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Facebook knows what you did last summer and it is about to tell it all: Facebook Search Engine

by Meric Alp on December 18, 2012

So, Facebook Wants a Search Engine? Some feel this is a great move by Facebook to continue expanding its already popular site; however, critics argue that this would indelibly end in failure. What will they get out of it?  Who will suffer from this? Why did they decide to go this direction?  Experts are split.  Some believe that Microsoft and Facebook will partner up to create a search engine and others believe that they will partner up with Yahoo.  No matter which giant Facebook decides to go with, there’s one common denominator—Google is in trouble.

The Microsoft-Facebook Partnership

Back in 2007, Microsoft decided to partner up with Facebook as a way to manage their international ad sales. This cost Microsoft $240 million.  Critics at the time thought that this was a weak attempt by Microsoft to jump on the Facebook trend.  However, it seems that the two had an additional plan.

After obtaining Facebook’s social data, Microsoft integrated this data into Bing search engine’s search results. This helped Bing to create customized results from this social data.  The finished results were better than expected and gave Facebook the edge to start its own search engine.

The Yahoo-Facebook Alliance

Several articles published on the net state that Yahoo and Facebook will team up to create their own search engine. This will be a great move for both companies that can result in an untold increase in income for both. This alliance would also pose a direct threat to the global search engine Google.  Also, Google Plus doesn’t have as many active users as Yahoo or Facebook. The latest statistics show that although Google Plus has over 400 million registered users, only 100 million are active. On the other hand, Yahoo had 310 million users and 100 million active users back in 2011, which has since grown, and in October, Facebook reported a staggering 1 billion active users per month, a number no social media site has since touched. The majority of these active users also have their apps downloaded and use them regularly. This means that if Yahoo and Facebook integrate search, and target their mobile users alone, they will be a strong force against Google Plus.

Why Google Should Start Shaking

Google uses algorithms to create results in a search.  However, recent data suggests that social graph optimization is the next evolution in search.  The results of Microsoft and Facebook’s partnership show that social graph optimization is already successful and a major plus on their side over Google.

Currently, Bing uses the data extracted from Facebook to power its search results.  For instance, if you search for a “bookstore in Los Angeles”, the top results would be bookstores that your friends liked on Facebook.  This is because the search engine extracts everything that a user likes on Facebook and what that user’s friends liked as well.

But, Google’s the World’s Favorite!

You may be thinking that since Google is the current search giant, why would they even care?  The threat to Google was obvious when they came out with Google Plus, supposedly a better take on Facebook. They are trying to use the same model that Microsoft and Facebook pioneered by having their search results powered by whatever the Google Plus users like. The problem is that most Google Plus users don’t remain logged in when they click the icon next to a result. This means that Google has no insight on the data behind the users liking these results.  However, Bing has the exclusive rights to all of the data from Facebook and most users stay logged in when using Bing for search.

The underlying conclusion is this, no matter which company Facebook decides to partner with to create a search engine, it will ultimately succeed.  The amount of users on Facebook combined with the number of mobile users,  and the number of users who actively like products and services speaks volumes of the company’s success.  Add a search engine to the mix and you’ve got the formula for a one-stop shop.

 

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