This is a guest post by Nickolay Lamm, an internet marketing specialist at InventHelp.
Facebook is winning the social media wars. But Google isn’t worried.
According to Larry Page, Google+ has over 100 million active users. Facebook, meanwhile, has over 901 million active monthly users. Google+ has a little more than 10% of the reach. And its users spend a mere 3.3 minutes a month on the social network, compared to the average Facebook user’s 8 hours.
Facebook’s almost impenetrable advantage is the fact that everyone you know is already there. What’s the point of going to another party when you’re already at the most popular one–and the other party is 10 times smaller people, has less buzz, and is playing the same music?
The End of the Search Era?
“The last hundred years have been defined by the mass media. In the next hundred years, information won’t be just pushed out to people: It will be shared among the millions of connections people have.” – Mark Zuckerberg
If Zuckerberg has his way, Facebook will evolve to a point where people don’t need to search for information. Instead, answers will come to them via their Facebook friends and social graph. Although this may seem like an assault on Google’s core search business, Google is not worried.
1. Google Is Built to Make Money (For Its Customers)
Google made $37.9 billion in revenue last year, 96% of which came from advertising. Facebook made $4.27 billion, 89% of which came from advertising. According to EMarketer, “Even though Facebook has spent several years wooing marketers, many of them still believe the ads aren’t effective at driving clicks and other actions.”
2. It’s Bigger Than Social Media
Google doesn’t have to worry about Facebook threatening its online advertising revenue in the near future. But what about the next several decades? Google will integrate Google+ deeper into its services (Gmail, Youtube, search, etc.), and will have more than enough shared information to create a “social layer” to your entire online experience. In fact, Google+ results are already changing your search results.
4. Search Engines Are Here To Stay
“I do think that social is a significantly less explored area still than search and it is sort of the frontier of technology in many ways. But that doesn’t mean in any way that search is obsolete or even close to being obsolete. We are all going to be using search many, many times a day every day of our lives, forever.” – Lars Rasmussen, notable software developer
The fact that search engines remain popular despite the booming growth of social networks means that they are fulfilling a need which sites such as Facebook do not. According to Alexa, Google is the most visited site in the world, followed by Facebook and YouTube, which it owns.
4. The Entry Costs To Building A Search Engine? Massive.
The learning curve to integrate a popular social network is not nearly as steep as the learning curve Facebook will have if it tries to create its own search engine. Google has invested billions of dollars into its algorithm and has seen Yahoo! give up after 15 years. According to a top Silicon Valley investor, Google will have a monopoly over search because it costs $5-10 billion a year to run a search engine every year. Google is synonymous with search.
The Facebook vs. Google+ war misses the big picture. Facebook is a social network. Google is a search engine that needs a modestly successful social network to complement the way it organizes the internet.
“Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life,” says its homepage. It has a long way to go before that shared information can pose a serious threat to Google.
What do you think? Are Facebook and Google fighting on the same battlefield?
About the Author: Nickolay Lamm is an internet marketing specialist at InventHelp.