Google Incorporates Facebook Pages Into Search Results

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Google announced at its real-time search event in December that it planned to incorporate public facing Facebook Pages into its search results.

The agreement represents the first time that Google is including Facebook and other social media content into its search query pages.

Unlike individual user profiles, Facebook Pages were designed as a marketing tool for organizations, businesses, music groups and celebrities to reach out to fans and disseminate information.

Google has been indexing MySpace pages since Valentine's Day, and also expressed plans to index sites such as FriendFeed, Jaiku, and

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The search engine giant is playing catch-up to its biggest competitor, Microsoft Bing, which has already established contracts with Facebook and micro-blogging site Twitter to incorporate public status updates into its pages. Bing, however, is working out how to make those status updates more easily searchable.

But while Google is attempting to increase its relevance in the social networking arena, it is simultaneously attempting to avoid another privacy debacle. Earlier this month Google Buzz, its newly released social networking service, received a firestorm of criticism when it decided to include a feature that exposed Gmail users' contact lists on the Internet. The incident underscored a myriad of privacy issues that will need to be addressed as personal information and social media status updates become more accessible on the Web.