Social Media Magazine

An Introduction to Facebook’s New Graph Search

Posted on the 16 January 2013 by Cendrinemedia @cendrinemedia
&appId; Facebook Graph Search

Photo credit: Facebook

  • What is Facebook Graph Search?
  • Examples of queries
  • Further reading

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg introduced Graph Search. As the whole social media world was buzzing with the news, I decided to wait until everything had calmed down a bit to conduct some research and see what people had to say about it.

In this article, I will give you a general idea of what Graph Search is, with links to articles that you might be interested in checking out.

Something very different from regular (web) search:

Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: “hip hop”) and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: “my friends in New York who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook. We believe they have very different uses.

(Source: Facebook Newsroom)

Graph Search helps you find relevant information (people, photos, places, and interests) more easily and conveniently within Facebook. It follows your current privacy settings, which means that:

  • You can only search for what  has been shared with you
  • People will only be able to access your public content and the content that you have shared with them

Examples of queries

  • “friends who live in my city”
  • “software engineers who live in San Francisco and like skiing”
  • “photos of my friends before 1999″
  • “restaurants in San Francisco”
  • “cities visited by my family”
  • “languages my friends speak”
  • “books read by CEOs”
Facebook Graph Search

Photo credit: Facebook

If you cannot find what you are looking for, Bing will take over.

Now when you do a web search on Facebook, the new search results page features a two-column layout with Bing-powered web results appearing on the left-hand side overlaid with social information from Facebook including how many people like a given result. On the right hand side, you will see content from Facebook Pages and apps that are related to your search.

(Source: Bing Search Blog)

If you have a Facebook Fan Page, make sure your page is complete and up to date:

  • The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.

  • If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.

  • Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.

(Source: Facebook Studio)

Graph Search is in beta right now and only available in English and to a limited number of users. Interested in trying it? Sign up and you will be put on the waiting list.

Further reading

  • Facebook Graph Search a useful resource for journalists by Anthony Carranza (
  • Will The Facebook Graph Search Change Social and Search? by Lisa Buben (Inspire to Thrive)
  • What Local Search Looks Like in Facebook’s New Graph Search by Matt McGee (Small Business Search Marketing)
  • How The New Facebook Search Is Different & Unique From Google Search by Danny Sullivan (Search Engine Land)

What are your thoughts on Facebook Graph Search? Could it be a Google killer?

Thank you for sharing!

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