Since Facebook announced they were launching their New Graph Search feature last week, many Social Media and SEO Experts have been clamoring to be the first to tell everyone the best way to optimize your website in order to take advantage of this new feature.
First off, Graph Search is simply a new way to Search for content which is already on Facebook. Items which have been Liked, Shared, or added by users themselves. So the content is already there and can be searched for, but Facebook is now optimizing this search to give you relevant results for things you might not have thought about using Facebook for previously.
Things like finding a good restaurant which has been recommended by Friends. A Movie, Music, Videos, a Website, etc. All of this can be searched for now, but in the coming weeks and months, you will be able to get even more from your Facebook searches than ever before. Take a look at the Facebook Graph Search page.
As a website owner, or even more importantly in this case, as a WordPress blog owner is it important to ensure all the content which is shared from your blog Socially is shared the exact way you want it to be shared. You also want to be able to make sure that when your content is shared, it is shared showing potential visitors and customers exactly what you want them to see.
Every time we share or “Like” something using Facebook, the link from the blog URL in which they clicked is used. Then, if you are NOT using Open Graph settings on your Blog, Facebook’s Open Graph API will simply use your URL’s Meta Tags or default title and description and the first image it finds on your blog’s page to populate the listing which has been shared. This isn’t always the best thing for you or your blog and it most certainly leaves out a ton of content which can also be added to the mix. There is so much more to Open Graph than a link to your blog, a picture, and some descriptive text and by not using this to the fullest extent you are losing out on a potential avalanche of Traffic from Facebook and Google (since Google now reads the Open Graph API).
This all was important for your Social SEO already, but now with Graph Search, users on Facebook will get Search results they wouldn’t have seen before. The subject of a Search can have a tremendous impact on what content of your’s is shown or NOT shown.
The example above is a normal shared link. In that shared link is basic Open Graph information that we all are used to seeing. The link back to the site with Title text, our base description, and our Open Graph targeted image.
The problem is the Facebook Open Graph API collects a lot more information than this and it can all be collected into the same Socially Shared link we have shown above. Your Open Graph listing (which also contributes to your Facebook EdgeRank) can contain multiple entries of highly targeted content. Now, when a Facebook User uses at Graph Search, they will be able to find the Open Graph content which you have attached to Social Shares just like the one above.
The problem with this is 95% of websites DO NOT optimize for Open Graph right now and your sites very well could be included in that statistic. The second problem is, most site owners do not understand the depth of what this provides and how to maximize it and optimize for it. Most people think they simply need to attach their Facebook Admin Profile to their site and then add a default photo and description. Wrong.
For WordPress blog owners, when optimizing for Open Graph you need to remember that each and every blog post and page you create can be socially shared. Telling Facebook how and what needs to be indexed can determine what is used in Graph Search and other Facebook searches It is up to you to determine which posts and pages can simply use a default setting and which ones need a lot of time and work.
Now this can all be done manually via the og: meta tags for Open Graph, but in WordPress we have plugins which make this a whole lot simpler.
Our SEO Plugin of choice is the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. Yoast is not only on top of his game when it comes to code, his SEO expertise is legendary and it shows in the WordPress SEO Plugin. That being said, even Yoast’s plugin is not fully optimized for Facebook Open Graph. The plugin does have Admin profile integration for your blog and it also has a Social Tab in its Post/ Page settings Meta Box (as shown below) which allows you to optimize your Description for on each individual Page and Post. The problem is the WordPress SEO Plugin still uses the base Meta Title for your page and you are also left either using a default image which can be set in the WordPress SEO base settings or you are left to allowing Facebook to pull the first image it finds on your blog (as we discussed before).
This is all very limited and covers the simple basics of the Open Graph API.
To truly optimize your blog for Open Graph and SEO/ Social SEO at the same time, you simply need to add the WP Social SEO Booster Plugin. With the WP Social SEO Booster you have a complete set of Social Media SEO integrations and optimizations, but one of the most important features is its ability to fully optimize your WordPress Blog for Facebook’s Open Graph technology.
To make things even better, the WP Social SEO Booster has been built to integrate with both the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast and the All in One SEO Plugin. This integration (as seen in the graphic below with the WordPress SEO Plugin), allows the SEO Booster to over ride some of these other Plugins settings in order to provide a true optimization versus duplicating tags and efforts of the 2 plugins. The SEO Booster removes the Social Tab from the Page/ Post Editor Meta Box in WordPress SEO and then allows you as the Blog Owner to fully optimize each and every Page and Post on your site with the full compliment of Open Graph settings.
With the SEO Booster you can fully customize the Open Graph Title, Description, use custom images, select the Type/ Category, completely optimize and send all your Video and Audio from each page to Facebook, and you can select a separate Facebook APP and/ or Facebook Admins (multiple) for each and every Post/ page you create.
Take a look:
With all of these options, you can fully optimize your WordPress Blog for Facebook Graph Search and all the possible ways people will search for content on Facebook using this new tool. If you don’t optimize for it you will be losing countless visitors to your competition.
Facebook Open Graph isn’t the only Social SEO feature the WP Social SEO Booster Plugin optimizes your blog for, but it might be one of the most important in the coming months and year.