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What The Numbers Reveal About Google vs Facebook

What The Numbers Reveal About Google vs Facebook
Posted by Dexter Nelson: Saturday, December 4, 2010 (4:02 PM)

What The Numbers Reveal About Google vs Facebook


It's been on the top of almost every conversation in the Internet Marketing world. Google vs Facebook and who's better. Deciphering fact from fiction though is another matter, and how it all started is a very interesting story.


Where did the term "Google Slap" come from? Why are Internet Marketing seeming to flock to Facebook? And what is the big deal anyway?


Well? We're going to figure that out right now...


I'm going to kick this off with a very hot button statement. Facebook isn't #1 and never has been. Google to this very day is still the top dog.


Despite all of the marketing hype about the "Google Slap" and the recent big publicity of Facebook, when you do the research, Google continues to be the #1 site in existence, year after year outperforming everyone else. See the proof.


I'll let everyone in on a little secret. Do you know why a lot of internet marketers pushed to use Facebook instead of Google?


No one can exactly pin point the time, however I found that there were two major things happening at the same time, that I strongly believe contributed to what I call "The Great Facebook Migration" - and it is in part responsible for the major moves Facebook has been making to capitalize on it.


Back in 2007-2008, the Federal government started cracking down on credit card companies for what they called practices unfair to consumers. This was first reported way back in May of 2008, (source), but it didn't stop at things like credit card rates.


Credit card companies cracked down in what resulted in the "Wallet Pop". There was, however, a major backlash in the business world that wasn't talked about. The focus, because of the economy, was on the banks.


What we didn't see was that the banks passed the buck to the business for their practices, and the credit card companies began to hold companies responsible for their bad practices. When they did their research, only a small percentage, (I believe it was around 6 or 7 percent at the time), of their profits came from re-billing, but the highest chargebacks, (around the 90 percent range), was also from re-billing.


They really changed up the game and changed the rules. Whole Internet-based models were suddenly illegal on the back end and people were going out of business - mostly internet marketers and home-based businesses that bought into using models that had continuity-based subscriptions on the back end.


The credit card companies focused mostly on large corporations which didn't trickle down for a while. Then Google took the initiative and started cracking down on advertisers for sites and advertising, and their policies changed.


Remember Google's focus at the time was to improve quality of search results and I personally believe the credit card crackdown gave them the perfect opportunity to capitalize on what was going, on and to not just stay, but dominate the market share. If you do the market research and look back at the history, the numbers do match up.


The irony is that if a lot of people actually read the policy notices they would have know what to do to avoid it, but of course many of them don't, and suddenly a lot of Internet marketers found it much more difficult to do their campaigns and many went out of business.


They went to the one place that allowed them to continue doing what they were doing and that gave birth to the Google slap and the big rush to Facebook. We've all seen the hype about how Facebook is now how Google was back then and so on.


This also opened a new opportunity for Facebook, and they capitalized. Suddenly on every profile there were"Advertise on Facebook" placements, and they started improving on everything business and marketing related, from changes in ad templates to groups.


Take a look at the demographics for Facebook's and Google's traffic. First, a very large portion of Facebook's traffic comes from search engines (sources include Alexa.com, Quantcast.com).


Facebook's Site Info: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/facebook.com#


Google's Site Info: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/google.com#


If Facebook wants to compete, they need to do more than just say "Gmail isn't a real product" because quite frankly, it is, and a darned good one, but even more than that, Google already is everywhere from desktop computers to phones, apps, 75% of the search engine share, and with the new partnering series, they've acquired, Google will be in your home through television - Google TV is already in Beta.


On top of that, according to the latest Alexa.com studies, the time spent in a typical visit to Facebook is roughly 32 minutes, with 34 seconds spent on each pageview, vs Google's hours, with several minutes per pageview.


Studies also show that Google is more popular among the widest range of internet users across all demographics, where as Facebook leans more towards, (according to Alexa.com), "disproportionately women under the age of 45."


If you do the same research on Quantcast.com, the numbers back up Alexa.com.


Facebook goes search? They can try but it's not going to work unless they have some major, major changes.


They would first have to improve their public standing across all demographics first and foremost. There is no question, no two ways about it, and no way around it. Facebook right now is not friendly to a lot of the demographics.


The bad news is that Facebook, while their attention and traffic is rising, is not making any changes to address those issues. And as of right now, Facebook continues to have lower customer satisfaction and privacy issues.


The upside though is that, considering women are a huge lion's share of buyers, Facebook does tend to favor that demographic. That's good news for advertisers to target that demographic.


You also can't ever eliminate Google as a viable solution. A lot of internet marketers will continue to push for the Facebook switch and most will talk bad about Google, however, in spite of all of the Facebook is #1 talk, Google continues to dominate as king of the hill in the #1 spot year after year.


Facebook has a very tough climb if they are to effectively compete with Google, or, instead of changing their game to compete, they can do what Myspace did and stay in their demographic and dominate. Good luck to any other social site trying to get a growing share of entertainment to compete with them.


I think Facebook is shooting themselves in the foot. The more they are trying to do, the more alienated consumers are becoming. If I could sit down and tell Facebook execs where their strengths are, I would say to capitalize on their foothold on social network.


Their strength has always been the direct reach to consumers on a personal level and that's what they need to capitalize on because their social nature is what made their success to begin with.


Sources:


1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/01/AR2008050103218.html


2. http://www.quantcast.com


3. http://www.alexa.com

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Dexter Nelson
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