Eurydice - 10:31 pm on Apr 25, 2010 (gmt 0)
So, when are FB going to launch their own search engine?
They already have :-) FB's search works in two steps. The second part is Bing: Microsoft powers the search tool that shows results from the web (i.e., not inside FB).
The first part is FB's search. It's different from usual search engines. It searches for names, companies, etc. that are set up in FB.
If you're doing SEO, you must learn how to SEO in FB now. Technical SEO and link-SEO don't work in FB. It's a whole new game.
FB is at 485m users now. It's doubling each year. It could reach a billion by the end of 2010.
1) FB's ad targeting works better. Instead of advertising to 200m people, you address precisely the 14,321 people that match your criteria. You can even advertise directly into a company, i.e., target ONLY sales engineers at HP, SUN, and Oracle. Imagine an ad campaign to only 72 people.
2) FB raids Google for employees. Many senior FB persons are ex-Google: they bring G's experience, knowledge, methods, and client contacts. But Google gets few FB staffers.
3) Google's brand works against it: Google is seen as a search engine. You want social, you go to FB.
Google has indeed been trying to fight. But Buzz was a disaster, Wave went nowhere.
Google's pullout from China was a self-inflicted disaster.
1) By publicly complaining of being hacked, Google admitted their system is hackable. They should have kept their mouth shut. The juggernaut is a paper tiger.
2) Google picked a fight they couldn't win. China is going to back down? Ha. The US State Dept quickly fled the field when they realized the stakes: China OWNS the US debt. If the US annoys China, China just shuts off the money flow. Power flows from the barrel of the banker's pen. The limits of Google's political power became apparent.
3) Google lost $600m in annual revenues from China. They need that money badly.
Google's operating costs are currently $1.84 billion/quarter. They earn $6.77 billion per quarter (Q1/2010). 97% of their revenues comes from advertising. Do the numbers. All of Google's other products (Youtube, gMail, gMaps, etc.) can not even begin to cover the costs of running Google.
As I pointed out last week, Bing's strategy is very clever: they target the 15% of searches that have an ecommerce aspect. Nobody earns money on navigational (25%) or informational search (60%). Users might learn that Bing can deliver better results for flight tickets, consumer electronics, hotel prices, etc. Bing will capture the searches that produce Google's money, and Google will be left with the searches that cost money.
Google must build and release something this year that can reverse the social media trend and produce $2-5b/yr in revenues. And those of you who've worked in large Silicon Valley corps know the likelihood of this.