Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “Facebook Takes on Local Search.”

facebook searchConsumers use the Internet to search for local businesses, events, and topics. Google is a major player in local search, but so is Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp, YellowPages.com, Foursquare, and other sites. Local search now has a new competitor: Facebook Graph Search.

Launched this week, Facebook’s new search product focuses on finding connections between people, photos, places, and interests. But the most interesting aspect of Facebook search is its potential in the local search space.

Recommendations from friends are a powerful inducement to try something new, and Facebook search makes it easier to discover the places and things your friends like.

Facebook has had the pieces for this new product for a while — Places and Pages to house business information, the ability to friend or follow, and the ability to check in and comment. All of these are vital pieces of the puzzle.

But each interaction with a Place or Page was merely dumped into the user’s Facebook News Feed or Timeline. The result was a fleeting stream of information that might get noticed but would probably be overlooked or quickly replaced with something newer. Those are all missed connections, missed chances to discover.

With Facebook search, these connections are discoverable at will….

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »

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