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Monday, January 21, 2013

Facebook Launches Graph Search to Rival Google

Posted by @ 9:15 am

There was whispers recently that Facebook had some big news to share and now we know what it is…Graph Search which CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced last week.

Very soon Facebook users are going to be able to search with in a garden wall for things their friends like, places they have been as well as pictures they have posted.

What is a graph search and how does it work?

The search bar is going to start by retuning the top search suggestions. This is going to include: people, pages, apps, places, groups and other suggested searches. Facebook users are going to be able to search for things like restaurants that are near them, hotels they would like to visit or photos that have been posted by friends or pages that they have liked. It will even allow users to search for what games their friends like to play.

There are a lot of things you need to consider when you are setting up your Facebook for successful search results. Likes on Facebook are actually going to be one of the most important components of this graph search. The more times something is liked, the larger group of individuals it is going to connect with. Make sure you fill out your profile, group and/or business page completely. It is also important that you make sure you only use real information. If there is something you DON’T want to reveal, it is better to leave area blank than to make up information. You should also avoid trying to create your own sub-categories or adding your own information. While it is only natural to want to embellish what you have to write, it is only going to hurt the search engine results.

What are the implications for SEO and online marketing?

Quite significant according to Marketing Pilgrim:

In the worlds of SEO and internet marketing, Graph Search will change the game entirely. Your fans are more important than ever. With Graph Search, people who like your Facebook Page and share your content will automatically become unofficial word-of-mouth brand advocates on your behalf. Facebook’s new pillar is further affirmation for a trend that we’ve been seeing for quite a bit of time – simply put, people prefer to turn to their friends for advice.

With the prospect that Facebook’s Graph Search could eventually become a fairly effective local search and recommendation engine, SEOs need to pay more attention to like signals, review signals and check-ins. Think about it, users will be typing in “pizzerias that my friends like” (meaning having a page that people “like” is a signal) or “pizzerias that my friends have been to” (meaning Facebook check-ins are a signal). The same goes for our clients – It’ll be our job to train our clients to focus on attracting the right fans to your page and giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis. This includes providing incentives for checking-in upon arrival and engaging your audience with worthwhile content. This puts a whole new spin on the significance of developing a content strategy for Facebook – your business page just gained a whole new level of importance.

Currently, Facebook Graph Search is only available in beta, but make sure you sign-up to the wait list so you’re one of the first to get access when it is officially launched.

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