During an interview while on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, Mark Zuckerberg spoke of Facebook entering the search market in the future. According to the billionaire CEO, the social networking site is in the best position to answer search queries. He further added that Facebook handles around one billion queries each day for applications, brands and people. This development could prove to be competition for Google.
Research conducted by Greenlight Digital indicates that just over a fifth of the market could be won by Facebook if it moved into search the following day. However, the same survey results also show that almost a quarter of people using Google use +1 for its search engine results, meaning that Google has access to lots of data. The number of Facebook users who ‘like’ a company or brand was 35 per cent, so it’s not that far ahead of Google. The survey also revealed that 28 per cent of people taking part didn’t know what +1 was, which is likely to improve in the future, narrowing the gap between Google and Facebook. The study targeted 500 people world wide, although 70 per cent were European.
For Facebook to be able to capture half the search engine market, it would have to target the users who are not loyal to Google. Any development in this area by Facebook could affect the search engine optimisation of companies worldwide. Facebook plays a significant role in SEO but the strategy would require further consideration if the social networking site moved into the search market.