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May 24, 2010



The real problem is that Facebook has two products they call Community Pages. One type is started by users and the other is auto generated by Facebook. These auto generated SPAM pages are created by mining employment and interests data on user profiles, and then populated with updates that contain matching text. Then capped off with info from Wikipedia, a true witches brew of SPAM.

These pages show up in search results without any clear indication that they are in anyway different from official Fanpages or user generated Community pages. It's a process designed to confuse people and drive traffic to content. It's no different than the reviled approach of Splogging, IMHO.

I wrote a post about this a few weeks ago.


Big topic, John; thanks for this good post. When I saw these pages, it seemed to me that Facebook was going after Wikipedia space — even as they scrape Wikipedia content — or trying the Mahalo concept of user generated one stop info spot for any topic. Goal is that users don't Google a brand or topic — and end up on Wikipedia — but rather search within Facebook. Just my take. But wrong note and off-brand, imho, for Facebook to make pages themselves...

Pablo Edwards

Great points. SMM is going to take some work, it is not some magic marketing tool where people will stumble upon you and buy your product. It is as much as science and art as any other marketing.

Matt Burgess

Hi John,
Is the link to www.youropengraph.org supposed to lead to a dead page?

John Bell

Matt - my bad. I fixed the link. Its supposed to be youropenbook.org. thanks.

Jay Baer

I think you're right John, but "Facebook will figure out they're wrong, and make the appropriate modifications" is not a terribly comforting game plan.

Kyle Lacy

It's one thing after another with Facebook. I wonder if Zuckerburg had a strategy plan at all or just jumped into new ideas hoping it'd all work out...anyway it keeps its users on their toes with its new developments and scares every other day.

Mari Smith

Excellent read, John. There sure is a lot of confusion surrounding these Community Pages as there are User-administrated ones that look and feel just like fan pages... and then there are the auto-created Facebook-administered pages. Some brands might have literally hundreds of them and it could be hard to discern the official fan page.

When doing a search on Facebook, the category for Community Page is just "Page" - that's how I've been able to quickly tell so far. Obviously the look and feel of the wiki-page is different when you get there too.

Makes sense what you say about these CP's being no different than pulling up a Google search with a bunch of blog posts about the brand.

It'll be interesting to see where FB go now with this one.... ;)


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