“Google it,” or “Facebook it“? Only time will tell if the new Graph Search unveiled by Facebook earlier this week will have the strength to dethrone the master of online search.
We’ve all "Googled" something before, but in an effort to make your search experience a little more personal, Facebook developed a way to incorporate a search engine within their existing website. Currently in the very early stages of Beta testing, Graph Search will allow users to search for pretty much anything, and in return, receive the most relevant results accompanied by posts, images, and status updates that contain information about a specific location or business.
For well over a decade, search engine optimizers have adapted, tested, and modified the way that they manipulate search results. Now, the shear popularity of Facebook has the ability to really stir things up!
If it works…
According to a recent article in WebProNews.com, Graph Search will start out by targeting people, pictures, places and interests. The digital marketing community is sort of split on the possibility that Facebook’s search could even compete with the behemoth known as Google, but I think this is a step in the right direction. If anything, Google might start to step up their game, and adapt to the power of the social vote.
Here are 4 reasons why I think Facebook has all of the tools to create the most relevant search engine in existence!
1. Social shares make more sense
Building business clout and trust using Facebook has been instrumental in the success of many small startups on a budget.
The power of a positive social comment is unmatched. It eases any sense of doubt, and often spreads like wildfire. For that reason, incorporating social mentions in search results are both relevant, and the future of online search.
2. Ease of use
A billion people are already using Facebook. They spend an average of one hour everyday logged in and actively updating, commenting and sharing. It opens as millions of users' homepage. It runs in the background on their smartphone. They understand how it works, and feel comfortable adapting to new features.
3. Our friends are like-minded
We surround ourselves with like-minded people. Our physical social circle consists of individuals who enjoy the same movies, listen to the same music, and dress similarly. For that reason, their opinion tends to hold a little more weight than a stranger’s review on sites like yelp.com or UrbanSpoon.com. If Facebook is smart, they will ensure that our friend’s thoughts and experiences are indexed first when conducting a search query.
4. One-stop shop experience
Adding a search option is the next step toward creating an all-inclusive site that fulfills every social need.
Our desire to stay connected 24/7 has catapulted the success of this Goliath social network. It continues to grow and people are constantly becoming connected in ways they never thought possible.
If Facebook ensures that their search features are relevant and easy to use, their customers will embrace it, and it will most definitely revolutionize the way search is conducted.
I could be way off the mark, and the introduction of Graph Search could be a complete bust. Either way, it’s a good idea for you to heed the warnings, and start marketing your business on social media. There were a ton of naysayers prior to the social boom, and now they are regretting the resistance.
"Success depends upon previous preparation and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” - Hung Fu-tzu Confucius
Andy Sokolovich is the owner of small business marketing firm Bent Business Marketing. He can be reached at andy@BentBusinessMarketing.com.