In the marketing world Google still reigns as the number one search engine, but there is a new tool marketers can use for SEO coming up on the horizon you need to know about. Facebook recently released their new Graph Search tool in beta. The new feature lets you perform searches based on Facebook’s enormous database of what your friends and fans have shared. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, claims this tool is not a search engine but a tool to make search queries. Graph Search does not point to data and links outside of Facebook, but rather points you to pages, places, or people on Facebook. In other words when you use Graph Search you’re not presented with links that may contain the information you’re looking for, but it will point you to actual answers to your queries.
For example if you want to know what steak house your friends like, Graph Search will pull up their “likes” for steak houses or Facebook check-in posts. This puts a large emphasis on how many people like your page and post about it. People like to go their friends for recommendations, and with Graph Search they will have the ability to do this right on Facebook. How does this relate to SEO and marketing? To get your pages in front of the biggest number of users, you must have an active and thriving Facebook community. Does it change the way you post on Facebook and offer opportunities to share your content? Well no, but it does put a greater emphasis on having the right SEO and marketing efforts for Graph Search to be beneficial.
Although Mark Zucerberg claims Graph Search is not really a search engine, the fact remains this is how it will be used. For marketing this means a continuation of the need for excellent and engaging content on your website and business pages. It also means you need to be consistent and vigilant about location check-ins on Facebook. If you think about how the data queries will be worded, you can see how important it is to have your location on your website, posts, check-ins, content, and blogs. For example, using the query “best barber shop in Peoria” will get pages of hits on Google. But on Graph Search it will only get links from people who have liked barber shops in Peoria or have posted comments about any barber shops in that town.
So as you can see, Facebook’s new Graph Search presents an entirely new way for marketers to tap into the wealth of information already residing on Facebook. Not only can you use it as a marketing tool, but you can also use it to gauge your page’s popularity on Facebook. With over 750 million registered users on Facebook, you already know it is a marketing goldmine, and now with the introduction of Graph Search you can tap into the likes and trends easier and know where your pages stand as far as popularity. And once you have this information, you can take the necessary steps to make sure your pages are on the forefront of your fans minds.