Skip to main content

About the new Facebook privacy settings

I’m seeing a lot of confusion about the new Facebook privacy settings and I’m hoping this post will help clear things up.

Here’s the short version:

  • Facebook is encouraging you to make more things visible to “everyone”.
  • Facebook wants to continue to allow Google to view the items that you’ve made visible to “everyone”.

This isn’t new — they’ve been allowing Google to index your public information for years. Don’t freak out — they’re not going to automatically index everything unless you’ve been careless with your settings.  Here’s what you need to check:

Go to [settings] –> [privacy settings] –> [Profile Information] –> Look at the items on the right side.  If they say “everyone”, then everyone can see those items.


Make the necessary changes on that page.

Next, go to [settings] –> [privacy settings] –> [Search].  This is where you can choose to “allow indexing” by Google.  People are upset about this, but it’s actually a good thing — this has been automatically turned on for years and you couldn’t do much to stop it.  Now they’ve added a checkbox so you can uncheck it to deindex yourself.

allow-indexingThe semi-shady part is that Facebook is nudging people to make more things available to “everyone”, and therefore have more data appear in Google.  Just make sure you have your privacy settings correct and there’s no problem.

In fact, I highly recommend that you continue to “allow indexing”.  Why?  Well, what comes up when people search for your name in Google?  Wouldn’t you like to control that?

By allowing indexing, but then tightening up your privacy settings, you’ll allow your Facebook profile to rank highly for vanity searches on your name.  You want to control those top search results for your name.  If you’re concerned about your privacy, then make sure you control those top results in Google with a site that you can have precision control about what gets posted, rather than allowing some random site to have the first result for your name.  It’s an excellent solution.

I still think Facebook has been a bit shady with this, trying to get people to open more info to “everyone”, but it’s hardly the firestorm that people are saying.

Share this:

Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

View Mickey's Profile

More from Our Blog

Making the Most Out of Your Website’s About Page

While every website we build at GreenMellen is custom, there are a handful of pages that should be on all websites. This list includes a…

Read More
people sitting around a table with their computers

Digital Marketing Scams: How to Spot and Avoid Them Online

In an era dominated by technology and connectivity, we have access to everything we want and need right in our hands. The internet plays a…

Read More

AI Policies: What Are They and Does Your Small Business Need One?

It’s no secret or surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) has taken the world by storm recently. The business world and even small businesses are not…

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *