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Facebook Services – Are Facebook taking on Yell.com or Yelp? [video]

What is Facebook Services?

This is a brand new (and quite exciting feature) for local businesses. Simply visit www.facebook.com/services 
www.facebook.com/services and search for any local business and you will see a list of featured businesses appear in the search results.

How Facebook services work?

Ratings?

My initial thoughts were that this new system would work via the volume of ratings, however this is not the case. You will see in the video that search results for restaurants are not in “ratings” order. I personally think that this is a good idea, as it is too easy to have “fake” ratings on your page.

Location?

My 2nd thought was that it must work in a similar way to which Google search results come up, which is via location. For example, those closest to the town / city centre that you have searched on will appear first. This is also not the case, which is a good thing as it will give the villages and those on the outskirts / suburbs a fighting chance.

So how does the algorithm work?

After lots of tests, we found that search criteria is different for everyone. We came to the conclusion that the algorithm must include your friends ratings and reviews. For example, if lots of my friends have rated a particular restaurant as a 4 or 5 star, then these will appear top in the rankings.

Brilliant! So this works in a similar way to Foursquare. Should Foursquare be worried? Um… that's for another blog.

What happens next?

If you are a local business then you instantly need to take action.

1. Check your main category
2. Add up to three categories for maximum exposure

The above video talks through the steps on how to achieve this.

Have you noticed any algorithm patterns for this particular Facebook feature? I would love to hear your comments.

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