Facebook, the social behemoth, recently announced its entry into the search game with its new Graph Search capability that will rely heavily on “Likes” and other social signals to serve up relevant search results to users. Currently in beta-testing mode, Graph Search also offers filters that give individuals the option to tailor their searches based on a vast amount of user data in Facebook’s system.
The Graph’s search results will be personalized, but users needn’t worry about private information being returned in results. Facebook has assured their community that only shared content will be included in the search database.
Perhaps one of the most effective uses of Graph will be for local search. Facebook currently has the technology and ability to build a “Yelp-ish” and “Foursquare-ish” recommendations engine based entirely on users check-ins, “Likes” and similar data.
Although not a traditional search engine like Google or Yahoo, this new social search engine could potentially become even more popular among Facebook’s billion-plus user base. Search experts are already wondering if Facebook’s Graph could eventually take some of the wind out of Google’s sails. Speaking of Google competition, it’s no surprise that Facebook has chosen Bing to provide its users with web-based search results over Google.
Besides possibly taking away some of Google’s search users, others wonder what impact Facebook’s Graph will have on internet marketing over the coming years. Internet marketers are keen on the influence that a large social presence can have on their website traffic and sales, both local and universal. Wherever users go, marketers tend to follow, so it stands to reason that Facebook could shake up internet marketing as they continue improving and updating their new search engine.