Facebook search engine could capture half of market: survey

Facebook could capture up to 50 per cent of the online search market within a few years if it chooses to challenge Google in that area, a London-based SEO consultant firm says.

Though possible, gaining that market share wouldn’t be easy. Facebook would have to win over search users who are the least loyal to Google. In a survey conducted by Greelight in May, 27 per cent of users said they’d use Facebook as a search engine “maybe, but only if it was better than Google and Bing.” That’s compared to five per cent of users who would “definitely” use Facebook search, 12 per cent who’d “probably” use it, 22 per cent that said “probably not,” and 26 per cent with just a plain “no.”  

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted Facebook would compete in online search.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated the social networking site could soon be targeting the search market in an on-stage interview earlier this week at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. Facebook is uniquely positioned to deliver search results, he said. “Like, ‘What sushi restaurants have my friends gone to in New York in the last six months and liked?’”

Facebook is already handling about a billion search queries a day for people, brand pages, and applications, he said.

Facebook and Google battle it out for the title of most-visited Web site on the Internet. Even by Google’s own rankings, done in July 2011 for its Doubleclick Ad Planner, Facebook is on top and reaching just over half of all Internet users. Alexa, a Web traffic rankings firm, also ranks Facebook just above Google. Although Google also owns YouTube, which ranks at number three.

With all those visitors, you have to think that if Facebook added a Web search function it could gain some traction quickly.

Source | Greenlight

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