After giving Facebook Graph Search a test ride, we think it’s brilliant. While many of the options are very personalized, relating to your likes, friends, and photos, there’s still a lot to be said about the categorization which makes you wonder why Google never implemented anything like it. Even if Google was not compiling personal data, which we all know they have the capability to do by collecting data through Google Chrome, Google Plus and Gmail content, the sub-categories just make so much sense. Google is short on room for front page positions in search and has been pushing more results towards local, even when it doesn’t make sense. Sub-categories seem like a better solution and would offer more room, so to speak, without confining results in local areas.
Google’s categories have expanded somewhat over the years. They’ve added tabs for blogs, news, recipes, etc. But, in the process, they’ve forced webmasters to use new formats. When they first launched recipes, the results were very slim and they only had a few different big websites onboard, such as AllRecipes.com.
All the recipe websites had to play catch up to stay in the game. In fact, every time Google comes up with a new feature, everyone has to do an overhaul to stay in the game and people comply because they rely heavily on the traffic sent by Google.
The Facebook Lesson
Let people choose what they want to see. Instead of trying to force local results down people’s throats when a local result doesn’t fit what the user wants or making the searcher come across Wikipedia every time they want to learn how to do something, let people choose the types of results they’d like to see! Facebook, all thanks to Facebook Graph Search, gives you the option of choosing results on Facebook, results locally, popular results, results preferred by your contacts, etc. It would be a win-win situation for Google, for businesses and for searchers if Google created additional categories to allow the searcher to choose the type of result the user wants to see.
Businesses would applaud their ability to have an equal opportunity of being found as the big brand with stores in every town and state in the country. The little business guy who can’t get enough business in his own town because of the big brand would still find an opportunity to be found in search outside his region.
The increasing difficulty of ranking globally has closed the doors on a website’s ability to gain national reach. The internet offered amazing opportunities for businesses in its original form and now we are reverting back to being confined to our own neighborhoods. Rather than undo the good the internet has offered businesses and searchers, why not implement a more customized approach to presenting the search results?
Some changes are for the better; we are all for accountability online to reduce fraud, libel, scams, and spammers, but we believe the age of technology should continue to be one that improves our lives rather than limits it.