According to ZDNet Google will remain most searchers main search engine for a long time to come. The boundaries of the fast paced world of search engines are continually blurring with many newcomers come to take on Google. Bing is doing their best to attract searchers and the likes of Facebook’s social search is really throwing the Internet into turmoil.
How social search is a game changer?
A new search paradigm is emerging in our constant and everywhere connected world: the amalgamation of search and traditional social networks.
In a constant bid to stay ahead of the game even the big players like Google are keeping things fresh by introducing social network search with Google+. With users logging in and virtually condoning what some might regard as intrusive practices ,personal data improves search results dramatically.
Why Google stays ahead
Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Growth Hacking: Gaining Early Traction by Doing Things that Don't Scale
If other search engines ever hope to take Google’s crown they need to be able to offer more than Google does and also sway people away from the Big G. With “Googling” a common word now used in everyday life it’s hard to attract people away , and of course where the majority of people’s eyes are is also where advertisers money will be found.
It’s not just the fact that Google provides well known and diverse products, they also provide, arguably , the best services. Their search index links in to so many well known products like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Now and of course YouTube. Google is even a major payer in the Smartphone market with their Android operating system on most of the world’s new smartphones and apps sold via the Google Play portal. Everything looks very rosy for Google so who could possibly hope to compete?
Playing David to Google’s Goliath
Consider these numbers: More than 800 million active users, mobile users not very far behind with a quarter of a billion daily users. And one fifth of the page views on the web come from this new source. The database of this upstart search engine is insidious and has access to so many personal and private pieces of user information, like friends, apps used, favourite places and even people’s likes and hobbies! This powerful database is constantly and knowingly updated continually, by the users themselves, making it not only far reaching but also accurate.
The name behind this new search engine: Facebook- which I’m sure needs no introduction.
Now Facebook is not precisely in the business of being a search engine, but it certainly has the power to become a massive social search vehicle as social data is its constant business and a continually updated user profile is so significant.
Believe it or not Facebook is actually faster in this type of search than Google. For a lot of their searches Google spiders are limited to abundant data crawls and guess work on people’s likes, with a +1 vote really only providing a direct indication of a searchers preferences. With Facebook it is so much simpler, direct use of likes, the ways that apps are interacted with and so called action links help them to decide which pages are important to a user.
In a way Facebook users directly tell the social network what they like, this makes social and business engagement more meaningful and businesses can fully personalise content.
Google is of course savvy to this hence their massive +1 drive. But the relative lack of interaction compared to Facebook with, for example, an average user only interacting with Google + for about three minutes a month providing a massive contrast with a huge 400 minutes interacting with Facebook. Actually in a big slap to the face of Google their + usage levels actually lag behind MySpace.
A new social search frontier
With users willingly giving up so much data, social search with improved results and data factored in, is a new mind shift for search. Even more worrying for Google is that Bing and Facebook are collaborating to shift Bing searches in a more social direction. Analysts say that this could be why Bing’s popularity is gradually growing.
We can’t lose track of those other Google products mentioned at the beginning of the article, these other products like Gmail( with 50 million using this email solution) make Google’s searchers more privy to so-called private user information . This broad reach leaves the king of search perched precariously at the top of a pile of almost 70 percent of the World’s search- but times are changing!
It’s Time for some Action
If you’ve read this article you’re someone who understands the need to be ready for the new social search paradigm. You want the old ways of searching and social search to be in harmony for you.
So start from the top: Google search is still paramount so don’t lose track of staying active there. Remember that broad reach of products from this search engine? Well whenever Google asks for a profile or places make sure you do more than pay it lip service. This will keep you socially engaged with Google and so it’s on to uses you can make of Facebook.
Naturally you should have a business page linked to your relevant data. And make sure that it is easy for people to find you on Facebook. Engagement is critical so eyes on your content and likes all promote what you do and keep making you more popular, and popularity is increasingly the main factor that sells in this evolving search world.