Night of the long search terms
New functions and smear campaigns are emerging faster than the glint of a dagger in the dark. Welcome to the global conflict; it’s Facebook v Google.
Orson Welles-style dramatisations to one side, things are really hotting up between the two world (wide web) leaders. Everyone’s favourite social network recently employed PR agency Burston-Marsteller to place stories about the number one search engine’s privacy infringements. Meanwhile the other team took one big step towards bolstering its image as a community.
There’s no denying Facebook’s future could be a direct threat to Google. More than a few tech soothsayers have speculated on the former’s potential to be a one-stop web shop. And some brands, like Kellogg’s, have already begun rebalancing their online efforts to favour a Page over an internet site, while the integrated web search points to potential growth outside the social media model.
Facebook Studio recently launched, offering marketing and PR agencies the opportunity to showcase their best social media campaigns. With some promotion there’s every chance this could become a first point of call for potential clients researching the best experts in the field. One thing is for sure; this is a gift to the industries that have aided the network’s exponential growth. But this hands across the fibre optics moment is also about keeping ongoing interest in the platform.
Put simply the more engaging content there is on Facebook the more people will begin to see it as something other than a means to stay in touch with their close and long lost loved ones. And if there’s a chance of success to be had from the intimidating prospect of taking on Google then that’s exactly what needs to happen. More so, it’s the biggest obstacle, as the idea of web browsing via a social network actually promises a truly personalised, enriched experience.
Google has begun thinking about this too. +1 is a new function introduced recently that tries to build in a community focused search. Users with a public Google profile can hit a button to recommend specific results, which are then visible to others in the network. So on top of the best sites in terms of hits and SEO, you also see the top rated from users in your private life, and the wider web.
People don’t use Facebook to search the internet very much, and few Google profiles are used to really communicate with others. If these preconceptions are overcome then who knows what could happen. Because on the one hand there’s the overarching internet gatekeeper, capable of providing answers to each and every query, web usage analytics and so much more; a veritable ivory tower.
But then there’s one of the world’s most popular websites; increasingly the choice method of communication and an entity fast becoming monolithic- so is that an equal match? Understanding the situation is invaluable, though right now predicting the victor impossible. One thing is for sure though- if online dominance means using a few less passwords most people will welcome it with open arms.