In recent months I have been reading all kind of material on Facebook, search and SEO. I’m not here to predict the future or to hype Facebook as the new better search. Instead I’d like to analyze the clues we already have.
Others have done great work on Facebook SEO by now.
Moreover I’d like to combine these clues with the statistics suggesting that people trust their friends when it comes to products, services and other recommendations while at the same they by now distrust social media in general.
Facebook search is still in its very early stages so this post is only guess work but to me it seems that Facebook search will become the dominant player sooner or later.
This might sound very vague but let me explain why I think so. Just yesterday Twitter founder Biz Stone announced that they are bigger than Bing and Yahoo together as a search engine. So why won’t Twitter become the next search engine of choice? Well, they’re results suck. I’ve written about that already more then once. Also they have a huge bot problem. You socialize with bots not people in case you autofollow Twitter accounts. It’s really hard to find the real people on Twitter these days as the bots pollute Twitter with their automated retweets.
IMHO, there are far more real people on Facebook than on Twitter. People trust people they know. So Twitter has the same problem with bots as Google has.
Automated content farms scraping their content from all over the Web or fully automated Twitter accounts, both have no trust and real people wouldn’t “like” them or share them on Facebook, at least not using their real names.
Even if spammers start to build Facebook bots that click on like buttons it won’t really mess up Facebook search as you’d still see search results provided by your friends, most probably real people with real names.
Already my search results for SEO on Facebook are almost perfect, after all they match my choices.
I get the companies and resources I like on top, plus those who have “SEO” in their name and the most friends we both share. While I dislike the “on page factors” taken into account here because they can easily get manipulated the first 7 results I got were really great.
Searching for a smartphone, netbook or such I get the results most people recommend on top. You can manipulate that too but in this early stage it seems either not many people do it yet or Facebook has reached critical mass and thus ensures search result quality.
Google has also customizable search results and results by friends etc. Still you get the anonymously linked up resources on top. Twitter shows the most popular ones but only at a given moment, plus you get main stream crap like SEO jokes on top when you search for SEO.
When I search for SEO I want to see the sources I trust on top not Wikipedia or stupid rants by Derek Powazek. Both Google and Twitter rank not the best results on top but those most contentious, for whatever reason. As most people don’t understand SEO they either look it up on Wikipedia or dismiss it. This works as long as there are enough links or tweets by real people. Otherwise both Google and Twitter will offer you automated crap. So it gets from bad to worse.
Am I too optimistic here? Will Facebook search soon deteriorate? Or will it become even better at finding out what truly matters to me and you and thus dominate search in the future?
I mean if Twitter search can become bigger than Bing and Yahoo together it would be no problem for Facebook to become ten times bigger. After all it has roughly 10 times more users and unlike with Twitter most of them are real people.