They say that politics makes strange bedfellows. Sometimes it’s the same in technology, and we have a fresh example with Google and Facebook.
According to a Wall Street Journal report the two companies have apparently struck an agreement that allows Google to index Facebook profiles and other links inside of its search app.
This also means that publicly-shared content on Facebook can be indexed by Google and show up in search results. Tap on the link and you'll go right to that content in the Facebook app.
Google has been at work on other “deep linking” partnerships to make its search app less of an island on mobile devices.
The deal went into effect on Friday. I didn’t notice any new tie-ins to Facebook yet when trying several different Google searches, but such a massive piece of software engineering probably takes some time.
Note that only public information will be indexed by Google. Anything you mark as only visible by friends or otherwise made private in Facebook will not be indexed and can't show up in search results. To find any of that stuff, you'll need to use the Facebook app's own search.
Why this matters: This is a case where both companies are making a deal to benefit their own self-interest. Google’s search engine gets more relevant, as you won’t have to hop over to the Facebook app now if you want to look up a person’s profile or another search term that likely will take you to Facebook. The social network gets more doors to its service inside the world’s most popular search engine.