Coming Soon: A Small Move by Facebook, with Big Implications

So a lot has been made of the Facebook vs. Google fight, whether it be the fight over talent or potential advertising revenues. The reality is that if Facebook needs to keep growing, it needs Google. Mike Arrington yesterday pointed out that Facebook was advertising on Google to get, well, advertising. Now I have some skinny on a recent development that could have long-term ramifications, among them Google sending more traffic to Facebook.com.

The company will soon announce that some application canvas pages (ones that don’t require a special login) will become publicly indexable by search engines like Google. So for instance, our GigaOM Question Of The Day app can be indexed and made available in some limited form to people not logged onto Facebook. Apps get a public-facing web presence of their own.

Facebook has just recently started talking to app developers about this. Back in September, Facebook launched a “public listings search” feature that allows anyone to search for a specific person. The public indexing of apps would be a way for Facebook to attract more users to their domain and thus goose up their page views. I wonder what kind of pagerank dilemma it will pose for Google. Let’s say, for example, there’s the “iLike page” and the “iLike on Facebook page” — which one would get preferential treatment?

More on this as I dig up more details.

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