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Optimizing for Graph Search

There has been a lot of talk about how getting 'likes' on Facebook doesn't really mean anything and marketers who have been diverting funds to building a presence for their brand on Facebook have faced the flak for not showing any returns on the investment.

With the introduction of Graph Search, Facebook appears to be trying to provide some justification to those investments.

Graph Search allows you to search for places, photos, people, brands, basically anything, and throws up results in the order of number of likes it has received from people on your social graph. I wanted to put an example pic here, but my request to try the Graph Search Beta has not been approved yet. So, I'm putting up the only thing I'm allowed to search for.

Instead of 'People who live in my city', you can search for places, brands and so on.

Assuming this takes off, what does this mean for marketers?

SEO optimization gets that much harder.

Right now, brands can pay search engines money, design their site according to optimize certain metrics that Google and others use to sort search results, and be shown among the top search results. But Graph Search will mean that they will have to get more 'likes' for their pages in order to show up among the top search results. The emphasis must change to delighting the prospect customer on Facebook.

If a brand wants to target a specific demographic, they now have to understand who the friends of that demographic are and get them to like their page as well! Talk about round-about ways to get things done.

If Graph Search does become popular, marketers are in for a re-think in their social media marketing strategy.

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