Twisted City by Chris Singleton - album sleeve

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Facebook vanity URLs

The eagle-eyed social networkers amongst you will no doubt have noticed the launch of Facebook's vanity URLs on Saturday; individuals can now register a Facebook URL with their name plonked at the end of it - i.e., If you've got a page with over 1,000 members, you can assign a Facebook URL to that as well.

I'm trying to work out what the benefits of this are to musicians (or indeed anybody else trying to flog stuff on an unsuspecting public). One of them is convenience. If you've got a Facebook page or profile, you can now just whack on your marketing material. More importantly, there are probably some interesting search engine implications associated with having a vanity URL. I reckon that when you google a band with a Facebook page / profile associated with them, we'll now see the Facebook page come higher up in the rankings, because URLs that contain keywords have a positive impact on search results.

How useful the latter will be depends on how the band in question use Facebook; if it's your main marketing tool then search results displaying your Facebook page more consistently are unquestionably beneficial. If Facebook is not your main way of communicating with your fans, then it's better to use search engine optimisation and a lot of linking to ensure that the web presence you really want to push comes up top of the tree.

Very famous bands (or indeed brands) will be able to benefit from vanity URLs for another reason: people are lazy and will expect top-selling rock acts (or companies) to just have a Facebook page by default. So they won't bother searching for a band or brand's Facebook page, they'll just type (or similar) directly into the browser.

Regardless of the benefits to those of us who wish to use Facebook to flog our wares, I've got a feeling that the whole search engine thing is ultimately more about Facebook than its users...the more Facebook can get associated with other people's content in search engine results, the more visits it will get to its site, and the more advertising revenue it will generate.

Anyway, now that I've waffled on about vanity URLS, do feel free to befriend me at mine: It has a certain ring to it, don't you think? Makes me feel kinda vain. If you want to register your own vanity URL go to

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