Search Engine Shuffle — Ed's 2011 Predicitions

We all feel it. In the back of our minds we know Facebook is taking over the net; but what will happen to the search engine market?

First off, why should we care?

Every Small Business in America (possibly the world) places a lot of hopes on the search engines helping bolster local customer bases.  Many have opted out of the Yellow Pages in favor of web based marketing.  This means  we must know where to put our effort.  In Small Business, time is money and both are in short supply these days.

At a recent BRIDGES Networking meeting I predicted December 2011 Search Engine Rankings would be:

  1. Facebook
  2. Google
  3. Bing

I further stated I did not think Yahoo would be in the top five if they still existed as a company.  As I have a lot of history with Yahoo I don’t feel good predicting this.  In a recent article on SEO Consult, John M concluded (again) that Yahoo is probably on the way out.

After my public prediction, an anonymous friend from Yahoo eMailed me privately with one word, something about excrement from a bull.  Several others said Facebook?  As a search engine?

My prediction is Facebook will become the dominant search engine for the same reason  the Republican party swung the 2000 election their way–Microtargeting.

The concept of Microtargeting is built on the following:   If I know you like yellow labrador retrievers and walks along the beach, then you are a prime marketing potential for:

  • Viagra
  • Dog leashes
  • Sandals
  • Sun screen
  • Wind breaker jackets
  • and the list goes on and on and on…

As a marketer, when I know your personal habits I have more ammunition for selling you things you like.  This is called product optimization.  Why show you an add for something that is going to turn you off?

Amazon and every major grocery store in America has been using microtargeting for several years, but the downfall to microtargeting is the consumer must make a financial transaction before the marketing department can take action.

Enter Facebook.

Everything on Facebook is personality focused.  The games you play, the conversations you have, the pages you link to, and even the friends you associate with, now become Microtarget Marketing Fodder.  The best part is the consumer is giving us the data for FREE.  We do not have to pay a dime to know the most personal habits of over 500 million people (and growing).

Facebook integrated search engine results into their system more than a year ago, but they kept it very conservative.  Over the coming months we will see an increased presences of search engine operations and with the addition of eMail, Facebook’s transition to dominance will be complete.

Currently Facebook is not classified as a search engine so their visits are not compared with Google, Yahoo and Bing.  Once once the social networking maga-star enters the search arena,  Facebook’s already dominate power will over take Google and knock  long time friend (Yahoo) off the list.


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