Facebook announced its new feature, Graph Search, on January 15. But what does this mean for your business? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Just read on.
Graph Search is…
Facebook’s new search feature that allows you to search for information based on what you or your friends have liked, and what local businesses near you are offering. This social search feature is powered by Facebook’s partnership with Microsoft Bing.
Graph Search is not…
It’s not a replacement for Google search, as the primary objective of Graph Search is to provide personalized search results based on your and your friend’s interests and recent activities.
What does it mean for Facebook users?
Facebook users can now search something like “Chinese restaurants in Pune my friends like,” and Facebook will show a list of restaurants in Pune based on the number of your friends who like that restaurant page on Facebook or the number of check-ins.
This feature is still in beta and will be rolled out to all Facebook users in the coming weeks. Also, there is no word on when Graph Search feature will be available on mobile – looking at Facebook’s track record with mobile products, it could be months or more.
Privacy is going to be a big concern for many people as there is no option yet to opt out of Graph Search.
What does it mean for your business?
For most businesses, having a website (and a LinkedIn page if you are a B2B technology business) is almost mandatory; Facebook (and Twitter) are good options if you want to spend the extra effort and want to actively promote your business online. Your website is where prospects would land on if they were looking for you.
But with Facebook Graph Search, that is going to change. If users start actively searching for products or services on Facebook, then having an active Facebook page is going to become as important as having an updated website.
Impact on SEO
Google was the de-facto reference when we thought about SEO, but Bing is likely to become an equally important player now with Facebook and Microsoft’s partnership. It seems likely that if Facebook doesn’t have any search results to show for your query, then it will show web results coming from Bing.
It’s not that Facebook users were dying to get an elaborate search feature, so the primary reason for Facebook adding Graph Search is to provide more options for marketers. Next time you plan your search advertising budget, you will have to think of not just Google but also Facebook. It’s too early to say what promotional features Facebook will provide for marketers, so we will just have to wait and see.
Most Facebook users haven’t yet seen Graph Search in action and search algorithms take time to mature. So you still have time before Graph Search picks up and changes the way you do social media and search marketing.
Have you tried Graph Search yet? What are your thoughts?