I got tagged in a comment on Facebook this morning and when I went to see what it was (a photo of an adorable Pug named Chewy at the local shelter, someone knows my propensity towards puggies), and as I opened my page, I was greeted with this message, “Good news! You’re off the waiting list and ready to start using Graph Search.”


Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 10.03.20 AM

So I’ve been invited to the party. The Facebook Graph Search party that is. That green button was taunting me to walk into the new normal of the Facebook world.

My heart skipped a beat like getting a surprise gift from a friend. What great wonders would be in store? Or would it just be, “meh.”

Of course I clicked it.

And the tour launched. I have to say I was impressed that it pulled a significant interest of mine to demonstrate the features of Facebook Graph Search. I don’t know what I expected, definitely nothing personalized. I guess I expected a “how to” auto-play tutorial for the masses. Instead, I was presented with this:

LSU facebook graph search

I like that, “anything I’m into.” Yeah, I’m into LSU. I’ll bite. So I took another step. Okay, I admit, I liked the interactivity of it. And much like Google, it auto-populated suggested searches.

facebook graph search demo

And poof, it gave me a list of all my Facebook friends that went to LSU.

how to facebook search

Fab. But that’s kids play. If Facebook wants me to stay on Facebook as my portal to all things internet, it had better show me some more “skillz.”

Demo over, time to do some real testing.

facebook graph search

I think I will “Search Now,” thank you very much. Let’s see what this bad boy can do.

I typed in “photos, Molly,” and from the list of options, chose “photos by Molly Morgan Johnson of me.”

And viola:

facebook graph search results

Nice. It gave me a whole page of photos that my friend had posted of me in case I needed to untag any of them.

How about something a little more tricky, shall we? Searched for photos a friend has posted about food.

Here’s what I got:

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Sadly, the results should be in the thousands (this friend loves food, probably every 4th photos he posts has food in it somewhere) but I give Facebook credit for finding a 3+ year old photo that must have the world “food” tagged in the comments. Note to self: start commenting on photos for search capabilities in future.

Even thoughI was less than impressed with these results, it did have a suggestion box that provided a consolation search:

graph search suggestions

It wasn’t helpful, but okay, so let’s try a more normal search that I might try on Google and compare results.

Facebook results (sorry, I know it’s difficult to read):

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And Google’s results (while logged in):

google search comparison to facebook graph search

Similar, but clearly the algorithms are different because my friend Valerie didn’t show up on Facebook’s search result, but she did on Google’s. Which complicates SEO strategies now. Normally we use Google page rank as the standard for all things search related. We may have to adopt yet another strategy as we optimize content for clients.

Wheels spinning, I tried something a little trickier. I searched for links that my colleague has made for social media topics.

Now I started to get a little excited. Here’s where — in my opinion — Facebook’s graph search shines. And may just keep me within their comfortable confines a bit longer…

I searched for “social media links by scott baradell” expecting to be presented with the links he’s posted to Facebook about all things social media. But what I got was… a list of links where he’s actively talking about social media on the web.

friend links from facebook search

Hmm. Top of the list, Quora. I’m not active on Quora but apparently my colleague Scott is. Know what I did next? I created a Quora account.

Now that I can check off, “friendly competitive intelligence” from my to-do list for today, I’ve become much more interested in Facebook Graph Search and it’s many possibilities. Although slightly annoyed that the “home” button for Facebook is now on the opposite side of the screen. Definitely a first-world problem I’ll have to adjust to.

Do you have Facebook’s Graph Search and how are you using it for your business? Tell me in the comments below.