Facebook Search is Not Like Google

(Ping! Zine) – A couple months ago, Facebook moved the search box from the far right to the center, hoping to get more traction in search. And certainly that has paid off, since they are now reporting 150 million searches per day. That’s 1/4th of what Google reports, even though Google may have about 20 times the revenue. Facebook’s search terms are almost exclusively for people’s names, as confirmed by internal sources. That makes sense, as Facebook has been a people search engine, whereas Google is an informational search engine.

At the same time, Facebook is gaining 5,000 new fan pages per day— counting only the ones created by users, as opposed to the auto-generated community pages. Their direct attack on wikipedia has conceived millions of pages. Whether they can now rank on any object– not just people’s names– is yet to be seen. But if Google’s introduction of real-time search, dubbed Caffeine, last week has any indication, the massive amount of fresh content being spun off by social networks will figure more prominently in search results.

What this means for you as a business is that you’ll need to adjust your content strategy such that you are showing up in real-time search results. Building Facebook fan pages that incorporate “liking” between your Facebook page and website via the new social widgets released is a great way to do that. You may have noticed the “like” button appearing not just all over Facebook, but on your favorite blogs. Think of these as social links that help you rank better in social search. The data is early, but so far it seems that when you run Facebook advertising , your Facebook search rankings (as well as Google rankings) increase, too– likely because of Facebook’s new Post Quality Score and the social signals being sent to Google.

Article by Dennis Yu, Chief Executive Officer, BlitzLocal