Sunday, July 11, 2010

Get On-Board with Facebook's Social Search Engine

Although Facebook's Open Graph is still in its infancy of developing a social search engine, companies need to take note of the "like" button that has challenged Google's dominance as a search engine.

In April, Facebook's like buttons took the internet by storm, appearing on web pages covering every industry imaginable. The idea is to use behavioral data to power a social search engine with results driven by what our peers and other Facebook users recommend instead of traditional link building SEO. This means that companies with the most Facebook users who “like” what they have to offer will appear higher in Facebook search rankings.

There are two ways a Facebook user can select that they like your company, product or service. The first is by adding a Facebook plug-in to your website so that from your homepage viewers can click on Facebook's like button. The second is by creating a page within Facebook for your company, separate from personal profile, where users will be given the option to like the business. It has been confirmed by Facebook that all web pages that use open graph plug-ins show up in the social network's search results the same as traditional Facebook pages appear.

What does this mean for businesses? It is not time to neglect the importance of traditional search engine optimization but it is time to make sure website is equipped with the Open Graph API and plug-ins. Being active on Facebook with a company page is also an important step toward increased visibility in social search results.