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Friday, January 27, 2012

Facebook vs. Google: Who will be Victorious?

Facebook vs. Google:

News Flash…Facebook Answers Back to Google’s Newest Update with a Strategy of its Own.

Did you think Facebook would just sit back and allow Google to use its authority however it pleases?
Continuing from my last article, Why Google + May Become a Necessity for Internet Marketers, recent news has fanned the flames of an ongoing debate.

In the article, I detailed Google’s newest update, Search Plus Your World, and how it personalizes search results for users. Users will see results related to Google+ based on their search behavior. For example, if you follow Britney Spears and Lady Gaga on Google+, you will see related material, images and recommendations based on those musical interests when you search for a related keyword.

What has Facebook and Twitter wanting to revolt? Users are given recommendations of Google+ profiles only. These profiles show up on the right side of the page (usually 2-3 profiles per search) under the “People and Pages on Google+” box.

For example, if you type in the word “chef” like I did in the image to the right, you would see the Google+ profiles of some of the top cooks or restaurants on Google+. But, you will never see a Facebook or Twitter profile listed in that same location, even if these profiles enjoy more fans/followers and engagement than Google+ profiles.

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and friends were not happy with this update, especially since social results from ALL networks already appear in the normal search results. Why wouldn’t Google just use the same data to post the top engagers in the “People and Pages on Google+” box regardless of whether they are on Google+, Facebook or Twitter?

The social media websites answered back and created the “Don’t Be Evil” bookmarklet which can be found on their new website, Focus on the User. Facebook and Twitter engineers consulted with some other social media companies and together they created this snippet of code.

What does it do?

Let’s take a look at the real world example first. After installing this bookmarklet in my Chrome browser, I performed the same search for the word “chef” and the results look like this…

Do you notice what is different?

Though the people in the “People and Pages on Google +” box are the same in both instances, the social media profiles are different. With the “Don’t be Evil” bookmarklet, the results are now being extracted from Google’s top 10 results rather just Google+ profiles. Also the box has been renamed to “People and Pages from the Social Web”.

When you install this bookmarklet, you attach it to your bookmarks menu and whenever you click on it, you will see the updated results.

Also, did you notice the change to the Google logo? Looks like Facebook is trying to make a serious point.

The “Don’t Be Evil” bookmarklet is not stealing any API data from Google. It simply uses the results Google already deems worthy to hit page 1 of its engine and replaces Google’s results. The tool is meant to give users the most relevant results on the web regardless of Google bias.

The bookmarklet also addresses the other search functions that show Google bias like in the automatic dropdown menu and for brand name searches. With the “Search Plus Your World” function on, when users type in a brand name like “Target”, they will see the Google+ profiles under the brand name website with no mention of Twitter or Facebook. With the “Don’t Be Evil” bookmarklet, the results are returned to normal with the most relevant results displaying first.

Is Facebook done waging its war against Google? Only time will tell. What we do know is that the social media companies are arguing that this new Google update contradicts the environment Google has been promoting for years: a relevant user experience.

The social media war is in full force…who will be the victor? With conglomerates such as Facebook, Twitter and the “almighty” Google, it’s anyone’s game.

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