The little white search bar on the top of your Facebook page is finally getting an upgrade. Long dismissed as a feature with limited capabilities, the Facebook search bar just got a whole lot better and could be changing how we use the Internet.
Facebook’s “Graph Search” isn’t like your typical Google or Bing search. Instead of matching up keywords with sources containing those keywords, you’ll instead search combinations of phrases such as “my friends who live in Austin and like SEO” and the results will include people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook.
So does this mean that people will be able to search things I’ve kept private?
No. According to Facebook, Graph Search will respect your current privacy settings. So if you’ve taken 110 photos of your cat (and who hasn’t, right?) and posted them in a private album, a stranger searching “photos of cats” won’t be able to see Snuffles in his scandalous Halloween outfit.
For those of us interested in SEO, Graph Search opens up a whole new realm of possibilities about how people will locate websites and business online. Instead of using Google, Facebook users may turn to Graph Search and type in “dentists liked by my friends from Austin.” This means that keeping Facebook pages up-to-date, engaging with fans and sharing business information such as location and industry on Facebook will become more important than ever.
Graph Search beta begins today and is only available for a limited number of English language Facebook users. If you’re interested in checking it out, sign up for the Waiting List at https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch.