I have to admit. I'm not very enthused about Facebook's decision to allow users to create Vanity URLs for their profiles (and pages…though I haven't seen any for those yet. Not sure who is eligible, and when the rest of us will be?)
Of course, it just makes sense that a person can give out easy-to-remember static looking URL's to their family, friends, and clients/customers instead of a long string of variable gobbledeegook. But, I knew – as an SEO professional – that the mad rush to SQUAT on the best keyword phrases would ruin the usefulness of Facebook's move.
Can I blame anyone for the rush? Nope. The opportunity is there, so why not take it? I blame Facebook for allowing the opportunity to be there in the first place. How fair is it that some unrelated person, business, or organization can steal (take) your name, your identity, or more likely, YOUR MAIN KEYWORD PHRASE?
First come, first serve. And that's all that qualifies you to choose your URL "username".
And the change is permanent? So no swapping. Once you're TheKiKi, or MyrtleBeachSEO, you're that until death do you part. Does that mean the squatters can't unload the goods? Not sure, but money talks so there's always a way around such obstacles, like swapping account logins. And is Facebook monitoring for copyright infringement of identity theft…or can anyone swoop in a take Nike, McDonalds, Coke…or even Barrack Obama or Kobe Bryant?
In the coming weeks (probably much less than that) you'll see Facebook pages inundate the SERP's. And the 'why' is obvious. Facebook hit critical mass some time ago, and continues to balloon. Think of how many times you see Wikipedia pages in the SERPs.
I hope that Facebook makes good on its promise to combat blatant squatting. And, I hope that Google and the rest of the Search Engines do their due diligence with their own algorithms. After all, the premise of the page URL's text [ALWAYS] properly defining the focus of the page went south when the first black hat SEO salesman crawled out of the mud.
Maybe I'm peeved that someone got to my name on Facebook before I did? I can only imagine how annoyed I'd be if someone snaked the name of my business.
So let's have some fun, and you tell me whose side Facebook is on. The common man (and thus small business) or the Superstar and million dollar brands.
And watch what happens. Do you think Facebook would let you – oh common man – set something up like that for yourself or your business?
Now start searching for things that you KNOW what have been snatched up right at midnight Saturday morning, like Disney or Myrtle Beach (yeah, Myrtle Beach…I know there are plenty of companies licking their chops over that one).
Find any other glaring inconsistencies in Facebook's new vanity URL's. Let us know. Disgree with me…well you can let me know that too.