Facebook today announced it is moving onto Google’s turf by offering Search capabilities to Facebook users.
However this will be a different kind of Search. Rather than typing in a search term and receiving a list of links to relevant results, Facebook will answer queries with an answer. The answer will be based on what others in your social network do.
For example, imagine you are looking for a dentist. You could go to Google and search for a dentist in your area and then maybe find some online reviews of that dentist. Or you could go to Facebook and search for “dentist my friends use”. Facebook, theoretically, will identify a dentist near you that is used and preferred by people you know.
This type of social search more closely emulates the real life experience of word of mouth. Most local business owners will tell you that word of mouth is their most important source of new business.
So this move by Facebook into Search could, in time, be very important for local business owners. If you haven’t already it is time to claim your Facebook business page. Building up a solid reputation on Facebook could soon be just as important as your rankings on Google.