What is Facebook Graph Search?

Earlier this month, Facebook introduced Graph Search, its latest attempt at search that allows user’s to query Facebook’s Social Graph to find friends and acquaintances with interests similar to their own. Although there is no question that Google maintains an overwhelming share of the search market, Facebook still holds something that Google has yet to tap into--its massive pool of social data. And this is where Graph Search has the potential to make its mark.

To this point, Google has attempted social search by combining Google search with it’s own social network, Google+, in creating Search Plus Your World, which integrates search results with the likes and interest of a user’s connections in hopes of displaying more relevant information. The issue that Google has run into, however, is a lack of social data.

Facebook finds itself on the opposite end of the spectrum with more social data than Google could dream of having combined with a mediocre search engine. This is what Graph Search is intended to correct.

According to Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook’s founder, Graph Search allows users to find the answers to specific questions that relate to restaurants in a specific city, TV shows watched by their friends, or music that their co-workers listen to. Rather than providing broad, impersonal search results, Graph Search is designed to offer users insights into people and places that are relevant to themselves.

The implications that these personalized search results can have on businesses are huge. For starters, the number of people who Like your Facebook page is now directly related to the number of people who will see your page in search results - the more popular your page, the more relevant it is to a larger audience, resulting in a wider reach. Also, Graph Search allows users to find you based on relevance, without directly searching for your brand.

We couldn’t cover everything all in one post, so if you are wondering what exactly you can do to ensure your Facebook Page is fully optimized for Graph Search, check out our post on Optimizing Your Facebook Business Page for Graph Search.

Graph Search is currently in beta and available only in English. To learn more about Facebook Graph Search or to join the waiting list, visit the Graph Search page on Facebook.

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