What will Facebook’s Graph Search Mean for Local Businesses?

Sigourney Weaver Alien

Yes, the search engine world continues to shift and evolve faster than a sci-fi alien species capable of adapting to Earth in order to destroy the human race.

Luckily, though, like Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley in the Alien movies, Clix is always one step ahead.

This time, the most recent search shift has come from Facebook. After partnering with Bing early this year, Facebook has been working on its own “Graph Search” that integrates all of Facebook’s features, including place pages, ‘likes,’ and of course, friends. This week, Graph Search will go live in the U.S.

What makes it different?

By searching on Facebook for a business, you can not only see reviews, but your friends’ reviews. So if, say, you have a group of friends in Memphis and you’re looking for the best barbecue down there (it’s Rendezvous), you can search in Facebook for “friends in Memphis who like barbecue restaurants.” Then you’ll be taken to a page that shows—unsurprisingly—all of your friends in Memphis who like barbecue restaurants’ pages.

If you trust your friends’ taste, this could be a powerful tool. If you don’t, it’s still powerful because of the local listing. If you look at the below example, this listing on Facebook includes much of the same information (in about the same amount of space) than in Google’s new “carousel” search feature.

facebook graph search local

Includes everything you see here…and in Google’s listings. Image credit: Search Engine Land

What does this mean?

Simply, this means that regardless of their motives, the new visibility and accessibility offered by Graph Search to Facebook’s 1-billion-plus users makes your business’s Facebook presence more important than ever. If two years ago it was a good idea and one year ago it was essential, in 2013 you can’t afford not to be on Facebook. Even if you don’t want to interact or compete for ‘likes,’ being listed on a powerful search tool like Facebook is just as important as being listed anywhere else.

Remember, your customers have to find you before they become a customer. Be sure you’re there, wherever they decide to look.

Even in the walls.

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