Friday 28 September 2012

Facebook To Offer Web Search Functionality

Most people had anticipated this move, but Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has made it official, his company is going to move into the search market at some point, although he would not be drawn on precisely when this leap would be made.

Zuckerberg was interviewed by TechCrunch when he made a number of statements relating to the search intentions of Facebook, pointing out that the site is already handling around a billion queries every 24 hours, as its users search for friends, groups and other services linked into the site.

Of course at the moment you cannot search the entire internet with Facebook, although it certainly has the resources to make this a possibility at some point in the future. If this ever does happen, SEO experts will have a whole new set of rules to learn.

Zuckerberg spoke about search as concerning the process of answering questions posed by the user, which he believes is something that Facebook has a unique window into, given its privileged position as a gate keeper of huge amounts of personal user information.

There had been rumours of Facebook's search engine intentions, with its current engineering director stating, two months ago, that he is developing something exciting and specific for his employer. Because of his background at Google, many speculated that it might be search related, although no confirmation was given.

At the moment, Facebook and Google may not be competing over search, but they are already locked in battle in the social sphere as a result of Google+. The search giant is insistent that its own social service is Google+ not aimed at competing with Facebook, but whether or not it likes it, this certainly seems to be the current state of affairs.

It is worth pointing out that at the moment, it is possible to search the web from within Facebook, but that in this case, the results that are generated come from Microsoft's Bing, rather than any proprietary service, or indeed from market leader, Google.

Whether or not Facebook's relationship with Bing will extend to a deeper integration of search or not remains to be seen, although the ambition of Zuckerberg and his team, coupled with the spending power of his company, means that going at it alone is not completely out of the question.

Part of the problem for Google is that if Facebook makes web searches more closely integrated with its business, then it could easily end up losing market share to Zuckerberg's service. This is linked to the fact that people now access the internet from their mobile phones more than ever before, with many people using social networking sites and apps, to find links and perform searches, rather than harnessing a dedicated search engine site like Google.

Whether or not this will result in the gradual decline of Google, or the emergence of some meta-social system, in which people funnel all of their queries through Facebook, remains to be seen. But those involved in optimisation will be watching carefully to see where the industry heads.

About The Author: Abbas Hussain is a blogger who talks about SEO and Social Media for Integrity SEO Experts.

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  1. Very interesting Derek!

    There is competition both in the big world and in the small world of companies and this wasn´t any surprise at all.Sooner or later it had to come and now it is official that Facebook will make a reality of its plans with an own search engine knowing that such a feature would increase their influence even more.Facebook´s entrance on the stockmarket was turbulent but will most truly stabilize as time goes by.

  2. More the 80% of the world's internet traffic is drives through search engine. We are desperately in need of a alternative of Google.

  3. I guess both FB and Google will try to encroach on each others territory as time passess.. Well google started with G+ now let us see what Facebook is upto...

  4. Yes even I am eagerly waiting to see, what Facebook will start now? Majority people in the world use the internet through search engines.

  5. I feel any activity done by the Facebook cannot compete Google. Facebook is different and Google is different..


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