The Potential of Open Graph Search Lies in Specialist Sector Engines, says Punch Communications

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Search engine results based on Facebook's open graph model, meaning the number of 'likes' is a key factor in determining rankings, will be best suited for sector-specific searches, according to SEO, social media and digital PR company, Punch Communications.

This type of search naturally lends itself to those specific sectors where customers seek recommendations. Success for open graph could lie in partnerships and integration with branded sites or it could add an extra layer of opinion to current review sites. Also likely, new search engine sites will gradually start to appear, which focus on exclusive consumer markets.

Search engine results based on Facebook's open graph model, meaning the number of 'likes' is a key factor in determining rankings, will be best suited for sector-specific searches, according to SEO, social media and digital PR company, Punch Communications.    

In a survey conducted by Punch Communications, just 13.6 per cent of people said they would use this new breed of search more than Google and only 31.3 per cent said they have ever clicked a 'like' button on a webpage external to Facebook. When invited to comment on the idea of open graph search, responses ranged from 'Would open the flood gates to more abuse' to 'Would be good for using sites that are 'liked' rather than going for sites that are just well known' and 'Not very useful'.

However many people were open to the possibilities and in particular they recognised the model could be more useful in certain circumstances; 'I think it would work better for some searches than others', 'It would be good to get some results based on popular opinion' and , 'I see that other recommendation systems work well, such as Amazon or Genius'.

US shopping engine, TheFind, which unveiled its integration with Facebook's open graph last week is one of the first major sites to provide its users with recommendations from 'likes' exclusively or alongside its standard results. Consumers looking for recommendations on everyday goods, entertainment or large purchases could find open graph search extremely helpful, particularly when opinions are offered from overseas for searches in the tourism and travel markets. The emergence of many specialised, sector specific search engines that generate results based on a worldwide network of popularity could be just around the corner.

Pete Goold, Managing Director of Punch Communications an integrated PR, search and social media agency, said: "This type of search naturally lends itself to those specific sectors where customers seek recommendations. Success for open graph could lie in partnerships and integration with branded sites or it could add an extra layer of opinion to current review sites. Also likely, new search engine sites will gradually start to appear, which focus on exclusive consumer markets."

To find out how specialist team of social media, SEO and PR consultants can transform your business, visit punchcomms.com.

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