Facebook Graph Search

“Graph Search” is the new feature of the social media giant Facebook, which will act alongside news feed and timeline as the third pillar of the platform and is tested for several days in the beta phase.

But what functions and features does the new search function and can be derived from new opportunities and challenges for companies?

The functions of the search graph

Amazon ImageThe “Graph Search” is a recommendation-based search engine with social background. The order of the results by relevance, the events will be determined individually for the users of Facebook. But is not, as in a Web search, the Web searches for keywords, but only the Facebook database and its extensive user information.

Users can see what their friends have recommended by “Likes”, “Comments” or “Shares”. In the current trial, for example, photos can be filtered by “likes”. By keywords such as “images like my friends,” the relevant search results for the user to be determined.

In addition, further interests or places are researched. Here, users can also connect several attributes together, so you can search queries such as “where to go eat my colleagues most frequently in Frankfurt” to be determined. In addition, the search beyond their own circle of friends beyond. Thus friends of friends who have the same interests as the seeker, are filtered.

The “Graph Search” uses information from information that the user has in his privacy settings marked as “public”. In this way, the unintentional release of personal information by the visibility in the search results for each user can be guaranteed.

In addition to the new features for the user, provides the “Graph Search” also opportunities and challenges for companies and brands. This raises the question to what extent the visibility can be affected in the search results and optimized. As can be achieved for example, that the restaurant will appear in the search query at the top of a user?

Opportunities and challenges

After the change of the Edge ranks in September 2012, companies and brands with the introduction of the “Graph Search” are made again with the challenge of adapting their content to the new search establish itself as an integral part of the Facebook universe, are companies from now on – in addition to classic search engine optimization – the task of their Facebook to revise page and change to “Facebook-SEO-criteria”.

Facebook SEO for Graph Search

Amazon ImageThe focus of a Facebook page must be on the generation of activity lie on your side. Companies and brands have once again invest more in interaction with the generation of relevant content for each fan base should be considered a prerequisite.

The higher the interaction on the page, the more likely a good placement in the search engines results.

Since only appear immediately shared photographs of friends of a user should set brands and companies increasingly on the use of graphics and images, and links to the background.
A constant expansion and closer ties to the community should be considered in addition to the substantive aspects. The closer the connection between the brand and a fan, the better the visibility of the page in search results.

To ensure the best possible results, site operators should ensure that the information is on your side completely filled. The more detailed the information about companies or brands on the page, the more credible the companies appear and the higher the probability for an extension of the fanbase.

In addition to the general information should be ensured in particular that the location information of the company’s Facebook page is full. In this way, “check-in” can be created, which stimulates the activity of the user, and leads to an improvement of the placement in the search.

Not only within the social network can something be done to improve the visibility of the search results. By implementing the Like button on your website, users are encouraged to publish their interest in the site on Facebook. If this is done, increase the visibility within the Facebook search results.

In addition to the modified criteria for its own Facebook page of a company, the new “Graph Search” also benefits for companies that are not directly related to one’s own presence. Companies get detailed information about the fans of their page, by example queries like “actor, who like my restaurant” (provided the privacy settings of the user allow this) offers also in terms of business contacts and recruiting the “Graph Search” new opportunities. Thus, in made ​​publicly available, for example, the career path of a user implicated in the city (for example, “architects in Frankfurt who have studied”), which qualified contacts can be identified. In this way, get specialized networks.

Search vs. graph. Google Search, plus your world

Social search, which has now also made ​​it into the Facebook universe comes to us already familiar, because the nature of recommendations is also part of the “Google Search, plus Your World” – Google’s social search.

Type of Search

Amazon ImageThe most striking difference between these two forms of social search is the fact that the “Graph Search” is not a Web search, but moves within the Platform. Thus the search is constructed to perform the functions of the platform around and requires more detailed search criteria instead of individual tags. While the “Graph Search” their core so within the social network has and from there through the link to “Bing” expands, does Google in reverse order. Here, the social factor of the search from the platform will be outsourced in the Web search.

Recommendatory nature of the search results

In addition, Facebook determined the order of search results according to their own criteria, based on the interaction of the friends of the searcher. Google takes into account several factors in this case. Google check what personal information the user has made ​​on Google+, what friends he has and what brands he follows. On this basis, a connection is created, and to determine how the personal information may be combined with the results of non-personalized.

Join the Google+ data is integrated into the ranking of search results. This is evident, for example, the prominent placement of relevant Google+ profiles of individuals and companies.

While Facebook is the activity of friends at the center, and thus the nature of recommendations to the question “What would you recommend my friends” focused, Google is even the recommendation to the user . The integration of the information that the user specifies himself on his Google+ profile here considered as well as its own activity and that of his contacts.

Type of results

Another difference between the two search engines, is the kind of results. While Google before logging users from the same country identical results at identical keywords and returns the results after the individualized connection with Google+ , Facebook only provides customized search results that are transferable to any other users.

Facebook focuses its new search significantly to the interaction of the respective users and friends of the searcher, the typical forms of interest for the platform (“Like”, “Comment” and “Share”) at the center. The activity and interaction as the central focus of the new search terms require the adaptation of companies and enterprises. Search should survive the test phase, it is likely that further filters and ranges are implied. Would search for “posts that my friends like” expand the complexity of visibility and interaction of corporate pages again.

The new search from Facebook will be rolled out sooner or later the world. Companies should therefore use the time for the aforementioned Facebook SEO tips to implement.

Here, the optimization of its own Facebook page is just one side of the coin. The connection of your website (and especially the online store) with the Open Graph, by Facebook’s Social Plugins and features like “Facebook login”, help to become more visible within Facebook.

For so it is available to users to facilitate their interactions with Web sites and shops for Facebook (and the graph search) come alive. And each of these (inter) actions ultimately pays one on the visibility of the company or the products and provides more accurate and more appropriate from a user perspective results.