It’s coming: Facebook search. And while all other search engines are essentially the same, Facebook has the opportunity to do something new with all of those web queries. While Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others fight to properly rank pages for the best and most targeted search results, Facebook has the chance to factor in other social methods for getting you the best information on the Web. In fact, Search Engine Journal has suggested several ranking methods that will revolutionize the world of online searching and Facebook SEO forever.
Friend and interest-based searches. When you run a search on any traditional search engine, you’ll get well-vetted search results. However, what if you could get results that were pulled from not only your search terms, but from information that lined up with your personal interests as well? Armed with information about your friends and your interests (thanks to your profile), Facebook SEO could target your results based on the things you usually search for, your interests, and even what your friends or people like you found while crawling the Web, saving you serious time.
Geographic area. Sick of seeing results for restaurants that aren’t even close to you? Facebook Search could have the capability to only suggest search results that are in your geographic area, if you choose. It may also be able to take location and regional factors into consideration, such as running a search on weather-specific clothes in your city or finding a restaurant less than five miles from your current location.
Popularity and engagement. “Liking” something has taken on a whole new meaning, thanks to Facebook. But now your likes could mean a whole lot more than giving a thumbs up to your friend’s status message. Facebook search will probably take the popularity and shareability of a site into consideration when ranking pages. Those with plenty of action will probably pop up first. Comments, check-ins, likes, and shared content will probably cause a page or site to rank higher on Facebook.
Influence. Influencers will most likely play a part in Facebook’s ranking algorithms. If a person with 100,000 fans shares a piece of content on his page and a person with 40 fans shares another piece, the content shared by the heavier influencer will likely be ranked higher when you see search results.
What does it mean? If you’re an SEO guru or site owner, you’ll need to get on board with Facebook’s ranking factors. Since we don’t know for sure what the rankings will be, the time to start creating quality, shareable, and optimized content is now. Link bait sites and those with straight text content probably won’t cut it in the brave new world of Facebook search.