I’ve heard it said that a group of academic researchers and historians compiled some startling information about peace in history.
According to these scholars, over the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history.
Some others have calculated that during this period there have been 14,351 wars both large and small, in which 3.64 billion people have been killed.
They estimate that the value of the property destroyed is equal to a golden belt around the world 97.2 miles wide and 33 feet thick.
The Internet Battles
The history of the Internet seems to be the same. From its earliest days there have been battles and wars in an attempt to gain control.
These days the battle seems to be between Google and Facebook.
It all began when Facebook began to grow to a level where Google began to realize its search engine “spiders” were being blocked access to millions of users and their content. (That number is 1 billion users as of today.)
Google’s response was to create Google+, a direct competitor to Facebook, which now has 400 million users.
Well, it looks like Facebook has countered with a little tool called “Graph Search.”
My Early Preview of Graph Search
I signed up to be one of Graph Search’s early beta testers when Facebook opened it up for early sign-ups a couple weeks ago.
I was given early access to it last week and today I want to show you some basics of how it works, how it could impact your business and the main stumbling block it could face.
Your Sneak Peek at Facebook’s Graph Search
This is what Graph Search looks like…
As you can see above the new Graph Search is placed along the top of the page and represented as a blue bar.
When you click in the top area it will drop down with multiple categories to choose from such as:
- My friends
- Photos of my friends
- Restaurants nearby
- Games my friends play
- Music my friends like
- And finally Photos I have liked.
It is a tool that can help you find current friends who like the same things you do.
You can type something like “my friends who like Downton Abbey” or “my friends who like San Francisco 49ers” and you’ll be given a list of all your friends who like those things.
You can also easily see photos from your friends, games they play and music they like. It’s a fun way to be able to connect with your friends around common interests.
But there’s more to Graph Search, then just a tool to discover what your friends like…
If you just type in “Downton Abbey”, you’ll see a listing of results for those words. As you see in the image above, the first result listed is the official fan page of the show.
I’ll explain what that means to you as a business, but you need to see something else important.
Let me use another example to show you what it is…
If you type in “San Francisco 49ers”, you’ll see a listing of results for those words (just like you did in the above example). But now I want you to notice the results listed at the bottom.
That isn’t a listing to anywhere on Facebook. That’s an Internet search listing.
Watch what happens if you click on that result at the bottom…
Do you notice what that says in the top right corner (highlighted in red)? It says, “powered by Bing.”
That means that Facebook’s Graph Search is designed to give you results that are not just from Facebook pages but also from anywhere online.
These last two features have some major ramifications for business owners.
What Graph Search Means to Business Owners
1. It means that more than ever before you’ll want to have a fan page on Facebook.
Why? Because you want your page to show up in top results in Graph Search.
2. You’ll need to get your customers to “like” your page.
Why? Because you want to have the best chance possible of your business showing up when someone types, “My friends who like (your category of business).”
3. You’ll need to pay more attention to your business’ search engine listing on Bing.com.
Why? Because now that Facebook is pointing their search engine results to Bing, that means your business needs to appear there in their top listings.
If your business does appear in Bing’s top listings, it could bring you some new traffic.
If it doesn’t, you could lose some valuable future traffic as Graph Search gains in popularity.
The Possible Stumbling Block Graph Search Faces
The main problem for Facebook could be that people are creatures of habit. Most of us are used to using Google when we’re looking for something.
If Graph Search catches on, then this could be a big victory for Facebook (and Bing) in the battle for Internet supremacy.
If it doesn’t catch on, then it could be a big waste of time and effort for them. Just like Google Wave ended up being a waste of time for Google.
Either way, the best bet for you for now is to focus on your Facebook fan page and your Bing listing.
What do you think about Graph Search?
Are you excited to see its unveiling?
Do you plan on using it?
Do you think it will succeed and have a big impact?
Post your comments below.