Facebook recently announced changes in their search offerings which have been seen by some as them declaring war on the mighty Google with their Facebook’s search strategy and their recent statement that “all Open Graph-enabled web pages will show up in search when a user likes them”.
I thought I’d just try it out …. I was in Vegas so I thought I’d check out the hotel I saw a show at. A search for Rio Hotel Las Vegas on Facebook yielded two results neither of which were the actual hotel, but both were masquerading as such. I then searched for ‘Pen and Teller’ and got a bunch of likes from various people, but not until I searched for ‘Penn and Teller Rio Las Vegas’ did I get any results which might have helped me go see their show at the Rio…and they were provided by Bing.
Needless to say, any of those queries done on Google yielded just about perfect results for both the hotel and the show. Facebook is following (in part) the premise that a “like” on Facebook is similar to a “link” as counted by Google. It’s an interesting idea, but at first glance I would have thought that’s an approach which is highly prone to spam…in the same way that Digg seems to be….but they are the guys with the war chest of cash so what would I know?
I’m a fan of both Facebook and Google (no pun intended). Google has tried some interesting social media stuff of late, to very mixed reviews, and it makes sense that Facebook would want to take a swing at the massive piñata that is Search. This is obviously early days and if I were Google I’d be concerned that someone with as much traffic as Facebook came after my cookie jar. I’m probably a bit on the old side to really use Facebook, I tend to watch on the sidelines at the fascinating lives led by people I know, but I use search all day, every day and I like to think I know enough about it to be dangerous.
In terms of getting our customers new business through Social Media we’ll continue to integrate as much social content as we can with our products. The opinion of others is enormously important when it comes to choosing a product or a service, but when it comes to getting found through search then Facebook has a very long way to go if it intends to compete with the mighty G.
Meantime….if you happen to be in Vegas and want to see an amazing show those magical funsters Penn and Teller at the Rio are worth every penny.