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Brian Pasch

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facebook seoNews Alert: Facebook will now allow users to create their own vanity URL similar to other social networking websites. A vanity URL is one that is easy to remember; it can be your name or something pertaining to you.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. (EDT) on Saturday, June 13, 2009, you will be able to select a user name at http://www.facebook.com/username. For more information, visit the Username help topic.

Vanity URL Examples

I have a number of vanity URL's for my name that show up on Google page one or two when you search my name:

Facebook Vanity URL Names

Currently, my Facebook profile URL is: www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Pasch/685389902 . This URL is odd looking and what is that number on the end? It's a way to make the URL unique so that any other Brian Pasch in the world can create their own profile.

With the new offering, the URL can be: www.facebook.com/brianpasch. The trick is that only ONE URL can be created like that so first come first served. So if you want to reserve your name without putting a number after it, you must act quickly.

Does Vanity URL's Help SEO

Why is this important? That is debatable. For one thing it is easier and cleaner to add to an email signature or just to remember. Think of it as a calling card.

Secondly, if you can create a URL that is a HIGH value keyword like "bostonnissan" then maybe that Facebook profile will come up for searches on Boston Nissan. The ideal situation is that you reserve your name and if you have a business fan page, you also can customize it with a vanity URL.

This is also KEY for Internet Reputation Management. What would happen if an ANGRY customer or employee reserved your name?

An example of this is when you search in Google and Bing for "Automotive SEO". You will see vanity URL from Vox ( http://automotiveseo.vox.com) and Ning (http://automotive-seo.ning.com) in Google search results so vanity URL do make a difference. If it is free, why not reserve a good name?

What URL Should You Use?

So your question should be: What vanity name to use?

One strategy might be to look at your Google Analytics data and Google Adwords data to see what search phrases bring the most traffic to your website and then grab that vanity name. There are other strategies, of course.

I do not know if the business fan pages have any restriction for vanity names so you will have to see that on midnight, this Friday when the doors open at Facebook.

I hope that this post allows the early birds to get the worm.

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