Recently I got a great question from one of my readers, Cindy Seipel at Virtual Business Support Services…
“Hey Kim – I just had someone ask me if there were settings on their biz page to make it possible for people to search and view it without logging into Facebook? I told them to my knowledge you had to have a FB account and log in to generally see any content on Facebook.
Can’t find anything to dispute that assumption…what is your take? I have the page set to 13+ and no country restrictions. Thanks ;-)”
This is a great question… and one that’s always neat to play around with once you know the answer!
Whether you want to search a competitor’s Business Page for information… Search your own Page, for a past post you’ve lost track of… or a favorite Page for a special post you know you saw but forgot to bookmark… you’ll be happy to learn…
Most Business Pages are 100% fully public and that means Google has indexed them (although it does a very poor job of this).
For example, you can go to google and type in:
change your page’s vanity URL site:www.facebook.com/Ask.Kim
…and you will pull up the three or four entries I’ve made about that information.
What if, however, I wanted to search a Business Page that has age/location access filters?
A good example of this might be Budweiser beer, which is required to utilize the “alcohol related” flag.
In this case, the Facebook controlled DNS server (URL server) kicks in and prevents you from accessing the Page while not being logged in. Entering www.facebook.com/Budweiser in your URL bar, while not logged in, will instantly redirect you to the facebook.com login page.
Profiles on the other hand, only have a public URL and info tab. Shares, statuses, etc all require at a minimum to be logged in.
However, if you try to search my profile and type in:
grammar site: www.facebook.com/kimberly.castleberry.1
you will not return any of the joking posts I’ve been sharing with my grammar snob friends the last few weeks.
This is called a “Site Search” in Google and you can use that site colon format to search any site. It’s VERY Picky that the URL is exactly as displayed and I can not use, for example, facebook.com/askkim even though that URL works, as only the exact URL is indexed so that’s all that works when doing a site search.
So this means, if I knew for example, that my favorite soft drink, had recently posted a status (with words, not just images) with a coupon code in it, and it was last week and now buried, I could do a site search, using Google, to find that silly message.
Because we are working from external, within Google, logins to Facebook are not required just to LOOK at non-restricted Pages. You can not, however, like/comment/share items without first logging in.
You can learn more about searching a specific site and other special commands for Google in this help doc.
PS: This is the reason that not only do public/non-filtered Facebook Pages have SEO impact… but that items shared on a Facebook Page contribute a (nofollow) backlink to the SEO of the item shared.