By Paul Morris
Despite engagement via the news feed being my number 1 tip for Facebook advertising investment (but then not forgetting FBX!) the new Graph Search feature on Facebook should not be overlooked. I think this feature will grow in Facebook’s focus (it is after all 1 of their 3 pillars) and in Facebook’s users minds hence should definitely form part of many businesses future Search traffic acquisition/ optimisation strategies.
1/ Claim your place – yep sounds obvious but not all companies claim that Place as their own thus you do not benefit, as an example, for searches such as ‘friends who have visited X’ (linked with point 4). So basically claim and consider not just having one main corporate account but also have pages for local stores as locality plays an important part in Graph Search.
2/ Mark your business in as many relevant categories as possible e.g. types of food served (and most certainly subcategories, up to 3, such as Brunch) and your location(s).
3/ Optimise your About section with keywords and relevant content (intrinsically linked with point 5)
4/ Initiate engagement and grow your network – As with the Edge Rank’s algorithm (the Weight part favouring videos and photos) weight engagement is key; so try your damdest to encourage tagging, check ins and liking. i.e. liking just became even more important as it puts you in the search race blocks thus producing content that initiates engagement is key.
5/ As Bing backs up Facebook’s Graph Search (e.g. if no one has engaged/ liked curry in your network then Bing acts as a backup revealing curry content from Friends of Friends = think of LinkedIn 3 degrees of separation algorithm, and then generally from the rest of its standard Search algorithm) think of optimising your content with more traditional SEO in mind (I’m not talking of keyword stuffing your updates, captions, etc but there needs to be a minor degree of this;-)
Note: Whilst Entity Graph (identifies semantic connections between Facebook search queries and potential results) positively impacts Graph Search queries by establishing connections between acronyms and synonyms you should still use other describing keywords whilst the algorithm gets to the level of Google’s.
IN SUMMARY Facebook Graph Search will not kill Google et al however for users with large engaged social graphs (basically have you got a lot of friends who use Facebook a lot) it will prove invaluable and should not be ignored.