The Facebook Graph Search is, or rather will be, a revision to the Facebook search feature that will allow users to perform searches to help them discover their connections to other people and places. What’s most interesting is these connections have always existed, but we will now be presented with a cleaner interface to understand these connections. Facebook users have been inputting data concerning their connections; these will now bring added context for each user.
That may sound like a simple concept, but let’s not forget Facebook will be providing these personalised results for more than 1 billion users. When put into that perspective, this is an impressive feat. Of course, it is still in its early stages and this will need to be tested and improved, but imagine what something like this could mean in terms of marketing. It may be possible to target audiences as specific as “males between the ages of 30-40, living in Romford, Essex, that love to eat Ice cream”. That’s a bizarre example but imagine the value. This is just a small inkling of what Facebook will bring to social media and search in the future.
And so begins Facebook’s venture towards a semantic web. Google has already begun offering semantic searches; this is Facebook’s contribution. Semantic search can be understood as technologies that are aimed towards understanding users at a personal level to provide the best result for what they would like to know. As mentioned, this is in its early stages so there are bound to be bumps along the way. But as semantic search improves, the internet user experience is getting better each day. Semantic search has miles to go before it can deliver precise user interests, but it has come a very long way in a very short time.
What can you tell me about Facebook Graph Search so far?
As the testing phase of Facebook’s Graph Search has only just begun, the benefits are still being tested. But so far we know:
- Page likes will be given heavy consideration. The “like” will be a driving force for Facebook recommendations. Therefore, increased likes can result in preferential treatment in search results. With any webpage it’s necessary to optimize content. Open graph search may turn out to be very similar. Page likes will be Facebook’s version of link building. Today Facebook already has high regard for pages with a large number of fans; more so than pages without. That much will continue to be true.
- Most of the data provided by Graph Search has been available to us for quite some time. However, it has been offered in a confusing layout. Facebook Graph Search will provide a more user-friendly interface allowing us to discover connections we may not have been aware of in the past.
- Building a brand for your business is already a complicated task. It’s possible that may become tougher. Brands that do not have active communities may not receive as much attention from Facebook. Build your audience now.
- The Facebook’s Graph Search feature will help business owners gain a better understanding of ROI with their social media network. That will be a powerful marketing element. Imagine being able to understand what Facebook action leads to sales.
- Status updates and comments will be able to be retrieved as content much as blogs are on Google.
- Facebook users with strict privacy settings may be undiscoverable in a manner that will diminish their user experience.
It’s too early to say whether Facebook will ever replace Google. But that isn’t the purpose of the Facebook Graph Search. Although it is still in its early stages, it appears very promising. Facebook is moving mountains towards making social content more relevant. What benefits can internet marketers receive from Facebook’s Open Graph Search? We understand it’s necessary to have a growing community of engaged users, but this will soon become a critical factor. Everybody wants more fans and increased social engagement on their Facebook pages. But imagine the target audiences we will be able to reach once Facebook’s Open Graph Search comes to fruition.