In the UK we use Google as the major search engine. In fact, Google UK and .com account for over 90% of all search traffic. In the USA Google is also the market leader. But let’s look a little closer at second place.
One could argue that as Google is merely the vehicle that drives the traffic, the destination is the most important information here. Second in the list of most visited destinations on the internet (USA) is Facebook.
Figures as follows:-
Website Unique visitors per month
So Google is very popular, as is Yahoo. But Facebook is a destination. So the question for every online business should be which is better for my business? The answer, as always, is not straight forward.
Google does an exceptional job of driving traffic to the user’s preferred location. Facebook is the user’s preferred location. Let’s have a look at the merits of both.
We trust Google to direct us to the information that we want to see. And it does a good job, otherwise we would move search engines. In return Google get to sell advertising space. This gives the opportunity for online companies to advertise when people are looking for their services.
Facebook fulfils the need inside most of us to know what is going on in our social sphere. Yes we are touched by news every day, but this is much more ‘news about me and people I know’. Where we go on holiday, what we are doing tonight, when are we going to meet up. That sort of stuff.
How do Google and Facebook relate to business?
I believe that currently, they are structured to have different values to business, one is a gentle unobtrusive method of advertising (Facebook), where advertising can go viral to have a larger impact on the Facebook Community as a whole. It offers a great opportunity to build a community, following or brand.
The other, in Google, opens the door at the time of interest. I want a car, guess what, Google can suggest garages. I want a TV, Google can find me websites that sell TV’s.
Which model suits your business better?