Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Search Offers Opportunity For SEO

By Paul Konikowski, CTS-D

Facebook Graph Search
Facebook Graph Search allows users to search locations, photos, posts, friends, or friends of friends. Stalker.

If you are still not “on Facebook”, I applaud you, if for nothing but the time and energy you save. But if your business is still not on Facebook, you may want to reconsider. This month, Facebook started rolling out their much-anticipated Graph Search. Here’s a sneak peek, if you don’t have it yet.

The Facebook search engine has been evolving over the past few years, and started including web results from Bing.com. But it wasn’t great. For example, the other day my friend asked me how to search for a photo seen in their news feed a few weeks earlier. With the old Facebook search engine, there wold be no way to search photos from friends; but with graph search, everything changes.

So what does this new search engine mean for your business? Well, the “next generation” of consumers between the ages 16 and 26 probably checks their Facebook messages more often than their email. They trust their friends posts more than other advertisements, and can now search for restaurants and products their friends “like”. If your business is not active on Facebook, and your competitors have a large following, they will be suggested first.

As Facebook’s new Graph Search evolves, certain restaurants and businesses will be listed higher in the search results, partly based on the keywords they use on the pages and posts. Just like LinkedIn, most Facebook pages and posts are not optimized for search engines, so the competition for keywords is low.

Facebook Graph Search For Cats
Facebook Graph Search allows use to search your friends photos, for cats, on Caturday

Although the exact graph search algorithm is unknown (at least by yours truly), its easy to test keywords in graph search and see where your business shows up (if at all). It’s also very likely that Facebook will start to categorize people and companies based on their posts. For example, if you tend to post a lot of content about concerts, Facebook will start showing your posts in search results when someone searches for live music.

Facebook Graph Search SEO
Note how El Sombrero restaurant is listed first in the new Facebook Graph Search results

As you can see in the above results, businesses that your friends have “Liked” will show up higher in the search results. Similarly, your friends will see your Likes and posts before they see “strange” businesses, products, and posts. But strangers will see your public posts and your businesses, a little lower in the results, especially if they search nearby you. That is why its important to give a location to your page, and optimize it for your region’s nicknames if you are seeking local business (i.e. Bay Area or Tri State Area).