SEO Weekend Update: Facebook Fan Pages
Microsoft, Yahoo Continue To Annoy Me
I didn’t really believe that all the MicroHoo chatter was behind us, but part of me really, really hoped. I’m a little tired of talking about nonevents, but here we are again. On Sunday, Microsoft issued another weekend statement saying that they’re “continuing to explore and pursue…an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo! but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo!” Er, what does that even mean? Epic Yawn, Microsoft.
No one really knows what Microsoft’s cryptic note refer to, but we’re all guessing anyway. The most popular theory is that Microsoft is looking to get its hands on some of Yahoo’s search share. Sounds viable. Personally, I think the way Yahoo can best help Microsoft is to bring some eyeballs to Microsoft adCenter, which most agree is the best ad serving platform that no one’s using. I’d love to see that platform get some actual traffic.
Regardless of what Microsoft’s latest sonnet really means, Yahoo appears to be back at the bargaining table, which I’m sure has nothing to do with the fact that its own stakeholders were revolting. Fun!
Should Brands Buy Back Their Fan Pages On Facebook?
There’s a post over on The Unofficial Facebook Guide that tells the sad story of users getting banned for creating branded fan pages. Nick O’Neill writes that ever since Facebook unveiled Fan pages onto the site, enthused brand evangelists have been jumping at the chance to create pages for the brands they love. Sadly, it seems the pages they’ve created are being taken down and, in some cases the users’ accounts are being banned. Yikes.
While banning personal accounts because a user was excited about a feature you offer is 100 percent ludicrous, I do think it’s a good idea for brands to take control of their Facebook pages, even if John Battelle doesn’t. Sure, it’s likely that these brand evangelists are completely well-intentioned but I don’t think you should hand over your logo, your message, or your public face to someone simply because they were first to try and register the page. You also don’t want a hundred splinter Fan pages sprouting up for your brand, you want one official one where all of your fans can unite and support you. And if your Fan page is going to be in front of that many eyeballs, you want to make sure you’re the one in control of it.
Remember our friend Jackie Liebergott from last week? On Thursday I wrote that My College President Kills Kittens and showed how someone had created a false Facebook profile for Jackie Liebergott, the president of my alma mater Emerson College. Well, it turns out they’ve also created a fake Jackie Liebergott Fan page. Now, if you were Emerson College, wouldn’t you want to get control of that page? Poor kitten-killer Liebergott.
Encourage users to engage, to write wall posts, to answer polls, to go out in the real world and evangelize, but you have to hold on to the keys. Otherwise you’re just opening yourself up for disaster.
Would Yahoo Be Stronger Without Search?
At Search Engine Journal, Loren Baker asks if Yahoo would be stronger without search. It’s an interesting theory but not one I’m inclined to support. Perhaps Loren’s right in that Yahoo would become more profitable, but it’s still not a direction I want to see them take. They might make more money but would you still respect them in the morning? I wouldn’t. It’s not a good course for them and it’s sure not going to help the industry any.
Personally, I’d rather see someone step in and get Yahoo to start leveraging their many verticals. Yahoo has all the portal strength an engine could ask for, and yet they’re not using it. Tapping into all of that is how Yahoo will succeed and grow. I still have faith in Yahoo and I don’t want to see them sell out and become completely useless. Someone has to come along and challenge Google. Yahoo’s sitting back at a pretty distant second right now, but Google’s not going to reign forever. At some point, someone will come up and beat them. That will never be Yahoo if they hang up their gloves before the fight is over.
Hang in there, Yahoo. Don’t be so quick to sell out. Even if Microsoft does keep sweet talking you back to the table.
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