The third-party search engine OneRiot has begun organizing query results by the amount of Facebook "Likes" a page has, according to VentureBeat.

OneRiot is a relatively new real-time search engine that collects links from a variety of social sources, ranging from Digg to Twitter. The results now take into account the social signal that Facbook "Likes" send as well. That means if a news story is generating a lot of "Likes," it will top OneRiot’s search results.

"A document-centric approach is being replaced with a people-centric view," OneRiot general manager Tobias Peggs told VentureBeat. "Historically, the big search engines were based on an exhaustive index of all the pages on the web. They then determined the relevance of each page and ranked their search results based on factors like the number of in-bound links to that page."

This new "people-centric" approach could radically alter search engine optimization (SEO) techniques if it takes off with bigger search engines.

Last week at the annual Facebook F8 developer conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new OpenGraph and social plugins that allow OneRiot to implement this change.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.