Facebook – The Semantic Search Engine

Bertrand Tay

The theory of a semantic search engine might be both irrelevant and unheard of to the general public. But with the leader in social networking taking incremental steps to introduce their version of a semantic search engine, all that could be about to change.

Wikipedia defines semantic search as a means ” to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results.”

There have been many pretenders to the semantics search engine crown in recent years, so to get a better idea on how current semantic search engines work, try using Hakia, Cognition or SenseBot.

The Open Graph

Facebook is taking a very different approach compared to the aforementioned semantic search engines. Instead, it is leveraging on its own massive social network of over 200 active million members on any given day. During the F8 conference in April, Mark Zuckerberg introduced the world to the Facebook Open Graph to the world. This picture summarises what the Open Graph is.


If you are still uncertain what Open Graph is, my colleague Eunice covered it in detail here: /blog/social-media-marketing/facebook-singapore/

For Facebook, the Open Graph is , essentially, a critical building block to their vision of a social semantic search engine, and its success hinges heavily on whether web developers, brands and users will embrace it.

How The Facebook Social Semantic Search Engine Will Work

You will need a web developer with the know-how to customise your page to incorporate the Open Graph and also, for facebook to read the information.

An Open Graph-enabled web page will show up in Facebook search when a user likes them.  So, let’s use the below illustration as an example. fluster wrote a review via his facebook account for TripAdvisor and likes Hilton Singapore.


This page will now show up on a facebook search result for “Hilton Singapore” with the source and number of likes received as seen below.


Huge Potential

There is huge potential in such a search experience, especially for purchasing products or services, and it will be very interesting to see all this evolves in the near future.

In the meantime, why not get a head-start on your competitors and optimise your website like what Tripadvisor has done to reap the benefits of free exposure? Contact clickTRUE now for more information.

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