Impact of Facebook Graph Search on the SEO Industry

Please enjoy this week’s guest post, courtesy of Robert Reeve of Bright Local.  In this piece, he analyzes the potential impact of the introduction of the Facebook Graph Search on Search as a whole.

The views of contributors are their own, and not necessarily those of Return On Now.


The start of 2013 has been a great time to be involved in the search industry.

January alone saw two products announced that are set to be game changers in the coming months. Google Glass and Facebook Graph Search both made waves among various demographics for a variety of reasons, not all of them positive.

One marked difference, however, was that Google weren’t subjected to anything like the questioning and doubts that Facebook were. Oh, what Mark Zuckerberg might give for the times when Facebook could do almost anything and meet with universal acclaim.

The biggest questions surrounding Graph Search are in reference to the impact it will have on the search industry.

A Competitor at Last

Google have been top of the pile for so long that it is difficult to remember when Yahoo or Ask might have been the popular default search option. Those hoping to see Google knocked from that perch are excited by the potential for Graph Search to be the next big thing.

However, it would take a seismic shift in Facebook’s objectives and business plan for them even to think about getting close to Google in terms of search.

Facebook Graph Search definitely gives Google something to think about. But it is more likely that they will come up with something even better related to Google+, rather than shaking in their boots regarding their market share of search.

What Facebook Graph Search Means for Businesses

Businesses who have been hitting their heads on the proverbial brick wall will be overjoyed at the potential of Graph Search, especially in terms of local search.

If a business is not yet maintaining a Facebook page, the time to do so is now, with full details of what they do and noting their location. Graph Search will be driven by people checking in, liking something, and by what they share.

In short, it represents a huge opportunity for businesses, and one that they should take a lot of time over to ensure they capitalize on it.

Are We Seeing the End of SEO?

We have already stated that Graph Search is not going to have a profound impact on what Google does, but could it herald the beginning of the end for SEO in general?

There are many reasons and indications why this could be the case.

  • Search is already more personal than ever before. Does Graph Search represent the future, where you will see predictions and suggestions rather than a physical search result?
  • The above is being driven by the lines between social media and search becoming more blurred.
  • Several industry experts are already on record as saying that social sharing and user generated content will become the most powerful search ‘currency.’

Those points considered, search professionals are perhaps well advised to be worried.

However, it is important to remember that the biggest trends do not mean that everyone is following them. Search and SEO will remain strong, but for those who spend a lot of time using social media, their results will be increasingly influenced by these platforms, with Graph Search leading the way.


This guest post was written by Robert at Bright Local who specialise in providing local SEO tools.