It was only a matter of time really, a flurry of privacy changes in December last year and now the announcement of a search engine powered by Facebook, integrated with Bing and named “Facebook Graph Search“.

You may recall that I have wrote a few articles about ensuring that your website and your website SEO efforts don’t concentrate entirely on Google and that you don’t ignore Bing as it was on it’s way up. You can read the article here SEO for Bing.

The Facebook Search Engine

Facebook search engineEssentially as I understand it the new search engine that is currently in beta test mode will huge the Facebook knowledge graph. What that means is that each person in the world will see different search results based on their circle of friends and their friends activities, likes and check ins.

A typical search query on the new facebook search engine may be “restaurants that my friends have been to” or “movies that my friends have watched”. In addition, you will be able to search geographically such as “Web Designers near Liverpool” or similar.

What essentially is happening is that the Facebook knowledge graph that is made up of every Facebook users tags, likes, check-ins etc is now searchable. In addition, Facebook pages belonging to local businesses are also becoming searchable. It’s like a less private version of the Google +1 system.

Where Does Bing Come In?

Bing will be providing search results for the search phrases that don’t pull data from the Facebook knowledge graph or when there isn’t enough data to show a full search result.

How Does This Affect Personal Privacy?

In a sense, only those things that you have made public will be seen by the public. That however may include things that you’ve commented on even if your privacy settings are quite strict. If however you have your privacy settings on your photos to friends only then only your friends will see your photos in the search results, at least in theory!

Facebook Graph Search SEO

If you are in business then you may be wondering how you can take advantage of this new search engine introduction? Well it’s two fold. Firstly, you can’t really SEO your website per se to take advantage of the graph search. What you can do however is to keep building likes, keep encouraging check-ins if you have a physical business address that people visit such as a pub or restaurant. This will then help you to appear in the results of the friends of people who have interacted with your Facebook page if one of their friends searches for something associated with your business, such as pub near …. or Beauty Salon in …. and so on.

In addition, check that you’ve completed all the info on your facebook page, check that you’ve included the phrases that you want to be found for in your description. If your current website doesn’t already have the facility that enables people to like content or to like your page then consider contacting me or your local web designer to discuss integrating your website with Facebook.

Secondly, Optimise for Bing, I predicted 12 months ago that Bing will start to take more market share not least because Bing is bundled with the new Microsoft tablets and Windows phones. Bing have an excellent set of Webmaster Tools. Read more about SEO for Bing here.

You can view some more information and even try some example Facebook Graph searches here