Should we apply Facebook’s country restriction feature for pages?

As many of you know, Facebook offers the capability to restrict visibility of a “Page” to a particular country. It may be useful for some social media marketers who want to strictly limit their page to be seen by visitors from a country. It can serve to cut out ‘noise’ and ‘irrelevant’ visitors. However, before using this feature, I’d like you to consider whether it is absolutely necessary for you to prevent visitors from elsewhere to see your page. If not, you may be inadvertently doing yourself more harm than good.

From a simple marketing experiment we conducted, we found that a Facebook page that was restricted by country to be shown in the US only was not indexed by Google. This page has been around for a long time, it is quite active with regular posts from the company and a ‘fan base’ of over 5000 people.

On the other hand, we found that other pages set up more recently, with lesser activity and fewer followers were not only indexed by Google, but also showed up on the first page of Google search results for brand name searches.

Therefore, we feel that you may be negatively affecting your marketing in two ways:
a) Your Facebook page not appearing in the search results means that you are opening up a slot on the first page to some other website that may be completely unrelated.

b) As there is supposedly greater weightage of social signals for ranking of your own website in organic search results, you may be hampering your SEO efforts by preventing your Facebook page from being indexed by Google.

To conclude, my recommendation is to apply Facebook’s country restriction feature for pages ONLY IF you absolutely have to prevent your page from being seen by others.

Answer provided by: Manoj Aravindakshan
Manoj Aravindakshan is an experienced online marketing consultant specialising in search engine marketing.