I Like The Facebook Button, But Will SEO?

16 comments

Just recently Facebook implemented a web-wide “like” button that has raised a lot of eyebrows across the SEO industry. Within the first week of being operational, over 50,000 websites have already added the button with the anticipation that the new “social link” will keep them tapped into the ever-changing and elusive social crowd. Before I go into the potential problems the SERPs are having with this new form of linking, let me explain in brief what the button is all about.

The Facebook Like Button allows users to click on a website’s Like button and share that site’s content with the user’s Facebook account. It creates a bridge from a website to a Facebook page that links up to a user and starts feeding them content within the confines of their Facebook feed. The user can then share the link with their Facebook friends, where a viral effect can take place seamlessly. They are an ideal link for news sites and any other website that has continual updates throughout the day. These buttons have been an integral part of Facebook for some time now, but as of a few weeks ago they are now available to place on any site with a few simple lines of code.

The problem that Google and other SERPs are having is that these Like buttons are not HTML friendly, but are rather part of a closed proprietary system that only Facebook can control. This closed system will not allow Google to index the links, information, and connections created. Where will the link juice go? How will these links impact page rank? How will the social links impact the order of the SERPs that Google has worked so hard to rank? These are questions that everyone in the SEO community is eager to get answers to. It may be some time before those answers come about.

With this move, Facebook is looking to become not only a bigger player in the social scene, but a new foe for Google. By bridging the gap between a company’s website and their Facebook presence, and taking some privileges to exclude the search engines, Facebook has taken yet another step in the direction of a making the web a more social scene.

About the Author

Chris Stiner is both a SEM specialist and DRTV media buyer at Koeppel Direct. With over 10 years of offline and online direct response marketing experience, he has a unique skill set and outlook on the synergies of multi-channel SEM direct response marketing.

Add Your Comments

  • (will not be published)

16 Comments

  1. Just recently adding an "I like" button to my website, I am still wondering how its going to work and how it will tie into SEO. The other confusion is the amount of people that "I like" my face book page, vs. the "I like" button with the main site.

  2. Paul

    Just about anything facebook does seems to be closed within a proprietary system. I learnt this while setting up a fan page and Networked blogs, instead of my blog benefiting from traffic it is facebook that is benefitting from my content being pulled into the fan page. Try and get those fans onto your blog? Good luck! only a small proportion I found. About the SEO effects of 'ilike' even if google could access the info I don't think ultimately it will be a quality indication of linking. Think about the pages you have fanned. Have you visited them? Some I have liked but never visited. This is about the same quality as someone going to your website for a minute then leaving, which google counts as a bounce. In other words not a quality site. Just because people like something doesn't necessarily mean they REALLY like it :) Other factors will have to come into play. Such as, what did they do when they went to the site? Did they comment, join etc etc. Thats the real test of quality. Just liking something? Not real useful but I'm sure Google would love to get their hands on those stats anyway!

  3. Good points. The one thing that I know Google wish they had was access to the kind of demographic data on users that Facebook has -- ages, gender, hobbies, etc. Access to that kind of data would make AdWords king of the hill in online advertising programs!

  4. Frances Mary Krug, you are wrong Google has orkut.

  5. colombiandude

    paul u forget once u like a page its new will show on peoples feed, believe i make a lot of money from fb with some pages with 100k+ users

  6. I've been searching about this. I add the widget anyway as it can increase the visitors on my blog when someone likes and shares a post on their Facebook wall Not sure about SEO although I'm sure the upcoming Google's +1 might have an effect

  7. I try to increase the number of fanpage by having the Facebook Like Button on every main pages in the next day, the rank of my main keywords drop so I take it off and I find that it bounce back on. Still not sure if it is a coincidence.

  8. Just cause you don't visit fan pages or pages that you have liked doesn't mean the Like button is not affective. When your friends see that you Liked a site, it acts as a referal. They might visit the site and find the product or service or whatever it is useful.

  9. What about placing it in the header of your site? What impact would it have on SEO, site speed, etc. I worry that it will slow loading time. However, think about all of the social bookmarks that will come of it...

  10. They should have a symbiotic relationship in the future because Facebook is now doing the work of google.

  11. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic however , I'd figured I'd ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My site covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

  12. Glad you like the blog. We welcome guest bloggers, so if you'd like information on contributing, please email me directly at frances@searchmarketingstandard.com.

  13. webpage becomes very slower with this like plugin, effect on seo still not sure.

  14. does the trick in 2012 is still valid?

  15. Arthur

    I really think that Facebook is getting too big for its britches. Google for that matter too. How many people do you know that actively use Google Plus? It's because of stuff like this that social signals will never be a major factor in organic rankings. It will always be primarily a blend of on-page content and true links. Arthur Kukri @ http://salaryspot.net

  16. does more like's give your link more juice? Is it a way for Facebook to priorities link juice for the amount of likes ?