How Will Facebook’s Graph Search Affect SEO?

Facebook's Graph SearchAfter much speculation, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg officially announced Facebook’s newest major feature – Facebook’s Graph Search – at a press conference on the 15th. This entirely social-driven search engine allows users to find people, pages and places through the likes and shares of their Facebook community. Social searches have the potential to deliver users much more relevant and localized search results.

The addition is meant to increase engagement on Facebook, and with FB’s 1 Billion+ community, this addition could have a major impact on the way people search the web. In this article I will take a look at how Graph Search works in order to better understand the SEO ramifications of the new search engine.

How It Works

Facebook Graph Search functions by using your social network’s history and information to provide search results that are relevant to your network. Users will be able to search specific terms about their social network; Zuckerburg gives the example “Who are my friends in San Francisco?” Essentially, you will be able to filter search results by asking a question, creating your own filter parameters.

The search delivers entirely personalized results based on your social network’s likes and preferences. The search is in early beta with no immediate plans to monetise, but that is certainly in the works.

What This Means For SEO

When it comes to SEO, this is another big push towards social search, and this time it’s all about Facebook. Facebook likes, shares, and posts from your friends determine your personal search results. This means SEO’s should not only create and share content aimed at earning social shares and likes – their social influencers will be even more powerful in terms of SEO’s.

Brand ambassadors, industry networks, and other carefully targeted channels will be more likely to share content, and there is a good chance their network consists of other like-minded users. Building niche social networks to share your content with could help you gain a lot of SEO exposure.

SEO’s should already be focusing on social elements in their SEO strategy, and with Facebook Graph Search, Facebook shares and likes are more important than ever. Not only should content be posted to Facebook to earn likes and shares, but websites, pages, and posts should include buttons on their sites to make it easy for users to connect.

Implications of Facebook Graph Search

Facebook has made a smart decision to not take on Google directly with its Graph Search. Instead of designing a new organic search, Facebook has built a new kind of search out of its strongest features. Facebook’s search will likely expand and improve incrementally, but it certainly has a lot of potential.

Facebook’s Graph search opens up a lot of cool ways to discover new things through each person’s social network, and could definitely be a valuable search tool. So Facebook may really not be all that much like chairs, but as far as Facebook’s Graph Search is concerned for SEO’s, Facebook is like shares.

Remind me to avoid SEO puns in the future.

How do you think Facebook Graph Search will affect SEO?


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Ross Wilson is a writer, musician, and technology guru. He has worked in many facets of technology and IT since 2005. He also plays in, records, and runs social media for several bands and projects around Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his cat, Lewis.

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