by March 9, 2013 0 comments

F acebook Graph Search & Twitt er’s new search enhancements rolled out recently can change the game of web search. Experts feel that the new functi onality of FB has immense potenti al to earn revenue for the social networking company but is unlikely to challenge Google as the dominant search giant in near future. Because the nature of search in social platf orms is diff erent from a regular search in web. Having said, the new wave of search from both FB and Twitt er has much potenti al to redefi ne web search with users already getti ng into the habit of conducti ng search in both Twitt er and FB. For Graph Search, the ulti mate verdict lies with the users though. Without increased acti vity, the usefulness of the new feature could very well be confi ned.

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The purpose of new Graph Search is to prompt users to be more acti ve on FB platf orm and not really making it as a search engine. Obviously, if it succeeds in bringing more friends for users thus making them more acti ve, there is a likelihood for users to split their search sessions between FB and Google. So, it remains to be seen if this works out.

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What it means for advertisers

Ads on FB are less eff ecti ve than the ads that we get to see in Google search, according to a report. FB ads is based on guesswork about what you could be interested in, but search engines show up ads that you’re directly scouti ng for based on your intent. However, the treasure trove of informati on that FB has of people, places, photos and interests holds more value for adverti sers to invest in FB than only in search engines. Moving forward, FB may go and embrace PPC model incorporati ng sponsored content into the search results. This way, they might change the adverti sing landscape altogether. Plus, marketers can use Graph Search to understand their consumers. The search is semanti c and works on natural language processing. So there are innumerable per- mutati ons that can help marketers get insights about cus- tomers that will help them decide type of content to share with fans, potenti al audience to reach out to and more. In coming days, there will be more reasons for marketers to allocate some budget to FB ad in additi on to search engines.

What it means for SEO

With the launch of the Graph Search, speculations are doing its rounds on what it means for digital marketers -the SEO ramifications of the new search engine. Here are a few tactics marketers need to put in place to ensure they are always up on the search results. SEO goes social. Businesses to get the best from the search feature should incorporate more social features to their contents. Post, share, comment, like are the keywords they should dwell more on. Creating conversations and get- ting in the conversations are key for businesses to remain competitive.

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While you should post content to FB to earn likes and shares, articles on web pages should include buttons to make it easy for users to connect. In order to capitalize on the new search, businesses need to ensure that their FB business page is up to date with information like address, category, website URL, etc. Now that Bing steps in for every search that FB can’t handle, you should continue optimizing your pages with measures (you have been doing) to be up in the Bing results inside FB.

Could it evolve into a Google killer?

Graph Search is different from web search today. But it has potential to get a re-positioning! The new feature compliments itself with Bing results, so you’ll have both social information plus search engine results. This way, FB is encroaching on Google’s territory. The only difference between social search and the regular web search lies in context. In FB, you will look more for photos your friend would have taken of the birthday, etc, but you would switch to Google if you need info on anything beyond like flight information. But it’s up to the users of FB to change their habit depending on how useful they find it to be. And yes, Google has reasons to worry as this is just the beginning for graph search. Moving forward, FB will monetize this to the best of their advantage. And this may spell trouble for Google.

Why Graph Search can be a game changer?

1. Graph search lets its one billion users explore their network of friends to find everything including movies to restaurants. So, FB can monetize this feature which may turn violent for Google in searches like places, and local businesses. You will be able to search local businesses that you friends have been to or liked.

2. There is a likelihood of sponsored search results being put in Graph Search that could provide the company with new revenue.

3. FB also has a partnership with Microsoft whose Bing search engine provides search results for anything beyond FB territory. Microsoft also integrates certain Facebook results into its Bing search results. This IS a threat for Google.
Why Graph Search may not work? A search like “My friends in New York who love skying” on graph search may not get you desired results if those friends of yours have tight security settings on their profiles. So graph search will always be limited by privacy settings.[image_library_tag 694/61694, alt=”search” ,default]

Plus, non-tech-savvy FB users, who don’t know how to do a complex semantic based search, may not embrace this feature no matter how useful it turn out to be. If you remember, Google tried a similar thing last year when they rolled out a feature called Google+ and “Search plus Your World”. It didn’t work.

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