Facebook Graph Search: Good News for Businesses?
Facebook recently had an important announcement that according to them, was supposed to rock the socks off online marketers and their very huge consumer base. It turns out the announcement was a new feature called Graph Search. Most people in the tech world and online marketing industry are fairly familiar with Facebook Graph Search and how it works, so let me explain. The concept of Graph Search is simple. It acts as an in app(not web search!) search of your Facebook friends, networks, places, likes etc. For example, if I wanted to find out what my friends did on the weekend, or what bands they listen to, or even what photos they have commented on, all I do is type in the keywords for that query like so: “bands my friends listen to” or “places my friends like” and voila! Its that easy. There have been mixed reviews of its usefulness, especially for businesses with Facebook pages. For them, the question is, whether Graph Search is good news for their business.
Useful or Useless?
Due to the nature of Facebook’s reach and the relevance of its new “Graph” Search feature, yes, for the most part it is good news for businesses. A well optimized and maintained business Facebook page is more likely to see increased traffic. Once Graph Search starts to catch on, it is going to become a great marketing tool for businesses. Consequently it could go on to be a major competition for Google, who have a commanding share of the search industry. Although Facebook keeps insisting that Graph Search is nothing like web search, it is very apparent that they have ventured or plan to venture into the web search business and it is interesting to think how the competition might turn out. So the advice is simple: if you are a business that wants to profit from the Graph Search traffic, maintain, optimize and keep the good content flowing.
Obviously, moving forward, the big question is what Facebook and Zuckerburg are going to do about mobile. INcreasingly, businesses and Facebook themselves are receiving tremendous traffic from mobile devices, therefore, if Graph Search is not available on mobile devices yet, that is going to be a problem. While other traffic sources like desktop and tablets are substantial, the shift to mobile is hard to ignore. Lets keep our fingers crossed.
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