fan page 12-11-09Until recently a search on my name in either Google or Yahoo produced the same results: my website and blog, my profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter; and my fledgling Facebook fan page for my social media consulting business. As a social media consultant, I have used my name as a search term to demonstrate that social networking sites come up early as search results. I have also done this to show how Facebook pages show up at the top of  search results.

Earlier this week, in a discussion with a local businessman about the power and benefits of social networking, I did a search in Google for my name. My site and blog came up as did my profiles in LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Posterous. No sign of my Facebook fan page. My fan page is relatively new and I use it to share information about using social media for business. I share links to the posts others have written, I ask questions often and occasionally get responses from my 324 fans. I share the rare posts from my own blog. I started my fan page deliberately so that I would have personal experience with the positives and negatives of maintaining a Facebook page for my social media consulting business.

So I searched on a former client’s name. No Facebook fan page. Yet he has a carefully tended page with thousands of fans and his page used to come early in results from a search on his name. I then searched for Coca Cola; a well known brand with an extremely popular page. No fan page. I started to ask questions, first surreptitiously and then openly. I have tweeted, emailed and posted and no one seems to have an answer. Yet. Some of my friends offer the opinion that Google has, once again, changed its algorithms and that explains it. Or have posited that the inclusion of real-time search has changed how pages come up in search now. An SEO expert explained that I needed to write my posts differently using my page name within the post so that Google would read it and include it.

That may be the answer. We’ll see. Feels a bit awkward to include that language but it’s worth trying. However, that doesn’t explain why it used to come up and now doesn’t. My fan page, Allen Mireles Social Media Consulting or, shows up in a search from within Facebook. As does my former client’s and Coca Cola’s. From outside of Facebook, however, not so much. My fan page shows up on page two of a Yahoo! search on my name (it didn’t yesterday) so that’s something. But what changed? And how much does it matter?

Oh wait! A Bing search on my name yields three references to my Facebook fan page on page one of the results. Has my fan page become a victim of dueling search engines?

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions? What am I missing here?

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