When Facebook introduced their Graph Search recently, what this promises is a deeper social search engine for Facebook, which they claim will provide more detailed personalized search results for their users.
What the focus is placed on is to target a specific users friends, and will then extract what their interests are, which includes things such as places and photos. Graph Search will enable their users to be able to ask questions such as, “Which restaurant does most of my friends like the most?”
The users on Facebook will be able to enter their queries into a more prominent search box which will be located near the top of their Facebook page. It’s method of presenting results are expected to be more enriched than what Bing or Google currently offers.
Currently, for any generic web search on Google, if you enter a query such as “what’s the best car,” and anyone else who’s also in the same general location, such as the same city, searches for “what’s the best car,” they’ll both get the same basic results.
The only difference is the results may be slightly altered because of the users previous search or browsing history which is taken into account, but the results themselves won’t be that different from each other.
If you do the same search in Facebook using their new “Graph Search,” what you’ll receive instead is a completely different set of search results, this because of the depth of personalization that they’re now able to provide.
This deeper personalized results will be based on and reflect the users specific personal connections with their friends, places, things, and other people and interests.
For instance, if a FB user happens to search for the best local Italian restaurant in a particular area of a city, the restaurants which are the most liked, popular, or commented on by their friends, or their friends, will be displayed first.
There may also be results which are similar to the searcher’s own specific interests, and their own “Likes” will appear on the top results as well.
Results From Within Facebook
The majority of the results from the searches are expected to be from within Facebook itself. However, if there isn’t sufficient or relevant data to display, Facebook may offer additional suggestions from Bing.
The results will also be limited to the users own personal privacy settings. For instance, if a particular user isn’t publicly sharing the offline stores, or the restaurants which they have visited, or liked, that information won’t be included in the results.
So what that does is it places more onus on the business owners to get their consumers to share more of their information, this because the more active or larger that a particular business fanpage is, it becomes more likely that they’ll appear in the users search results.
Businesses Need To Get More Prominent
Facebook has recently been reducing the prominence of business postings lately, as they’ll only display an estimated 15% percent of their posts, this based on Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm. Edgerank will only select what they believe are the most relevant posts to be displaying as the “Top Stories” on a particular members news feed.
With Graph Search, retailers should now be optimizing their Facebook pages for search. For example, large nationwide retailers should be creating specifically targeted local pages so that once a consumer searches for, “Which pizza does my friends like the most in Vancouver?” Pizza Hut’s location, for instance, in Vancouver will show up as the first result.
So it may be now necessary to do search engine optimization directly on Facebook. Businesses may now be required to conform to this, which is to perform basic SEO, this similar to they tagging their photos or videos so they become more findable.
Facebook’s Advertising Teeth
Although Facebook hasn’t release any advertising products along with the introduction of Graph Search, they do offer a search-related ad unit which is known as “Sponsored Results.”
What this service does is it enables marketers to pay a fee so that they’ll have their particular listings appear higher in the search results. This ad format is expected to continue.
The majority of marketing analysts are expecting that more advertising options will be offered. Before Graph Search, Facebook’s search function was pretty basic, and as a result diminished the opportunity for they to strengthen their advertising revenue.
What Facebook’s Graph Search is designed to do is leverage the member’s data a lot better, which provides their advertisers with more precisely targeted and personalized advertising opportunities by using this new service.
This is the most obvious and logical path for Facebook to take, making their site a lot more useful for everyone involved by having a better search function.
The process of attempting to efficiently processing enormous amounts of user data is a difficult task, however, but search has always been the core component of any large web platform.
What this improved search initiative which Facebook is implementing should better monetize user traffic a lot more efficiently for businesses.