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Is Facebook the Death of Google?

7:03 pm on Jun 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So I was reading an article called "Why I left Google" by James Whittaker, and rather enjoyed how the ex-employee described the post-Panda Google as a rebellious child unhinged of its "do no evil" mantra, and how its now out to seek revenge upon Facebook.

How cool is that? Facebook, turned alter-boy Google into Lex Luther!

Now every webmaster hurt by Panda or Penguin would jump the Adsense ship the moment something came along with something better. (Lucky for Google there isn't anything.) But then there's the obvious thing, Facebook's retaliation for Google+, of them adding search to Facebook.

Facebook is already more popular than Google. Would a Facebook/Bing combined (or standalone Facebook) platform bring the death of Google?

Could they possibly survive?

I'm not sure they could. Is this a digital frontier war?

What side are you on? I'm still hanging on to team Google- but barely!

cite: Why I left Google [blogs.msdn.com]

[edited by: tedster at 7:33 pm (utc) on Jun 9, 2012]

7:55 pm on June 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Facebook is already more popular than Google.

? ..I doubt that very much ( if by popular you mean has more visitors ? ) Facebook claim over 900 million members, but very many of them are "fake accounts", built for PR by companies to "like" their own products..very many more are "unused" ( as are mine , set up only to protect my company names or brands from being "squatted" and never used again )..and many are unused as many leave facebook due to it's appalling record on privacy..

The true facebook numbers are probably between half and 3 quarters of the number Mark claims..a lot like the supposed value of his shares prior to the IPO..

Google has far far more than 900 million searches performed daily ..by far far more than 900 million people ..

Now every webmaster hurt by Panda or Penguin would jump the Adsense ship the moment something came along with something better

That is very probably true..but it would have to be an offering to publishers "worldwide"..and Yahoo pulled out of that one..and MS have never offered it..nor would facebook ..

Would a Facebook/Bing combined (or standalone Facebook) platform bring the death of Google?

No..for the simple reason that if any use of Bing depended on using facebook them the tens and possibly hundreds of millions like myself who will never use facebook ( nor G+ ) then we would all choose using Google ( unless it demands a G+ account to use search one day ) or another non privacy invasive search engine..

Would anyone really want their "friends" on Facebook to know what they searched for on Bing ? ..and if Mark said that would not be the default ""your friends ( real names ) also searched" ..how could we trust him on past performance ..

Simple ..we could not..

No use looking for a "saviour" from Google's defacto monopoly in the direction of Bing and Facebook..
9:37 pm on June 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Let's see:

Google has an annual revenue of 38 Billion
Facebook 3.7 Billion

Last year I spent on Google Adwords: 36K
Facebook Ads: 0

I'd say Facebook has still a long long way to go...
10:54 pm on June 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, but...

I was just trying to outline this conundrum to a less savvy colleauge the other day. I've been swimming in this pool for many a long year and, like many here, have a perspective, and a somewhat jaded view, that your average user doesn't.

What G serves up (disregarding the content and algo) hasn't really changed since it first came online. It's old-fashioned 'SERPS', like we used to go and get from Altavista, Hotbot, Lycos and those other has-beens.

Facebook serves up something completely different, and to the average web user it is much more engaging. In a way it's a bit like the old concept of free e-mail, but mostly without the spam, which makes it less bad for the users. With some ajax thrown in it's pushed rather than pulled, and smart threading makes it feel interactive too. There's no rocket science here - they're just doing stuff to keep the users content and so far it's working out ok. (Disregard the share price, that's a side show).

We webmasters tend to be highly aware of the politics and machanisms of the web, but the to the average user such concerns are irrelevant - most of them just want to communicate. They think pandas and penguins can be seen in zoos, Florida is in America, etc. Perhaps that's unfortunate, but it's how it is.

Meanwhile a 'Battle of the Titans' is taking place behind the scenes. The dumb users (who are totally unaware of this) are gradually upgrading their smartphones and acquiring tablets when their ageing laptops croak, and mobile sims are giving them access to the internet anywhere rather than just at home, so the battlefield is mobile.

Unfortunately for Google, their thing called 'Plus' is something that nearly all of these dumb users haven't heard of (I've asked around of the 'unsavvy' and this is my unscientific finding). Almost all of them have a facebook login, added their friends a while back, and aren't actively seeking an alternative right now. Why should they?

Where is this going from here... who knows? I'm really not surprised that G has taken the gloves off. It's time to get serious. Trying to strong-arm the dumb users into using G+ won't work unless it's done in a really smart way, and that's a big challenge. The real issue for FB is how to integrate a compelling web search tool and get their users using and liking it - not just in the 'click a button and "Like!"' sense, but in the 'really appreciate and find it usable ongoing' sense. Bing is not that. They would be better off developing their own (or buying something in) if doing so is to be a realistic possibility. The web desparately needs a viable alternative or it's going to end up like Walmart, minus the competition.
12:13 am on June 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I personally think 38 billion is a fairly easy thing to shrink, when you bypass the entire middle-man in getting to facebook. If facebook adds search, and it's added into browsers, and homepages- why even go to Google?

No ad revenue = no 38 billion.

Apple is about to remove Google Maps from their platforms, and Bing is growing on Google everyday.

I personally have seen nothing of Google since Panda that has impressed me. Last thing I liked was Chrome's Browser. Panda while a successful algorithmic change, was poorly communicated to webmasters, and has pitted webmasters who helped build the giant into their enemy. I remember when Microsoft was the enemy of geeks, now for (some of) the web-savvy, it's Google. That drastic change in perception, filters into the public, and Google should have been more careful to preserve this relationship. In literature we would call this hubris. I would have suspected all the doctorate engineers over at Google to be smart enough, not to consider themselves immune from their own self-destruction.

Google+, is a nice product, but unfortunately no one likes it, and I resent the heck out Google for forcing webmasters into using rich snippets to rank by linking to Google+.
11:42 am on June 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Unless Facebook manages to buy Bing I do not see Facebook adding search anytime soon. And when you take into account on how quickly Myspace went from 300 Million users back to 50 Million and how fast other social websitesl like Pinterest are growing I'd say Facebooks position is more volatile than Googles.
12:05 pm on June 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Maybe FB is the death of Google only if Google is willing to waste all its money and attention trying to mimick "the social network". Google+ is a pretty big mess (of course, so is FB) and should have been marketed for what it really is - a marketing tool. I believe Google should have pushed it as more of a professional network, or an elitists social communication platform. Instead they tag it as "real life sharing"? They have presented it only as an alternative to FB and it is viewed by most as nothing more than Google's copy of FB. So why bother with it? Oh yeah, bc you have to.

But, imo, FB is way more vulnerable than Google. I can see them maybe possibly expanding but there's a lot of money there, so who knows. I'm still surprised they haven't made themselves into the portal to the internet, and I can't believe they're a publicly-traded company.
1:25 pm on June 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Facebook will go under long before Google. Google has users wanting to find things and click ads; Facebook has their users content where they are, never clicking ads and eating up bandwidth.
2:07 pm on June 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I would agree, but the gap just doesn't look that wide. The statistics I've found show Google's ad revenue around 12.0 bil, and if you combine Facebook 5.0, Bing 1.7, and Yahoo 1.0- you get a number around 7.7 billion dollars.

Considering Bing has a huge room to grow (Only 15.3% of the market), if I was a financial strategist for these companies, you better believe I'd be joining forces.

Now I don't know if Facebook would want to do it "Lone Ranger" or not, but clearly cutting into Google's profits sees like a reasonable and prudent business strategy.

I mean lets be honest, the money is, where the people are.

If that wasn't true, Google wouldn't have ever done Google+. Perhaps they know the endgame already, and are desperately fearing Facebook's emergence as a search provider?
8:35 pm on June 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It will be an interesting battle thats for sure
9:50 pm on June 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Interesting .. I see Google+ link in some Serps now
12:02 pm on July 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Would a Facebook/Bing combined (or standalone Facebook) platform bring the death of Google?

- I agree with Leosghost. Moreover, Google has it's own reputation for it's major products. Facebook and Bing (combined) or (standalone Facebook) may beat other Google products, but Google search will never be affected, at least.