Facebook announced the launch of Facebook Graph Search Beta on 15 January 2013. As one of the most popular social media platforms boasting over a billion members, it’s easy to see how Facebook has dominated online conversation since its inception in February 2004.
So what exactly is Graph Search?
Graph Search will allow Facebook users to search for on four main areas of search:
- and interests.
It means that Facebook members who want to know their friends’ preferences before making decisions on restaurants; careers, books and so on can search for example “great fish restaurants,” and be rewarded with meaningful results.
Search engine companies and internet marketing communities have expected that eventually, Facebook would expand into search. However, this is the first tangible efforts Facebook has made to compete for Google’s share of the search market.
What will Graph Search mean for Google search?
It is still uncertain whether or not Graph Search has the potential to evolve into something that will ‘kill Google’. Having said this however, Graph Search doesn’t have to take on the megalith of search engines and win.
The reality is if Facebook Graph Search can establish itself as an invaluable tool to users, it translates to more time spent using Facebook for search rather than Google. And with Facebook’s over 1 billion users, the maths is simple…
What does this mean for SEO?
One of the first things Mark Zuckerberg was quick to point out about Search Graph was that it is not web search. And this move away from traditional web search opens up exciting avenues for businesses and SEO companies. With Graph Search there will be a whole new area of search optimisation.
Whereas SEO companies will optimise a site relatively similarly for various search engines, Graph Search is not about optimising a website.
Search Graph is based on results returned which are based on factors that include information which has been shared by your business and the connections of the person searching.
The challenge ahead for search engine optimisation companies is for them to be flexible enough to adapt to this new type of search. Time will tell if Graph Search heralds a new era for search optimisation.