Guest Post: Madeline Arnold – Social Executive at Mindshare Australia

In the early hours of this morning, Facebook held a media event to announce Graph Search: an all new way to navigate through the 1 trillion connections that exist on Facebook to find useful information with a social context.

facebook-graph-search

The idea is that Graph Search makes your Facebook network more valuable as a tool for finding things; whether those things are photos, people, places or interests. Zuckerberg said this morning, “Graph Search is not Web search”, and explained that Facebook’s Social Graph helps make search results more relevant to you based on your friends and the places they’ve been, photos they’ve taken and interests. Graph Search pulls in an enormous amount of data from your network and can answer questions such as “what languages do my friends speak?” or “Mexican restaurants in Sydney that my friends have been to” or “photos of my friends in London”. Now in beta, Graph Search is in early stages of development and doesn’t include content from posts or Open Graph actions (such as song listens) but this will change over time.

Of course, Graph Search makes a couple of assumptions:

  1. That your friends are actually active on Facebook (i.e. check into restaurants, list the languages they speak, tag the location of their photos)
  2. That you have similar interests and tastes as your friends… I don’t know about you, but I have quite a few friends on my Facebook with whom I have nothing in common. I highly doubt I’d appreciate the same activities as the girl I went to school with who got pregnant at 16 and is now a tattoo artist. Just saying.

As Graph Search becomes more sophisticated and more people begin to use it, it will no doubt help companies and brands be discovered. I think that the kind of companies that will benefit most from Graph Search will be location based such as hotels, restaurants and stores- for example, it is quite likely that someone will search “hotels my friends have stayed at in Paris” or “sushi restaurants in Sydney that my friends have been to”. This will allow a brand’s page to be discovered easily in an environment away from the News Feed. Additionally, fans finding brand Pages through Graph Search will be relevant fans- they won’t be people just liking the Page for a competition or coupon, they’ll be people that have actively sought out the category. Here is an example of how brand Pages can be discovered using Graph Search:

SEO within Facebook will have a pretty big impact for brands and their discoverability through Graph Search. Having an up-to-date, complete and correct Facebook page is paramount to ranking highly in relevant searches, and Pages should create as many opportunities as possible to be discovered via Graph Search. Engaging, popular brand Pages will also perform more successfully through Graph Search as they are more likely to be connected to more users through friends.

Sponsored search results will still be available, which will appear to people whether or not they are using Graph Search or not.

You can find out more about Graph Search and give it a try today here: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch