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The Facebook Graph Search Is Directly Competing with Google

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Posted by Dave Lauretti on January 16, 2013

Google will never go out of business, we all know that. Sure there’s the freak happening where they could lose all they’ve got in one swoop but no one sees that happening, not any time soon.

But then there’s the search market share. Search market share is the number of people doing searches, and search engines are most concerned with where – where the searches are taking place.

Facebook Graph Search SEOIf more searches are taking place on Google, Google will get more advertisers, and have more opportunity to showcase their other products and services. The same goes with BING. If the majority of searchers use BING (Google actually holds that title) BING makes more money.

So you can see why search share is important to websites like Google, BING and other search engines. Well search share is also important to Facebook too.

Facebook’s Graph Search will take away from Google’s search share

I think we can expect to see some declines in search share once Graph Search is completely rolled out for all users. With Graph Search you can more easily find people, photos and interests but more importantly you can find local business places that your friends have visited (checked in), and Facebook business pages they’ve liked or interacted with.

Not to mention the fact that once Graph Search launches with all users, it will become a novelty – a feature that everyone will want to try at least once (especially of Facebook markets it properly ) and if they like Graph Search, they’ll use it again, and again.

That alone will have the potential to take business service or product searches away from Google as probably thousands of business type searches will be done a day inside Facebook and outside of Google. And as we concluded earlier, that’s not what Google wants.

Facebook beats SEOs in ways Google couldn’t

Then there’s the old SEO problem that will be concerned with Graph Search. Graph Search SEO will be completely different than typical search engine SEO for one very specific reason. With regular search engine optimization, we virtually have control of every aspect of our website and can utilize a vast number of tools and tricks of the trade to get our pages to rank better.

With SEO for Graph Search, the playing field is limited within the diamond; everything within Facebook is virtually controlled by Facebook. Then there’s the Facebook business pages. With Facebook business pages we are limited to adding minimal descriptive content – content which will, in a very strong sense have little effect on Graph Search results – and much more on social indicators.

That’s where Google is lacking. Google’s search results are highly susceptible to spam and manipulation – Google and Facebook both know this. Facebook’s business page Graph Search results won’t be unless someone actually hacks the system and if that were the case that would promptly be corrected.

What to expect in the future with Graph Search

If you search the web for Graph Search you’ll find some references to the OpenGraph. My simple take is that although at the moment the OpenGraph isn’t going to be connected to Graph Search results, I’ll safely assume we can expect the connection to be inevitable.

Why?  When Graph Search is fully functional, Graph Search results will be based on social indicators – Facebook Likes, Shares, Recommendations and Comments are all social indicators that that can and very well should contribute to the overall statistical data taken into consideration when ranking Facebook business pages.

So if I’m right, and OpenGraph statistics do come into play with Graph Search results, SEOs will not longer be able to ignore Facebook’s social buttons and OpenGraph tags either.

And what can Google do now? We’ll have to see that they’re response is, if they even decide to have one but if they do we can expect the change to take place somewhere in Google+ for Businesses. They may make it much easier for businesses to create a business page and verify it. We’ll just have to wait.


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