Facebook Profiles to Become Searchable

Facebook is opening up its user profiles to be crawled by search engines, allowing limited information to be available unless users change their privacy settings, according to the Facebook blog. Users will be notified of the changes, so they will have time to mark their profile as private before the changes are implemented later this month.

When I logged in to my Facebook account today, I was greeted with a message saying:

Since your search privacy settings are set to “Everyone,” you now have a public search listing. This means that friends who aren’t yet on Facebook will be able to search for you by name from our Welcome page. Public Search Listings may only include names and profile pictures.
In a few weeks, these public search listings can be found by search engines like Google. No privacy rules are changing; anyone who discovers your public search listing must register and log in to contact you via Facebook.

The move will bring Facebook profiles in line with other services, such as LinkedIn, which make it easier to find a user’s profile when searching on their own site, or in general search engines. These social media profiles are a popular tool for reputation management, since they usually appear high in the results for a person or company’s name.

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