Facebook Privacy Updates – Real Time Indexing in Google

The world of real time updates and information is closing in on all of us at a very rapid pace. Twitter and Facebook updates are now indexing in Google search results, opening up all* comments to the entire world to read and absorb. This has implications for businesses in regards to reputation management, as noted in a previous post on consumer feedback, but also serves as yet another tool for SEO (search engine optimization) if utilized correctly. It increases the value of social media for business in that a keyword rich status update could get indexed and found by a customer searching on Google, instead of before, when that update was limited to Facebookers eyes only.

*If for some reason this is upsetting to you as a user, there’s really no need to be alarmed. Facebook has recently released a new and much easier way to control all privacy settings on your account. You can choose who see’s what on your profile- including status updates- so if your settings are restricted to “Friends” or “Friends of Friends” only, Google will not be able to index your content. One important note is that Facebook is recommending (and automatically updating) your status updates to “Everyone” (meaning it WILL get indexed- unless you change it) so it’s important to know how to do this…

And very simple.

Select “Settings” and then “Privacy Settings” from the top link next to your name. From there you can select and save your changes accordingly. (“Posts By Me” are you status, photos, links that you update at the top of your page.)

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Last week Kara and I decided to visit the much talked about Red Door restaurant on Cantrell, hoping it would be as nice as Bene Vita, the Italian restaurant it replaced. This post is not going to be about our experience, but how our experience prompted action in a way that was never possible before…

Take a moment to Google- “red door, little rock“. The site obviously doesn’t have a website yet (wtf?) but even if they did, it is not uncommon for the Google Maps description to top the list in organic results…

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Once you click on the listing you then can view a map of the location, details and reviews. I’m sure you’ve seen the option- “Tell us what you think” is the new IT word everywhere you go- and I am personally taking advantage…

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Here are some photos of the food and the perfect expression of how we felt about the entire experience…

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The point of all this is- People are talking on the web. They’re talking to each other, participating in group discussions, and voicing their opinions on everything from politics to neighborhood watch alerts. This is the nature of Web2.0- social media and networking- and the future of businesses online reputation lies in the hands of their consumer.

According to a survey done by the Opinion Research Corporation, consumer reviews are a major influence on consumer decision-making. But you knew that already, right? Obviously one unhappy customer equals 10 new customers you’re never going to get, and vice versa. In the past, before this social explosion on the web, a bad (or good) review was limited to close friends and family- people we see or talk to on a normal, everyday basis. Now we are able to interact and network with a much larger circle of friends and new acquaintances who share similar interests and hobbies- taking the age old term of viral or guerilla marketing to a whole new level.

Here are a few more statistics from the survey-
•    83% of respondents said online reviews had at least some influence on their purchasing decisions.
•    70% said they look for reviews and information about particular types of products and services, with travel/recreation/leisure topping the list of most researched niches, and electronics right behind in 2nd
•    61% look for online reviews before purchasing a new product or service

These numbers are simply too big to ignore. Sites like YahooLocal and Yelp are growing in popularity and engagement at a shocking speed and this trend will only continue to increase as more and more consumers are finding ways to voice their opinions. Businesses must take a proactive approach to monitor and control their online reputation, before it’s too late.

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Free Tools to Monitor Online Conversations

google-alertsGoogle Alerts is a free service and first place to start when trying to track something, your reputation or otherwise, on the web. You can choose to search any (New, Blogs, Web, Video, or Groups) or all of Google’s properties and configure the Alert results to be emailed to you either as it happens, once a day, or once a week. You can also edit the alerts after they are created or delete if no longer useful.


technorati1Technorati is a gigantic blog search engine and also a great resource for tracking what’s being said in the blogosphere. Posts are indexed on the site as they are published and you can sign up via RSS to subscribe to any search term you’d like. You will then be notified of posts, blogs, photos, or videos containing your search terms.


addictomaticAddictomatic is another cool service that allows you to “inhale the web” all in one place. It examines all the major social media channels for mentions of that search- including Google, Yahoo, & Live news and blog search, Twitter, YouTube, and lots more. You can customize which sources you feel are most relevant to your results and bookmark, link to, or share on other sites.


monitorI really enjoy the simplicity of MonitorThis, which lets you subscribe to results of a search from over 20 different engines at the same time. The results are provided in OPML format, which can be a little complicated for the average user, but still worth checking out for the list of engines searched.


backtypeBacktype is a blog comment monitoring tool- allowing you to be notified whenever one of your search terms is mentioned in a comment rather than a post.


board-trackerBoardTracker is a tool that searches discussion boards and forum threads for your specified keywords. You can narrow down the categories you search by topic, relevancy, and time period.


twitter_logo_header1TwitterSearch (formerly Summize) has a simple search tool that allows you to see who is talking about your keyword and what they are saying, in real time. You can subscribe to the feed and be notified in your reader any time it’s mentioned.


tweet-volumeTweetVolume is another Twitter tool that shows you how much your keyword is discussed and also compare its stats to other neighboring terms.


These are just a few of the hundreds of (free) tools available for you to track conversations, keywords, and social content on the web. Check them out to see what’s being said about you!

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