Web 3.0, Facebook Graph Search, Bing:
What It Means for Brands
Gene Morris

Last month Facebook introduced Graph Search, the latest and most prominent example of Web 3.0. Don’t be fooled by the uncreative name; Web 3.0 is a massive paradigm shift in how users connect with the information on the Internet. Integrating social elements and a semantic web means a more connective and smarter web experience, according to TheNextWeb. Facebook and their partner, Bing, are embracing this new frontier and it’s changing the way brands and businesses will use the web to further business.

Changing the Search Game

There are two elements to Facebook Graph Search that redefine how search engine optimization (SEO) will be done. According to TechCrunch, the first is integrating feedback from friends or a defined user group (geographic or interest based) and the second is their partnership with Bing. Google rankings are no longer the end-all-be-all of getting noticed online. With Facebook Graph Search, a business’s Bing ranking may become as important as its Google ranking. Companies like Reputation.com, who specialize in SEO and online image, will no doubt be a good resource for businesses looking to adapt to the new web-search landscape. SEO is already complicated; adding Facebook and Bing to the mix only makes using industry experts like those at Reputation.com more vital to online success.

Likes Are Paramount

Using Likes as a metric for search results makes them that much more important for brands and more specifically, their locations, states Ragan.com. Unlike other places on the web, when a search is done for a retail store in a specific geographic area, the search ranking of a store is determined by the amount of Likes that specific store has and not by the amount of stores the brand has. The Foot Locker on the west side of Tampa will only come out ahead of Bob’s Shoe Barn if it has more Likes in that region regardless of how popular Foot Locker is nationwide. Individual store pages (as part of a national brand or otherwise) get much more out of their Facebook presence with more Likes.

Semantic Web Searches

It’s not perfect, but Facebook Graph Search attempts to integrate Web 3.0 using metadata tags, according to Baekdal.com. The title of the page, location, and category of a brand or business bring users closer to what they want faster. The idea, which is prevalent in several other Web 3.0 platforms (Wolfram Alpha and new Google search algorithms), is to make a web of data that by virtue of how it’s compiled can be processed directly or indirectly by search engines. The end result is a search experience for users that is more intuitive and yields better hits. Accordingly, brands should focus on accurate metadata and mirror the types of searches being done for their products. Searches that do not match up with Facebook metadata tags will be referred to Bing, which has a broader algorithm and scope than Facebook Graph Search.

Gene Morris is finishing his degree in finance. When not studying, Gene enjoys spending his free time reading and writing about business and tools for financial management.