Yesterday it was announced the Facebook are launching their own search engine known as “graph search” which is designed around the concept of discovery and making it easier for Facebook users to find information. This is designed to allow users to make “natural” searches of content shared by their friends for example “photos of Tom in 2000” or friends who live in Brighton. At the moment Search Graph isn’t going to be available on mobile but once it does there’s going to be one of the most powerful search moderators in history available ‘near me’.
Watch Facebook’s introduction video for an overview – It’s all a bit euphoric for my liking but you get the idea of their bigger vision.
“One way of thinking about Graph Search is less like a search engine but more like a super-powerful filter of the newsfeed of the past.”
So what can you use it for?
I have found a couple of blog posts explaining the functionality and what you might use it for – this one from immediate future is really useful. To summarise:
1. Find people who share your interests
Facebook has a remit to grow the people you are connected to. Your ever-expanding network keeps the social graph alive and your news feed full which keeps the advertisers spending!
2. Discovery Through Photos
The new graph search allows users to find photos by using a range of simple phrases such as ‘photos I Like’, or ‘photos my friends took in London’. This could be a great opportunity for brands to get their content found, particularly those who are destination-based. Ensure all your photos have a description and the album they are in is titled and tagged.
3. Discover Recommendations
This is the one I think could be the most powerful and have the biggest impact for big brands and smaller businesses. Essentially this is about getting recommendations from your friends on anything from albums to restaurants in your local area. I imagine this result in an increase of businesses incentivizing check in and recommendations to ensure they increase their edge rank.
Founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg insisted it was not a web search, and therefore not a direct challenge to Google. However, it was integrating Microsoft’s Bing search engine for situations when graph search itself could not find answers. Mr Zuckerberg said he “did not expect” people to start flocking to Facebook to do web search.
So what does this mean for marketers and how should we be preparing for Graph search when it launches in the Uk?
My colleague Kelvin Newman has published this blog post describing how Facebook’s search engine might have an impact on SEO.
Other things to start thinking about are how this will impact us as marketers and what can we do? :
- Make sure all your business data is complete
- Upload photos and make sure they are tagged with locations and dates where possible.
- Post regularly & maintain Edgerank, so when you do appear in a search result it’ll be appear as high as possible.
- That means doing things like structuring campaigns to be constantly building affinity.
Have a read of this Econsultancy blog post to see what some of the industry experts are saying. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when this rolls out fully – watch this space!