Facebook unveiled its very own semantic search engine in March this year, naming it Facebook Graph Search.
Designed to give answers to user natural language queries, as opposed to a list of links, Graph Search signals a major change in online social searching.
It matches natural language search terms from the user with content from the user’s own network (referred to as a social ‘graph’), identifying and returning relevant results based on several different factors such as the amount of ‘likes’ certain content has received.
Although it is yet to be made available to the majority of Facebook users, analysts are claiming that this may be the first genuine challenger to traditional search engines. Of course, it remains to be seen how consumers will adapt to social searching after years of using traditional search engines.
Analysts are also keen to see how Facebook will determine content relevance and what businesses can do to ensure that their pages will appear in the search results. More importantly for marketers, many are concerned about whether advertising options will exist in Graph Search.
Online marketers are now probably wondering how to optimize Graph Search’s results. Facebook has yet to reveal exactly how Graph Search determines its content, but SEO marketers should consider the following: