Similar to the Twitter deal I blogged about on Tuesday, Google has reached a deal with Facebook to include some content created by its members into search results, effectively creating 'live' search. It appears that content will only be added that relates to 'hot topics' (again, similar to the Twitter deal), but that could easily change over time.
Now on the surface, this seems like a very big plus for businesses, especially ones that have a limited social media effort, or any that are only on Facebook. If the deal eventually branches out to incorporate ALL content created by Facebook members, then the SEO ramifications alone are huge.
But I think it's wise to consider one very big issue: You will be letting Facebook have control over your content. You already do, but as more money becomes involved, there could be more changes to how that content can be changed or controlled.
For example, a few weeks ago I was working with a client to do a promotion via the company's Facebook fan page. Right as we were in the final planning stages, Facebook changes their rules on promotion and giveaways, and instantly our idea had to be nixed. What about Rupert Murdoch's public spat with Google and his desire to pull all MySpace content from Google's search engine? What if your only social media presence and your network as a business was completely on MySpace, then that happened?
So this move has some very big potential advantages for companies that are active on Facebook, but I think the potential downsides must also be considered. I also think this solidifies that for the average business, the hub of their social media efforts should be on a platform where they have control of the content, such as a blog.
What do you think? Are the risks worth the reward for companies with this new deal?