Facebook unveiled its much anticipated search product on Tuesday with Graph Search. This could mean big things for businesses who have pages on Facebook. In fact, Facebook has already gone out of its way to offer business owners some tips to make sure their business pages are "complete and up-to-date," which is essentially to say, optimized for Graph Search.
We may have a whole new area of SEO to consider going forward. The easier it is for users to find your Page in relevant search situations, the better it is for Facebook and the success of its new product, so it's easy to see why Facebook wants business owners to get on the ball.
"The search bar first returns the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups, and suggested searches," Facebook explains. "People can search for things like restaurants near them, hotels in places they want to travel to, photos posted by Pages they like, or games that their friends like to play."
"These search suggestions take people to a unique results page," the company adds. "The results returned are based on factors that include information that has been shared by your business and the connections of the person searching."
Facebook will also make suggestions in the search bar, and will display Bing results (and ads) for web searches. Pages and apps will continue to be able to use sponsored results. These will continue to appear whether or not the user has Graph Search yet.
Here are the specific tips Facebook is recommending on its Studio blog:
The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook. If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location. Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis. You can learn more about fan acquisition and Page publishing best practices here.
Graph Search is in limited beta, and will be rolling out pretty slowly from the sound of it. It's also starting off in English only. It might be a good time to associate as much information with your Page a possible to get ready for an influx of searches on Facebook.
We'll see what Facebook does on the advertising front in time, no doubt.