Facebook’s news that it is opening up search to let people explore all public posts is a bold move, that will not only impact your privacy settings but also the world of search.
As Facebook’s vice president of search said the site was “updating search so that in addition to friends and family, you can find out what the world is saying about topics that matter to you.” The new Facebook Search will provide real-time information while clearing out clutter and identifying news articles and conversations about brands as they happen.
The social network has been making moves to grab a slice of the Google search pie for years. Facebook is upping the ante against Google’s 3.5 billion daily searches; currently the site has about 1.5 billion searches everyday, indexing two trillion posts. Expect those numbers to climb.
Facebook’s information on a user’s actions on and off site factor strongly into the site’s very lucrative ad game. It should be noted Facebook is only indexing content within its own system. Zuckerberg has acknowledged his desire to compete with Google, and in a decade or so provide a research and question/answer service that quickly delivers results.
So what does this mean for digital marketing?
Facebook’s mobile display ad revenue is expected to hit $7.5 million by 2017. Google’s mobile display ad revenue estimates are closer to $2.3 million. Looking at the numbers and the changes to Facebook’s search framework should organizations start diverting more money away from Google? No. The new Search FYI tool is a large advancement in terms of Facebook’s growth and gravitas but is not THE game changer, at least not right now.
That brings us to a conversation we had with a client recently about their previous Facebook ad spending. They spent money but failed to truly see conversions. That is because many still see Facebook, as a network they use leisurely, to kill time and stay up to date with friends. Users may spend more time on Facebook than Google, but actual search engines are the pipelines in the customer process on the way to an outcome driven solution.
A critical question in determining where to spend is, “Are you trying to increase brand knowledge, or sell a specific service/product?” Evolve is happy to provide insight and direction.