As an internet user and lets face it, most of us in the developed world are pretty much addicted to the Internet, you would be performing one or more of the 1 billion searches – every day! That’s right, there are that many searches daily on the ‘big G’ search engine and let’s not forget Yahoo! and Microsoft’s Bing. There is a new player in what’s called a social media search market, and they’re launching soon.
So, would you care what is presented to you when you search for information, product or service?
The answer is simple, you would be interested in those results whether you are a publisher of the information or the owner of the business that provides goods and services. So exactly how are the big players in the search engine market space (search engines and others!) determining as to what results to present you first?
The answer is social signals – search engines will be using more and more of social signals when it comes to rankings. This is pretty much going back to the times of word-of-mouth marketing and in my opinion it is working well. You are more likely to buy a product that was reviewed and recommended by more people and if that includes your friends and family – even better.
This is called social proof and if fits the definition of people believing that actions of others reflect correct behaviour. We humans exhibit herd like behaviour and there’s not much we can do about it.
So, Google has tapped into these social patterns by adding snippets to search engine result snippets of ‘Joe Blogs rated it excellent’ when Joe is actually part of your circles on Google+, clever isn’t it!
Now, the new player in the market is who else but Facebook, the biggest social networking website in the world currently attracting over 1 billion members. The search that is in beta testing at the moment is called Graph Search and it is invite only currently.
You can sign up for the beta program as long as you are using English US for your default FB language by going to Facebook.com/GraphSearch
Graph search presents you results based on your friends interests, posts, check-ins and alike. So if you are searching for a good Japanese restaurants in Sydney, what Graph search will give you is the list of restaurants you friends have been to or recommended in the past.
As privacy is very important, every Facebook user will be able to opt out of being part of the Graph Search results.