enough to really use the ‘Like This’ button are those savvy enough to not see its benefit. And to think that ‘Liking’ could be a new or better way to search is interesting, but not nearly an earth shatteringly new idea. Thats why we have dedicated sites like Yelp and Blip.fm – to share content you like with others. Can Facebook take on being better at what all these other services already do while also taking down Google? I think not.

And using Wikipedia for the new ‘Community Pages’? How lazy is that? Is Facebook having a personality disorder? On one hand its showing lofty Google goals, on the other is zapping privacy and acting like a hungover college student copying from the internet for a final paper.

Facebook should concentrate on being who it is and stop trying to find ways to monetize. Its only making it suck.


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