17 January 2013 | Team Tamar

Facebook ‘Graph Search’ – Significance to SEO

As discussed in yesterday’s post, Facebook revealed ‘Graph Search’ – an intuitive internal search engine. In its simplistic form, ‘Graph Search’ allows users to search through Facebook, returning results on anything from friend’s recommendations on restaurants to photos of co-workers. The search takes full advantage of the information it receives from check-ins and activities from its users, giving it a benefit over Google.

Links Vs Likes

The fundamental difference between Google and Facebook search lies in the information they use in returning their results. Whereas Google search focuses on the links for web pages when prioritising them, ‘Graph Search’ focuses on Facebook likes. These likes then help in allowing Facebook to decide on the most popular results before returning them.

Should Google Be Worried?

As ‘Graph Search’ is slowly rolled out, some are concerned towards its impact and competition with Google search. At this stage it seems unlikely that it creates any real competition to Google’s search. The only threat it appears to pose is to the Google+ platform, where families and friends are included in the search results. Facebook has an advantage over Google due to the unpopularity of the Google + platform, where many people still fail to use it.

Privacy Issues

Previously, Facebook has received harsh criticism regarding its stance on privacy settings, so it seems likely that ‘Graph Search’ will receive a similar backlash. What we must remind ourselves is that ‘Graph Search’ is simply feeding off our current Facebook privacy settings and so those who can access your information via ‘Graph Search’ are those who already have access to this information via Facebook.

What Does This Mean for Brands?

So how should brands react to this? Firstly, brands should not give up their traditional SEO tactics but instead start using it to their advantage. ‘Graph Search’ represents the union of search and social media and the impact of this positive relationship on providing users with relevant results. Brands in particular can utilise the benefits of ‘Graph Search by taking note of the following.

Optimize Your Facebook Page

If brands ensure that all their information is filled out, it then offers Facebook more scope when it comes to indexing for results.

Keep it Current

Keeping the company Facebook page active with regular updates and engaging content will increase its ‘Likes’, resulting in a higher return on search results.

Get Fans

From a business perspective, it’s important that Facebook fans are also customers and vice versa. Encouraging customers to engage with the business Facebook page will be more rewarding in search results.

Pay Close Attention to Blog & Web Pages

Sharing your blog posts and website updates via Facebook should become even more important with ‘Graph Search,’ in helping to generate traffic back to your site.

Overall, ‘Graph Search’, if used in the right way can provide a real potential for budding marketers and it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

Team Tamar