If reports are true, the competition between Facebook and Google for social network dominance could get much more intense. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek article, “About two dozen Facebook engineers, led by a former Google engineer named Lars Rasmussen, are working on an improved search engine …” that could rival Google for social search superiority.
And while it’s unlikely Google will lose algorithmic supremacy to Facebook, this could still have huge implications for search.
The last 14 months have been big for search already. We’ve seen Google unleash its Panda on low-quality websites. We’ve also seen the release and integration of Google+ into Google’s standard search algorithm now known as Search, Plus Your World. And even though Google+ was highly touted when it first came out, it has been largely seen as a social ghost town despite the company’s claim of 100 million users. Search, Plus Your World has been also been greeted with scrutiny. According to some experts, including people here at TM, it makes Google search too convoluted and doesn’t offer truly accurate search results.
Can Facebook succeed in social search where Google has floundered?
Only time will tell, but according to the Mashable video below, Facebook’s possible new search engine could offer users accurate social search. Let’s think about what Facebook does well for a minute. Not only is it the most popular social network in history, but it’s literally everywhere on the Web. Nearly every website I go to has the option to log into Facebook to comment or like an article right on the site itself. The social networking behemoth would be able to compile all of your social data–what you “Like,” where you check in, who your friends are and more–and use this within its own private Facebook search engine.
This could be huge for Brand Pages on the social network. Facebook just rolled out the new Timeline layout to Brand Pages on March 30 which will surely generate more traffic to your company’s page. But add a Facebook search engine to the picture and (depending on how active and engaging you are) your page could get even more traffic, especially if you’re a local business users can check in to.
If someone wants to find a local coffee shop he or she will probably head to Google and search some variation of “City coffee shop” to get the results they desire. But imagine how useful Facebook could be for this very function. Every search would include your data, your friends’ data (including check-ins, “Likes,” etc.) and other variables. There is no way Facebook could compete with Google for overall search domination, but with regard to social search, it definitely could and probably will.
What do you think of a possible Facebook search engine? Would you find it useful? Tell us in the comments!