Is Google Dead?
Is Google Dead?
Not for quite a while at the least, but you ought to take notice.
I read a great article on Tech Crunch today written by Ben Elowitz and aptly titled: "How Facebook Can Put Google Out of Business". Ben makes some great points and businesses that currently put their efforts into SEO ought to consider them heavily.
Google may in fact be facing the dragon that they will ultimately not be able to slay but that battle will take years and Facebook needs to move in certain directions to bring it to a head. The later being a matter of "When", not "If".
Much in the same way that the phone book became obsolete to having a website, Google is facing the same obsolescence. Recent activity by Google bares this out with such things as their new +1 activity, not to mention Eric Schmidt's own lamenting
How does this effect me?
As a business owner with a web presence you surely invest time and effort into making your web site searchable. Should you forsake those efforts now? absolutely not.
Even when Google is viewed as obsolete there will still be vast numbers of people finding businesses that way. Hey some people still pick up a phone book first.
But what you should be doing is figuring out or hiring someone to fit current social functionality into your website and also begin building your presence on facebook.
One word of caution here, use a Fan Page not a personal profile to build out your presence. I am stunned at the frequency that this mistake is occurring at. You really close the door on functionality and customization when you do this.
As Facebook sharpens it's teeth on commerce, which it now does with paid advertising it will become a dominant advertising platform. When Facebook turns to search they will be able to achieve a relevancy in returns that Google can only dream of and dominate there as well.
There's just no getting around the need to have your ducks in a row on facebook. Start now and you wont be playing catch up when it's in full swing.
So why will facebook do it better:
Currently Google works tirelessly to succeed from a particular starting point: "Making a best guess at what is relavent to you based on an entered keyphrase". They tirelessly try to understand the difference between searches like these:
1) Storm Window
2) Storm Windows
The first might be a request for information on when an approaching storm is coming and the latter might be looking for a contractor to install Storm Windows. A huge difference in meaning riding on one letter. They do a fine job but it's still really guessing.
Facebook on the other hand starts from a more advantageous starting point: "We want to know everything we can about the individual person".
When you apply the vast knowledge of the individual searcher to the example above facebook will have a huge leg up on knowing what the person is searching for. Something Google is so late to the game with that catch up is probably not realistic at this point.