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Facebook Graph Search: The New SEO Frontier

Responsible for over 50% of web traffic, sharing on Facebook has redefined the importance of social media. Now, Facebook has introduced its latest addition to the multi-app social network: the Facebook Graph Search. Unlike the current search feature, which allows users to browse people, places, or things, the Facebook Graph Search will allow users to tailor more specific searches.

It’s a lot like Bing, Microsoft’s search engine which took social media to new heights by providing searchers with data about their friends preferences (eg: “John Smith liked Aruba”). This isn’t much of a surprise considering Microsoft and Facebook have a partnership.

Facebook appears to have taken Microsoft’s technology and enhanced it with the full library of user data. Users will be able to search for people, Pages, apps, places, groups, and suggested searches. Pages have been set as a separate category, which indicates the importance Facebook Pages will have for businesses wanting to appear in search results.

After Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement of the beta product, Facebook shared some tips for getting your business to show up in the search results. The way Facebook Graph Search will work is pretty simple. Users can type things like, “taco places my friends like”, “hotels near times square”, or “vacations my friends have taken”, and instead of taking time to Facebook stalk their friends, Graph Search will do the work for users.

There’s been a lot of speculation over what this will do to companies like Google, which currently controls the search engine market. While some experts dismiss the effect Facebook Graph Search will have on Google, others argue that the web will become more centralized around social media; with barely 10% of Facebook’s population, Google + simply can’t compete.

Facebook Graph Search will provide new challenges for web marketing. SEO will need to be tailored for Facebook search results. While Facebook says it’s not necessary to have a “Page” to appear in results, it should be noted that Facebook has made “Pages” its own category on the Graph Search platform.

With the beta version being tested in certain cities, marketing companies need to keep up with upcoming research. How will Facebook users use the Graph Search? Will it be a tool for finding information on other users, or will it become a primary search function?

We’ll look at these ideas over the next couple weeks with a particular focus on how to optimize your business in Facebook’s Graph Search. Good news for social media marketers: Facebook management is quickly becoming a must have for business owners.