8 September 2008 | Henry Elliss

Google Crawling Public Facebook Groups

According to the guys over at AllFacebook, Facebook have now granted Google access to Facebook groups and events, extending the search engine’s reach in to the previously login-only site. Whilst individual users profiles are still safely hidden (no need to start any protest groups quite yet!), groups and events that are set as "public" will now turn up in relevant search results.

What does this mean for the average user? Well, for a start it should act as a warning to all those people who set up groups called "Frank has lost his mobile and needs all your numbers"… Leaving those groups public will now mean any old surfer could find your mobile phone number and you don’t want that to happen. It might sound silly to think that people are doing this, but a quick search of Facebook groups with the words "Mobile number" in the title bought up over 500 results, most of which were public groups!

Mobile

Another group of people that should heed these wise words are people who set up public events for parties at their house (and include their contact details in the event info) – but hopefully past examples will have taught those people a lesson anyway…

Henry Elliss

Henry Elliss

Managing Director at Tamar, I've also headed-up the Search team for 7 years.

  • mike ashworth

    I think the thing peopel need to bear in mind is that they shouldnt create content in a wall posts or discussion topics (in groups or fan pages) that they wouldnt be happy telling the whole world about. Not just personal information but also if comments are perhaps libellous in nature.
    Unfortunately this change whilst noted by the Tech and Marketing Community is unlikely to be noted by the majority of facebook users.
    I think something like this would have been worthy of a message from facebook alerting their users (without whom they have no business) to what this may mean to their privacy.
    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Coach and Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK