There’s been a lot of buzz lately about Facebook starting to develop their own search engine that reaches outside of the Facebook website. Their method: Through likes and shares.
Facebook is now displaying ‘liked’ news content in it’s drop-down search results. They’re also displaying content that are shared by your network of friends with the same keywords as the news you’ve just liked and/or shared.
Friends as a way to measure
If you haven’t already noticed (which I’m pretty sure you have, if you’re a Facebook user) you can already see videos and social media content that are shared by friends. And no I don’t mean just some of your friends, I mean you can see all your friends who have shared the same social media content. Here is a sample screenshot I took:
Noticed how Facebook now points out all your friends who shared a specific link?
It’s not friend X shared LINK with friend Y anymore
It’s friend X and friend Y BOTH shared Link
And it’s a method that Google uses. The more the inbound link, the more relevant a website must be, therefore giving it higher rankings in the SERPs. Now Facebook is trying to use that certain idea to their own engine.
Grasping more of the web
I was quite surprised when I saw Facebook releasing search results that were NOT in their website. This search query that I typed in was a query that retrieved results which pointed out of their website and into mine.
Apparently as much as Google is trying to get into the social networking game, Facebook is trying to play the search game too! Both are trying to get a piece of the pie out of the other’s market niche.
What I think is that sooner or later, Facebook just might shed some light on how we can operate SEO on their search engine. If their search engine works better than we now predict it would, it just might be the next big thing.
Right now, Facebook has released information regarding ranking on their search engine. Funny thing is, you have to had visited that website or content already for it to appear in the search results. Beats the purpose doesn’t it?
But just so that you guys know, the formula:
1. Who shared the content first? Priority is given to people in your network
2. Relationship to other people who also liked it – these may be people outside your immediate network
3. Total number of ‘likes’
According to searchenginewatch, here’s how it works:
(Keyword relevance of shared content within your immediate friend network) divided by (ranked in order of who shared it) x (total number of likes)
Tips for Keeps: Right now, keep a close eye at what Facebook is doing. So far they’re playing their cards well compared to Google. And I think there’s a big, big SEO opportunity if you get to be one of the firsts to get your hands on valuable Facebook SEO information.