Last week we explored the new Facebook Questions application which is newly built in to the wall of your user account. I received a few emails after the post asking me whether Facebook Questions would be searchable in Google. Understandably clients wanted to know how effective this would be for website business marketing. Naturally I presumed the facility would be searchable, but surprisingly it isn’t.
A Facebook spokesperson made the following statement:
“Currently, search engines cannot access questions and answers through our Questions product. That may be something we consider for the future but have no current plans to allow it”.
This comes as a surprise and a small blow for website business marketing, yet it seems strange that Facebook would want to ignore all this traffic. Facebook is currently avoiding the search engines by only allowing logged in users to access questions and answers. Perhaps Facebook is concerned with not allowing the facility to become simply a base for web site promotions.
I did a quick search of a site:facebook.com/questions/ within Google and only a few results came up, none of which linked straight into any questions or answers. See the results below:
Considering that 62% of Yahoo Answers upstream traffic comes from Google there must be a tactical reason Facebook are ignoring this traffic stream initially. Don’t be surprised if this policy changes suddenly in the near future.
It’s not all bad for web site promotions though; you still have 500m users to target which should keep you very busy.