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Facebook’s Graph Search and How it will Affect the SEO Landscape

graph-search-seoJust last month, social media giant Facebook launched the Graph Search which many experts believe will reduce Google’s piece of the search pie significantly. Although it is only in its earliest beta stages and no one really knows exactly when it will be fully operational (you have to sign up to be on the waiting list), analysts believe that it will significantly change the SEO playing field.

Facebook admits that they still have a lot of work to do on this product that is why they are rolling it slowly. Currently, it is focusing on four search areas namely people, photos, places and interests. This may seem like a small number for a category but there is so much more that Facebook could (and will) do to improve the search categories. According to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, mobile and Instagram will eventually be added.

Facebook and SEO

Facebook has legitimate reason to be a big player in search because it has over a billion users (and growing every day) already and it can provide answers that Google can’t. Facebook will also utilize its partnership with Yahoo’s Bing to add the web search elements.

If the graph Search becomes full force, there will be a whole new way of doing search engine optimization. While optimizing for Bing is almost similar to Google, optimizing for the Graph Search is bound to be a different ball game for SEO experts.

For one, optimizing for Graph Search is not about optimizing a web page; although as early today, you might want to tweak your SEO techniques to consider your Bing rankings.

Facebook’s Tips for Graph Search SEO

According to Facebook, “the search bar first returns the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups and suggested searches.” “People can search for things like restaurants near them, hotels in places they want to travel to or games that their friends like to play.” These search results and suggestions will then take people to unique results page. The results page are based on factors that include information that has been shared by you, your friends, businesses and the connections of the person making the search.

Facebook listed specific tips to make sure that your business or brand Page is up to date and will be more visible in the search bar.

  • Complete your “About” section including the name, category and other information to help people find your business.
  • Update your address to make sure that you can appear as a result if someone is searching for a specific location.
  • Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and giving them a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.

Currently, it is hard to pinpoint how businesses will be best able to use the Graph Search for increased visibility but one thing’s for sure, people will try to take advantage. And because of this, Facebook will probably issue their own set of “quality guidelines” like Google does and punish those that violate it.