Facebook Search Fail

No wonder Facebook wants so much of our information to be accessible to external search engines. Their internal search is pitiful.

This weekend I was in south Georgia for our annual family reunion. It was there that I truly appreciated the social media mindshare that Facebook has acquired. In the Everett Rogers theory of diffusion framework, Facebook must be in the late majority stage.

I say this because it seemed like everyone in my first-cousin circle who has a computer has a Facebook account. Even my dad’s (82) oldest brother’s widow has a Facebook account! So today I set about “friending” members of my family. I quickly ran into a roadblock trying to use the Facebook search.

I looked at my cousin’s friends to find his wife, then tried to add her as a friend using the popup that you get when you view friends of friends. It refused to work, even after three tries. (So we have a double fail.)  I launched a Facebook search, falsely confident that I knew how to find her because she uses her middle initial.

Failed Facebook Search

Failed Facebook Search

But Facebook says that there is no one by that name.

So I turned to Google using site:facebook.com in the string. First hit a success. Ditto with Bing.

Successful Facebook Search Via Google

Successful Facebook Search Via Google

Successful Facebook Search Via Bing

Successful Facebook Search Via Bing

I don’t know what this means, except that Google and Bing have much better search engines than Facebook. It just seems wrong to me when an external tool does a better job of finding internal data than an internal tool, especially when this search is not dependent upon “link judgment”.

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