In a first, Google’s mobile search will now reflect public posts, profiles, etc from Facebook, in the results. Facebook will allow Google’s mobile search on Android to “crawl and index its app” to display the same.
Wall Street Journal, which first reported the strategic partnership, quoted a spokesperson for Alphabet (Google’s new parent holding company) as confirming the announcement. The report adds that the listings will appear as ‘deep links’.
What this means is that when a Facebook public post or public profile information appears on Google’s mobile search, and users click on the link, it will take them back to relevant portion in the app. Another report on The Verge, says that mobile search results will reflect only on an Android smartphone.
At present, if you search for a friend’s name on Google, while the Facebook profile page might be one of the first links, it won’t take you straight to the app. The link instead opens a mobile version of the Facebook site and does not reflect any information about that particular profile. Also the listings are restricted to profile pages only.
However with this new deal, public posts, photos that are public, etc will also be reflected in Google’s mobile search.
Google has recently signed a deal with Twitter to reflect tweets directly in its mobile and app search. The two companies had a similar arrangement that had ended in 2011. For Twitter, this means a better chance at boosting engagement as it ensures that real-time results are reflected in mobile search.
Now with Facebook on board, this could mean a new boost for Google’s mobile search, given that the social media network has over 1.5 billion users. Currently, search within Facebook is powered by its own Graph Search which lets users crawl for their friends posts, photos, etc. For search results which are not on Facebook, and extend to the general web, the social network relies on Microsoft’s Bing search.