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Facebook Community Pages

Launched in April 2010, now at 9 million pages

1:31 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I learned about Facebook Community Pages [webmasterworld.com] yesterday, a new kind of community-generated Wiki, when I came across an "unoffical" page covering the organization I work for. This page had no content other than a list of "fans" who "liked" the page. I asked about this page among the people I know listed as liking it, but no one had a clue about it and had no idea how they got listed on it-- several said for sure they didn't click a "like" button to get listed on the page. Instead, it looks like Facebook may have auto-generated this Wiki page and automatically added fans to it, perhaps based on the "employer" field of the people who were added to the page.

This morning I noticed a friend's new "like" showing up for a community page that, looking into it, appears to pull global posts fed from the Facebook community based on a keyphrase match-- a new post just got added now I see -- to populate the page. Did he really click "like" on this page? It looks like any scraper would, of Facebook posts - [facebook.com...]

According to Google's index, there are now 9 million pages containing the boilerplate Facebook Community Page words, so it appears to be growing fast. I swear that hundreds of millions showed in the index yesterday, but perhaps most of them got dumped as duplicates already for having no content, yet.

Any other observations of Facebook Community pages? What will they think of next?
3:33 pm on June 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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That FB page you mentioned is the top result (of 20,000,000) in Google for the term 'walking around outside' and is total crap. It is entirely scraped content from users of FB. Facebook will now become the king of the scrapers.
4:33 pm on June 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Isn't that alarming? And there are tens of millions of similar, auto-generated Facebook pages.

It appears Facebook is exploiting Google's ranking algorithm in several ways....some that come to mind are Facebook's (likely) outstanding quality metrics tracked by G toolbar like time spent on-site, pageviews/visit, visits per unique visitor; freshness of individual pages as updates take place by the minute; traffic pulses to each scraped page by friends of people who "announced" they "like" the scraped page-- even if it wasn't by choice but by some automation; the method of mixing open wiki content with scraped comments to strengthen breadth of treatment; and the method of titling and bolding specific keywords that are targeted for ranking at the top out of millions of competing pages.

It wouldn't surprise me if they could outrank Wikipedia itself with scraped content, as well as everyone else.

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