Facebook Announces Graph Search


Published on

Facebook has released a new search tool, known as "Graph Search." This tool allows users to more quickly find people, photos, interests and places in their Social Graph. Find out how it works and how you can utilize it most successfully for you and your business.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Facebook Announces Graph Search

  1. 1. Facebook Announces Graph Search 1/16/2012 Background Facebook has released a new search tool, known as “Graph Search.” This tool allows users to more quickly find people, photos, interests and places in their Social Graph. Users are able to search their social graph to find content and connections that meet query criteria. Searching can be location-based queries, such as names, categories, or phrases (for example “my friends who live in Chicago”, “my friends who like Beyonce”, or “best restaurants in Brooklyn”). There is now a new manner for pages, places, groups, apps or games to be discovered. How it Works Graph Search will appear as a large search bar at the top of each page, replacing the former white search bar. A search will both determine the set of results delivered and serve as a title for the page. The page title can be edited, in order to create a custom view of content. Graph Search is not a replacement for standard Web Search (i.e. Google and Bing). Web Search has been engineered to take a query and come up with possible results that best match those keywords. By contrast, Graph Search combines phrases, and only references user’s social graphs. Results are displayed as visual answers rather than links to information. Various filters are incorporated in the service, such as place type, liked by, and visited by friends. Graph queries can be refined with various filters such as place, type, liked by, and visited by friends. There is the option to search interests or likes by geographic location, age or occupation, or video and photo content from pages your friends like. The search results are ranked by those who you interact with most, number of mutual connections (in the case of non- friends), and relevance to the search criteria. Graph search results only225 N. Michigan Ave., 8th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601 | www.ResolutionMedia.com | (P) 312.980.1600
  2. 2. contain information that has been shared by established connections. All of the queries take place within Facebook’s privacy settings, so users will not be able to see any content that they otherwise would not see. Currently the beta preview of Graph Search is only available to users with US English settings on desktop. Further rollout of the offering will be gradual. As the service comes out of private beta and is rolled out to the public, Facebook likes and check-ins will become even stronger signals to optimize for, as Facebook’s one trillion connections are what makes the service truly unique. Resolution POV: Graph Search provides a new and interesting way for users to engage on Facebook, and positions Facebook as not just a social utility but also a recommendation engine. It is essentially taking the “peer endorsement” aspect of Facebook to the next level. As Graph Search is developed, it could warrant a shift in resources to account for it. However, at this time Graph Search represents no immediate threat to Google’s dominance in search. While there are many in the press who have been eager to label this as a Google killer, there are many reasons to think otherwise, including: • Queries are clunky and structured, and unlike how people are used to searching. It remains to be seen whether people will be willing to change their search behavior. • Facebook graph search has currently limited reach, as it’s in limited beta and rolling out slowly. It remains to be seen how many users will search for businesses versus people, as most of the demos were for people on Facebook, not businesses • Google and Bing are both doubling down on social search, so it’s likely they view it as either a strategic advantage or something that people enjoy using. While Graph Search seems to allow for more meaningful social queries (e.g. indian225 N. Michigan Ave., 8th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601 | www.ResolutionMedia.com | (P) 312.980.1600
  3. 3. restaurants friends like who also like indian restaurants I like), it remains to be seen whether this type of search will be preferred by the public over the traditional algorithmic web search with social signals that Google offers. Reviews have been mostly positive so far, but many analysts (and Facebook) are concerned about Privacy and Graph Search. There could be a backlash among Facebook users who aren’t happy that the data they are sharing is so accessible Bing results will appear for queries which are currently not indexed under the Facebook focus on places, people, interests and photos. As more people use Facebook’s internal search engine as a result of this announcement, Bing’s market share could increase. While no immediate action is required by brands, there are SEO and paid search implications to this announcement. SEO implications of Facebook’s Graph Search It is more important than ever to have a Facebook page that’s optimized, as Graph Search doesn’t search the Web and will not find businesses that have not made themselves eligible with a Facebook page. The use of Open Graph protocols is also essential, in order to have greater control over content that is shared to Facebook . If your business does have a Facebook page, follow these steps to optimize for Graph Search: • Make sure information is up to date in the “About” section, including website, category and business address since this is how they will be most easily searchable. • Use search suggest for keyword research. No keyword tool for Graph Search has been announced, but autosuggest currently recommends popular and related queries that225 N. Michigan Ave., 8th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601 | www.ResolutionMedia.com | (P) 312.980.1600
  4. 4. people and businesses can ensure they’ve included on their profiles and pages, respectively. • As always, businesses need to attract the right fans and give fans content that engages them. Number of fans has never been as important to business as number of relevant, engaged fans, and this applies to Graph Search ranking as well. Facebook likes and shares may not have as strong of a correlation with Google ranking as links, but are absolutely essential for Graph Search ranking. It is vital to have a presence on Google+ now, as social search is already integrated into Google through Google+, and as search behavior adapts to Graph Search this type of searching may become more prevalent on Google. It is also extremely important to implement rel=author and rel=publisher, as Google’s AuthorRank algorithm is one way that Google identifies entities/people in search results, which could eventually give Google Search the ability to process similar queries to Graph Search. Finally, it is more important than ever to integrate social teams and search teams and not, as many organizations do, have them working in silos. Search best practices could make social content more visible and vice versa. Summary Facebook has stated that Graph Search is “just the start to a long-term investment in improving search”. Facebook will likely look to monetize this product in the future, possibly through new offerings tied to sponsored results. There is a wealth of demographic and psychographic information that marketers will be able to utilize. Graph search is an introduction of additional intent data, which potentially will become available as Facebook ad targeting criteria.225 N. Michigan Ave., 8th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601 | www.ResolutionMedia.com | (P) 312.980.1600
  5. 5. However, it’s very clear that Graph Search is still in beta. There is a learning curve and it will likely take the user some time to integrate Graph Search into everyday behavior. Privacy is still an overwhelming concern, both to Facebook and the user. While it may never take the place of web search, there is a lot of potential for Graph Search to become hugely valuable in the future. It offers users an opportunity to discover — discover new ways of searching, discover new restaurants and even discover new ways of connecting with each other. Additionally, brand will find new opportunities to measure engagement and reach their consumers. For more information, visit the resources below: http://www.facebook-studio.com/news/item/introducing-graph-search-help- people-discover-your-business http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2013/01/15/facebook-explains-how-to- optimize-your-business-page-for-its-new-graph-search-feature/ http://searchengineland.com/facebook-search-not-google-search-145124 http://battellemedia.com/archives/2013/01/facebook-is-no-longer-flat.php http://gizmodo.com/5976201/heres-what-using-the-new-facebook-search-looks- like For information about Resolution, visit our website: www.resolutionmedia.com.225 N. Michigan Ave., 8th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601 | www.ResolutionMedia.com | (P) 312.980.1600