New Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search

Facebook just recently launched its own search engine which might compete with Google, but in a very different way than what was expected. It is not the same format as Google or other search engines. Facebook Graph Search relies largely on “likes” and various connections made between people and places to provide search results. With Facebook’s “graph” search users enter a set of keywords to find a set of people, places, photos or other types of content which has been shared on Facebook. For now, it only includes photos, places, interests and people. But other options like songs that are listened to, are planned for a future date.

Is Facebook Challenging Other Search Engines?

The new Facebook search is not like the traditional search engine that searches the entire web for information and pages that are relevant to the search. Facebook is more appropriately called a “social search engine.” Facebook is not looking at the entire web to provide search results, it is looking for connections. One of the primary considerations is the Facebook “like” button. Did a certain person like a particular restaurant, doctor, or photo? Another difference is that Google may display search results for restaurants in New York, but Facebook displays restaurants located in New York that your friends “liked.” You may also modify the search to find out which of your friends in New York liked a particular restaurant. Facebook is banking on the premise that its search will increase our connect-ability.

What Should Business Owners Know About Facebook’s Search?

We may see Facebook Graph Search become one of the local search engines. Before we can discuss SEO strategies there are a couple of things that are important. For one thing Facebook Graph Search is only available to a limited amount of users early on, but everyone will have access to local search. Facebook says that they create results based on information that the business created, along with connections of the person who is searching. It will automatically connect with their likes, friends, check-ins, etc. It is advisable for a business to set up their own Facebook page, but not necessary as the business can show up in search results if any other person has already added it as a “place.” According to Facebook, their new search bar shows results for “the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups and suggested searches.” The noticeable point here is that “places” and “Pages” are listed separately by Facebook.

SEO Tips for the new Facebook Search

This new search recently launched by Facebook allows users to enter searches such as “Chinese restaurants my friends have visited” or “auto mechanics my friends like.” The first example is showing that Facebook uses check-ins as a signal; the latter example indicates Facebook uses a Page people have “liked” as a signal. More basic search types are also being used such as “hotels close to the Smithsonian Museum.” A small or local business will want a Facebook business Page as it will give the most control over search results. SEO best practices for Facebook search include optimization of a Page. According to the guidelines set out by Facebook’s staff to optimize the Page will include three basic steps for now. Make sure the name, vanity URL, category and “About” information section is all completed on the Page. For those who have a local place Page or location, make sure that the address is updated so that when a search is conducted for the business or specific location it will be displayed. And make sure to focus on attracting fans to the Page. This will mean that businesses will need to interact with their fans and give them a reason to want to continue interacting with the business’ content on a continual basis. As the Facebook search becomes more available and popular in the next few months, there will be many new ways for social media marketers and SEOs to gain visibility in Facebook’s search engine results.