Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Facebook Graph Search for Business and SEO

Facebook announced yesterday a new experience that it’s calling Facebook Graph Search.
It relies heavily on “Likes” and other connections to determine what to show as the most relevant search results for each user.
It also offers what you might think of as search filters — the ability to search based on the vast user data that Facebook has in its system (or “graph,” as they like to say).

To get started, you have to Sign-Up, where you’ll be added to a waiting list. There’s no particular ETA of when you’ll actually have it enabled:

Graph Search and web search are very different. Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: “Kung Fu”) and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: “my friends in Montreal who like Win Chun”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook.

For now, Facebook Graph Search will only include people, photos, places and interests — posts and other interests (like song listens) are in the works.

Here’s how Graph Search works:

·         The search bar first returns the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups, and suggested searches. People can search for things like restaurants near them, hotels in places they want to travel to, photos posted by Pages they like, or games that their friends like to play.
·         These search suggestions take people to a unique results page. The results returned are based on factors that include information that has been shared by your business and the connections of the person searching.
·         As has been the case for some time, we may also make search suggestions in the search bar that then can trigger web searches. Web searches will display Bing results and Bing ads, similar to results on
·         Pages and apps can still use sponsored results, which appear to people whether or not they have Graph Search (sponsored results have been globally available since August 2012). There are no new ad formats available today.

What  Companies Need To Know About Facebook Graph Search?

Facebook Graph Search could eventually become a fairly effective local search/recommendations engine.

-          Here are a couple things to know before we get to Facebook’s visibility tips:

Although it’s only available to a limited number of users at first, Facebook Graph Search will be offering local search from day one.

Search results, Facebook says, will be created by a combination of information created/shared by the business (Pages) and connections of the person doing the search (friends, likes, check-ins, etc.).

Having a Facebook Page for a business will surely help (a lot), but it’s not required — businesses may show up if customers or someone else has added them as a “place.”
That last point is important because it’s possible to be listed as a “place” in Facebook without having a Page. Larkin Building in Buffalo, NY, is one good example — if you click, you’ll notice more than 20 “likes” and 500+ check-ins for this place.

Facebook says that its new search bar will return “the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups, and suggested searches” — notice how “Pages” and “places” are listed separately.

Facebook’s SEO Tips For Graph Search

Facebook’s new search will let users do searches like “Italian restaurants that my friends have been to” (which means Facebook check-ins are a signal) and “hair salons that my friends like” (which means having a Page that people “like” is a signal), along with the more basic “hotels near the Space Needle” kind of local search.

The business Page is what a small/local business can control the most, and Facebook’s three specific tips for business owners, then, are focused on optimizing a Page for the new search
o   The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
o   If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
o   Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.

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