Facebook’s search engine may be brand new, but it looks like it may actually give Google a run for its money to some degree. Google has held the dominant search engine position for a number of years, and none of the other popular search engines has even come close to challenging them (well Bing and Yahoo have made an effort). Google has indexed more pages and websites than the other search engines, and their algorithms are much more comprehensive. But now, Facebook is here…
About Facebook Graph Search
Facebook Graph Search is the latest Facebook product, the search engine announced on Jan 15th. Facebook’s web page for the product states, “Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected. The main way we do this is by giving people the tools to map out their relationships with the people and things they care about.”  It goes on to say, “Graph Search will help you instantly find others, learn more about them and make connections, explore photos, quickly find places like local attractions and restaurants, and learn about common interests…”  What’s interesting about this new search engine is that it uses connections and relationships to provide the desired information – rather than just keyword strength. With the world becoming a much more social place where information is valued more for its relation to the user rather than the actual value, Facebook Graph Search may be just what the general populace is looking for.
Facebook Graph Search Optimization: What Does it Offer?
The beta version of Facebook Graph Search was launched on January 15th, and it offered users four areas of search:
Graph Search for Photos – Users are able to search through photos – of their friends and friends of friends alike – using geo-keywords, niche keywords, and keywords that narrow down the results.
Graph Search for People – Users can find people according to city, preferences, profession, and even shared hobbies.
Graph Search for Interests – Users are able to search through the interests of their friends, as well as interests of celebrities, CEOs, and other professionals.
Graph Search for Places – Users can search geo-specific locations, as well as locations endorsed by their friends, locations visited by their connections, and more.
This enables users to find information that has been tailored to their desires. While Google’s search algorithms use keyword strength to provide the top-ranked websites, Facebook Graph Search SEO is designed to provide users with websites that will be related to both their profile and the search query that they input.
Facebook Graph Search Optimization: Can Facebook Challenge Google?
Google has been the unstoppable force until now, but could Facebook be the immovable object that provides a counterforce? Google Search is the traditional search engine, and Facebook has no hope of going toe to toe with Google on their own turf. The only thing that can give Facebook an edge is personalizing the results returned, and that’s exactly what their search engine does. By giving people search results based on them, their location, their connections, AND their keyword query, Facebook Graph Search is telling users, “Here’s a much more personalized search engine for you.” If they can tailor the Facebook Graph Search SEO results to the desires of their users, they may have a real shot at taking Google down a notch. Businesses will all be keeping a close eye on Facebook search optimization, especially if it impacts their reputation.
Facebook Graph Search Optimization: Where Does Facebook Have the Edge?
Facebook is all about people, while Google is all about information. Facebook can provide users with localized results – results brought up by the search engine just for them. No two people will get the exact same results for the same keyword search, as the Facebook algorithm will examine their profile, their connections, their locations, and the keywords used to provide them with information and content that it believes will serve them best. This means that Facebook can be like a much larger Yelp, as it will provide local search results with much more specificity than the search engine titan Google ever could. While Facebook Graph Search may not be able to beat Google in terms of sheer volume, they may have a chance if they can tailor the results that show up in Facebook Graph Search to be as user-specific as possible.
Facebook Graph Search Optimization: Facebook’s Biggest Challenge