Facebook Lights a Fire Under Google- Open Graph Search Engine

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image courtesy of http://trendslator.wordpress.com

If you’ve been reading my posts on here, you know that I’m very into the future of internet marketing and search, and predicting how things are going to come out. In an article I posted a little while ago about the F8 event, I made a small note in my ending about what this means from an SEO perspective. We have these new means of identifying open graph enabled websites via “liked” … will they replace links? What is this going to mean for Google? Clearly websites are going to be focusing their efforts on either traditional SEO via Google or ranking on the Open Graph search engine via Facebook. WILL FACEBOOK ENTER THE SEARCH MARKET?!

Well that announcement has officially come- Facebook IS entering search.

A couple days ago, they were speculating about the capabilities of Facebook’s search engine, because it was pulling up results for TripAdvisor in the search engine- which was fishy because there wasn’t a standard open-graph way to rank. It appears that Facebook’s search has SEO capabilities and website will mostly likely be looking into optimizing for the “like” feature, rather than links.

It appears that Facebook’s internet search strategy will be pushing for the former- while Google will still be pushing for the latter. What does this mean? Is it truly war, because they are kind of on a different level in regards to how they are implemented? Can websites successfully rank for both? Can Facebook’s Open Graph search engine push out Google- which it seems like they’re trying to do?

If you’re planning on having the “like” feature on your website and optimizing for Open Graph, I suggest you get in soon while it’s still in the early stages. Who knows how far this will go with Facebook, but it’s clear that they’re entering the search market with both guns drawn.

Selena Narayanasamy
Selena is a "many-hat-wearing" digital strategist, consultant, and President of Orthris. She loves taking ideas from creation to execution, and owns multiple publication websites in... Read Full Bio
Selena Narayanasamy
Selena Narayanasamy

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  • Antony

    makes you wonder what new algorithms might be written to take both into account weighing each as a percentage of the whole of all searchable information. i.e. if there are x sites searchable with “like” on plumbing and Y represents the total number of sites on plumbing on the internet that are searchable, what weight could be assigned to balance the value of a site that best meets a consumers (seekers) needs. Does that make sense?

  • Glynn Rieckhoff

    I think that it wouldn't be a good idea if Facebook went the route of “like” as in some cases the results won't be that relevant, e.g. if you have a bunch of friends in Facebook and most of them are accountants and you share a link that is IT based, none of them would “like” it, which means that you would not rank that site very well in Facebook's results, but at the same time you could fake the results by getting your friends to “like” it. Then again if you only have 5 friends and the site is “liked” by all of them, there will not be enough votes to get a good ranking, you'd end up with a Digg/Stumbleupon etc. the only difference is that in Digg and Stumbleupon your listing is posted globally for a time…a short time. Facebook would definitely need to use the value of the link somewhere in all of that

  • Victoria Edwards

    Thank you for posting this!!! I was racking my brain wondering HOW a Facebook Page's had a source URL that would link externally! If you see the this URL it says Type:Page, which was confusing when the source was an external domain and the anchor text not going to an actual Facebook Page..http://www.allfacebook.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/annapolis-marriot-search.jpg
    Whatever….Facebook..sneaky Grasshopa!!!

  • Selena Narayanasamy

    Maybe their algorithm will operate somewhat like Digg- it will know when a page is sent directly to someone to “like” and when they naturally find and “like” it. They are going to have to be able to separate organic “like” results from social and forced results.

  • Example

    I have to say that Facebook and Search has never and still doesn’t made any sense to me at all. Ever since they moved the Search bar into the centre of the navigation bar, I find myself simply frustrated at the lack of other navigation options like it used to be.

    Facebook is not a “natural” search destination, and it never has been. When I think of finding information, I naturally think of Google, Twitter, Amazon or Wikipedia. Bing or Yahoo would be other valid destinations, though I never use them.

    But Facebook?

    I rarely have a valid reason to search on Facebook. That’s not what it’s for. I rarely use the Search bar for anything other than as shortcuts for things that should already be easily navigated (like Pages I have Liked). I can’t ever see myself using it for any other reason.

    Facebook’s use case is for catching up with social activity and boredom relief. Thus, all in all, I think this Facebook strategic search move will fail. It doesn’t really make any sense, and all the bleating about the supposed wows of “semantics” doesn’t make me think that Facebook is the go-to place to find proper information.