While there was a lot of speculation about Facebook’s search strategy, the company has confirmed with us that “all Open Graph-enabled web pages will show up in search when a user likes them”. Earlier this week we published about the new Facebook SEO that’s possible via the Open Graph, but now it’s clear that this is the beginning of Facebook’s internet search strategy. The race is now on for publishers to optimize their sites for Facebook’s search engine.
Earlier this week when we covered the TripAdvisor pages that were showing up in Facebook’s search results, we weren’t able to determine how the information was showing up in Facebook as there didn’t appear to be standard Open Graph data. Instead, the company has some improperly formed meta-tags as detailed by Facebook’s URL Linter. While most sites are not being indexed yet, I’d imagine that there will be a rush for publishers to optimise their sites.
Under this system “link baiting” will give rise to “like baiting”, which is how Facebook determines the relevance of information. This has become a full scale attack on Google on all fronts at this point as Facebook has officially entered the internet search market. While many of the details of the Open Graph were initially revealed at f8, it wasn’t clear what Facebook’s complete strategy would be and how big of a threat this would be to Google.
While we suggested that the like had just replaced the link, it has now become abundantly clear what Facebook’s intentions are. Facebook wants to launch the social semantic search engine as we alluded to during f8. Now that the search results are officially showing up as Facebook search results, the war has begun.
We’d expect a lot of developments in this space to emerge over the coming days, weeks, and months. We’ll be following Facebook’s entry into search closely.