How Facebook’s Graph Search Threatens Google

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

facebook-search-engineAs Facebook has been rolling out its new Graph Search, analysts have wondered if it is going to be a major threat to the king of search – Google.

Google downplayed the effects of Graph Search on its business, but now analysts are starting to think that the threat to Google is real.

The new Graph Search by Facebook allows you to search Facebook’s entire database to locate people, places and things that a user has in common with friends and friends of friends.

Here are a few ways we see that Graph Search could threaten Google’s business:

#1 Friends

When a person wants information about a certain product, reviews are used a lot to make a purchase decision. But whose opinion do you trust more than friends?

If you want to buy a toaster, you might look at online reviews. But if you have a Facebook friend who mentions that a certain toaster was a piece of junk, you might choose a different brand. We could see how that the opinions and experiences of friends that are accessible via Graph Search could pull some business away from traditional search engines.

#2 Friends of Friends Matter

Where we think Graph Search will make a real difference is letting you expand far beyond your circle of friends. If you have just 10 friends, your search results aren’t very useful. But if those 10 have 1000 friends, this could have a big effect and could affect your future purchases.

#3 Graph Search Integrates With Bing

Graph Search threatens Google simply because Facebook chose to integrate it with Bing. Facebook wants users to stay on Facebook for a long time and do all of their searches inside of Facebook. This will give Bing a lot of clout with advertisers. If an advertiser knows that Graph Search users are getting data from Bing, the advertiser is going to focus more on getting better rankings in Bing and not Google.

#4 Graph Search Is Where Google Strives To Be

Google has always wanted to be a one stop shop for Internet search. But it has not done well in getting foothold in social networking. But Facebook already is the social networking king and is used by billions of people.

Facebook is linking social networking behavior with search, so Facebook has as strong position than Google does.

Facebook Graph Search has a ways to go, but the seeds are there for the new search function to sprout into a legitimate threat to Google.

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