Named Graph Search, Facebook's new search engine allows users to filter the bottomless depths of information stored about their friends and other connections on Facebook to discover new ways finding news in the categories of shared interests, common places of interest, and similar tastes.
“Graph Search is a new way for you to find people, photos, places, and interests that are most relevant to you on Facebook”
An assumption of their intention is this is Facebook's answer to the "social search" experience provided by Google+.
But rather than pulling information from throughout the Internet world including all indexed search results in existence, Facebook's Graph Search pulls its results from the social network. With the Google + service continuing to grow at a rapid pace it remains to be seen who will prevail.
Still, savvy users should pay attention to this new addition from Facebook.
How Will Graph Search Work?
The service is still in beta mode but according to Facebook it will focus on four key areas in order to measure social connection and relevancy.
1) Searching for content
The Facebook search engine (which has partnered with Microsoft Bing technology rather than Google's search engine), will allow users to type long search queries using fairly normal language.
In terms that we can all wrap our heads around, we would be able to search for things like 'all my friends in Dayton, OH’ or 'doctor's my friends like'.
From a marketing standpoint this could be used to target all kinds of content posted by customers, including music, videos, Facebook updates, and more.
2) People search
Facebook's new search graph function will take into account many user interests.
Really, anything that's in Facebook's database about a person will turn itself to common knowledge and easily accessible.
It appears that this will be a function that allows people to actively search out and network with people they want to communicate with outside of the list of people they currently know.
Perhaps Facebook intends to revamp the process for connecting with new friends outside of one's circle of already known acquaintances.
3) Business search
Facebook's Graph Search has implications for business aid as well. When searching on Google for a business, in the past your results have been influenced primarily by businesses that have done the best search engine optimization (SEO).
More recently, Google search results have begun taking social search into consideration, boosting the position of businesses and websites connected to you via its social network, author rank, etc.
Facebook Graph Search takes this to an alternative perspective by pulling results based on what your friends have liked, where your friends have checked in, and the like, to deliver the most relevant search results.
Why is this important to Marketers?
While this remains in beta test mode and has not rolled out to the general public marketers need to begin considering the implications of Facebook's Graph Search experience, as well as considering a few questions that have not yet been answered.
In addition to the concerns I mentioned previously, there are of course privacy issues at stake by being able to search all kinds of Facebook content.
It's a good time to review your Facebook privacy settings to ensure when you post content it is going only to the audience you wish to see it. According to Facebook, people will only be able to see search results they've already been given access to.
This will be important to keep an eye on as Facebook actually rolls out Graph Search for more to the complete public.
Social media is not going away anytime soon. Facebook has made it clear that social media's importance is only going to increase not decrease nor go away. If you still think that, it's time to get your head out of the sand and begin developing viable strategies for your business to be seen and to be recognized as a valuable by your customers and prospects. Otherwise, quite frankly, your business will cease to exist.
Additionally, as I have talked about many times recently, content continues to be rather important to marketers from an internal marketing perspective. This further emphasizes that point.
I can't emphasize enough how much your information on social media matters! The quality and quantity of content you deliver to your audience is playing an increasingly important role in whether your prospects even find you let alone what their opinion is of your business before they ever make contact with you!
How the competition between Google + and Facebook plays out remains to be seen. One thing remains clear, however. The connection between content marketing and social media continues to be strengthened on a regular basis. Marketers who ignore this trend could easily be setting their business for failure.
Learn more about Facebook's New Graph Search by visiting the Gryffin Media blog