Well folks, Facebook has done it yet again. They’ve found a way to make our life a little easier while getting our social media fixes. How do they intend to do this you ask? The answer: Graph Search. I know what you’re thinking. “Awesome, but Google does that, so what gives?” Although you make a valid point, Graph Search will now take word of mouth advertisements to a completely new level. When you use the Graph Search feature, instead of creating listings based off of phenomenal SEO practices, search results will appear based on your friends’ recommendations (hence the “taking word of mouth advertisements to a completely new level” thing).
Example, I love Brazilian food and happen to have several Brazilian friends. So if I navigate to Facebook’s graph search and type in “Best Brazilian food in Nashville,” my search results appear based on my friends’ recommendations and not by the search results provided by Google.
Although Graph Search (supported by Bing) is arguably similar to Google Plus, with the intention to deliver better, more relevant, personalized search results, Facebook intends to pick up the ball where Google dropped it. With a larger following and widespread adaptation, I’m sure that this is only the first step in Facebook’s attempt to become the top global search engine.
The core areas of focus with Graph Search are people, places, photos, and interests. If you are looking to connect with people professionally (similar to a search you would do on LinkedIn) I would personally type in “Sales and Marketing Professionals Nashville, TN” a search would then be conducted to scan each profile of sales and marketing professionals in Nashville with similar interests that reflect my own. Within a few small clicks, Graph Search will deliver instant connections to relevant professional profiles in this area. If you’re looking for a great place to listen to live music and eat cheap appetizers, your search will deliver results based on the places your friends like the most. And so on and so on.
Although new, Facebook really has a handle on always improving their purpose. Therefore, I think it is safe to say that after the bugs have been worked out, this will be a wonderful new way to conduct online search. My recommendation to businesses and owners is to continue to build your fan pages and find personalized ways to cater to your clientele. The more “likes” your page gets, the more likely your business will appear in the search results when a friend, fan, or friend of a fan is looking for information and recommendations for businesses in your industry.