Earlier this week Facebook finally unveiled their new feature that they’ve been teasing us all with for a while now. They call it “Facebook Graph Search”, and we think that it couldn’t have come soon enough.
A fair amount of people have already been using Facebook search, usually to find a friend or a business. But, as anyone who’s used this search will tell you, it’s not exactly a resource. If you’re looking for your friend “Michael Smith” who lives right down the block, and who is friends with a ton of your other friends, Facebook search as it currently is isn’t intelligent enough to bring that guy right to the top. Instead you’ll have a Michael Smith from South Korea, another Michael Smith from Toronto, Canada, a business “Michael’s” come up in search… and then there, the tenth result on the page, is your friend that you were actually looking for.
But now everything’s going to change. Facebook has vowed to change their search so that it’s more tailored to you.
Facebook Graph Search: Not Just Any Old Web Search
While most websites that you find on the web often pull in Google’s search engine to help people search their site, Facebook has decided to go in a different direction with their graph search. While the ultimate goal is the same – for people to find what they’re looking for – there are some significant differences. As Facebook stated in their announcement:
“Graph Search and web search are very different. Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: “hip hop”) and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: “my friends in New York who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook. We believe they have very different uses.”
When Facebook launches Graph Search, it will only initially include places, photos, people and interests, though they do plan to expand to posts and other interests that people have.
Showing Up In Facebook Graph Search
Now here’s what all marketers and business owners are dying to know: how can we increase the likelihood of our business showing up in search above any others? Well, there are some things that can help you along. Straight from Facebook, here are some tips to get you started:
Have a Facebook Business Page
In our free ebook, “A Guide To Mastering Facebook Marketing”, we talk a lot about the importance of having a Facebook business page and this is exactly the reason why. While you aren’t required to have a business page to have your business show up in Facebook Graph Search, it definitely will help. Why? Because these search results are going to partially be based on the number of “Likes” that a business gets online.
Here’s something else to consider: when a friend in your network “likes” a page, then it’ll be more likely to show up in your search results, too. So if you create fantastic shareworthy content that brings people from all over to your Facebook business page, then you’re increasing your exposure exponentially by every single “Like” that you can drum up.
Get Involved In Geo-Targeting
Remember how we said that having a business page wasn’t necessary on Facebook? The reason we say this is because Facebook is also tallying “check-ins” through geo-targeting sites like Google Places and Foursquare into account when compiling their search results. So even if you don’t have a business page, if someone has “checked in” at your restaurant on Facebook, you’ll still show up.
SEO Tips From Facebook
The first SEO tip that Facebook shared with everyone is one that we ourselves encourage our clients to do, and that is to fully fill out your profile information. That means you should have your business name, vanity URL, category, and “About” section completed and loaded with hot keywords and phrases that will help people find you.
Another great tip that they gave was to make sure that if you have a physical location or if you have a local place Page, you need to make sure that your address is added or updated. This will increase the likelihood of you being found on Facebook.
Now Facebook Graph Search is currently in Beta, with a long line of people on a waiting list just dying to try it out. There will likely be little tweaks here and there as this new search engine continues to develop, but it’s a good idea to start polishing up that business page now and working on your shareworthy content so you’re all ready to go full steam ahead when this thing makes a full global launch.