Facebook recently released Graph Search. What is Graph Search you ask? In Facebook’s words, “Graph Search helps you find more of the people, places and things you’re looking for and discover new connections based on what others have shared with you on Facebook… With graph search you can look up anything shared with you on Facebook, and others can find stuff you’ve shared with them. Each person sees unique results.” Much of this information was already available on Facebook using the old search; however Facebook Graph Search now makes it easier to discover new things on Facebook with a few added bonuses.
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With the all new Facebook Graph Search you can search for people, places and things that match specific characteristics. “For example, you can search for friends of your friends in a new city you’ve moved to, look up photos by classmates from a specific time period, or see photos friends and others have shared with you from famous landmarks. When you pair up phrases like, Photos of and friends or coworkers and your current city, interests, or likes you can discover things friends have in common that you never realized before, find new activity partners, discover great music similar to bands you already listen to, make your own travel guide, and more.”
For instance, I would be able to retrieve information relating to my home town in Lake Geneva by search for the term “lake geneva” in the Facebook search bar. A series of results would drop down. I would then have to press on “See more results” at the bottom to be directed to a new page containing information on the term “lake geneva”.
The left side of the screen would then allow me to find people, pages, public posts, and more relating to “lake geneva”.
The new Facebook Graph search is available in a limited preview for desktop only and will be available on mobile later in 2013. However, on the Facebook Graph Search information page, you can perform a sample search, as well as join the waiting list for Graph Search. A sample search on the term “lake geneva” provides the following results:
“Yes. Graph search supports keyword searches, just like before. When you start searching with keywords (ex. John San Francisco) you will see suggested people, Pages and apps that match your keywords.
If you see the name of what you’re looking for in the list, select it to go directly to that timeline, Page or app.
You may also select one of the suggested searches to see a full list of search options for that suggestion (ex. People named John who live in San Francisco, California).”
Currently, one can find Facebook Graph Search results for friends, photos, games, places, and music. Facebook states that over time, more content will be added to the search results, such as posts, comments or events.
1. Your connections to people
2. Your connections to places
3. Your connections to things
4. Privacy settings
Your friends, interests and other connections impact the order of your results.
How privacy affects Facebook Graph Search results according to Facebook, “People’s privacy choices also influence the specific results you’re able to see. For example, if you search for photos of Paris, you may see photos your friends took and shared with you first, because you’re more closely connected to those people and pictures. You may also see photos that people you’re not friends with have shared with Public, because you are part of the audience for those photos.”
We have also learned that the number of fans and page “likes” directly influence how a business gets spotted on Facebook Graph Search. Facebook pages with the most “likes” appear higher in Facebook Graph Search results. All the more reason to work on building on your Facebook community now more than ever, especially as Facebook Graph Search grows and becomes more refined.
Facebook says, “Yes. You can use Graph Search to perform a web search by typing in web search: before your search keywords. You may also see suggested web searches pop up as you search normally. On Facebook’s web search powered by Bing, you may see friends’ faces next to results they’ve liked and shared publicly. The same experience is available to you on Bing.com. Additionally, people searches are personalized. When you search for people you know on Bing, you will be able to see public Facebook timelines of people close to you (ex. your Friends or Friends of Friends). This can happen when you go to Bing while logged in to Facebook or if you connect to Facebook while on Bing.”
First, good things to know about Facebook Graph Search:
1. Facebook Graph Search will be offering local search so be sure your location keywords are being used. Also, be sure your Facebook page profile is completed, including your location information.
2. Search results are based upon a person’s connection with a business page as well: likes, comments, shares, check-ins, etc.
3. Facebook Graph Search results will return “the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups, and suggested searches” (per Search Engine Land, who also points out that pages and places are listed separately.)
Facebook Graph Search allows a user to search for “restaurants in Lake Geneva my friends have been to”, “furniture stores by friends like”, and “hotels near Lake Geneva”. These type of searches let marketers know that check-ins are a factor determining how you get spotted in Facebook Graph Search. Likes are a factor determining how you get spotted in Facebook Graph Search. Location is a factor determining how you get spotted in Facebook Graph Search.
Below are the tips Facebook provides businesses to get spotted in Facebook Graph Search:
1. The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
2. If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
3. Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.
So, what’s next for Facebook Graph Search? Is Facebook now encouraging users to actually make new friends, unlike the Facebook of the past which penalized you for “friending” anyone you did not know? How important of a role will ranking on the first page Bing be for getting spotted in Facebook Graph Search results? Do you think Facebook should refine Facebook Graph Search results using additional data besides the amount of “Likes” a business page has, especially since this number can easily be faked? Lots of questions.
What do you think about Facebook Graph Search and how do you think Facebook can make it better?
Tags: social media
April 15, 2013
February 27, 2013
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