Facebook Vs Google – Its a war out there

by Ashvini on May 19, 2011 · 25 comments

in Business

So does Google have good strategy?

Yes, in my opinion. The recent Panda update is a case in the point. By attacking its own weakness( bad search result) and working on it , Google has gained leaps and bound in reputation. By delivering more accurate search results, I think Google has managed to address a strong captive market of its, which is not going to go away.

Strengths that Google can leverage to keep Facebook away from the lion’s share of Ad revenues.

If you were a king of an empire and you were informed of an impending attack , what would you do?

  1. You would first strengthen your own defenses.
  2. For e.g. you would find out vulnerable points in your fort where enemy is most likely to attack and reinforce them as fast as possible.

  3. You would then recruit more army
  4. You would also look out for enemy’s army weak points and would create weapons strategy to exploit them .
  5. You would meet more allies and ask for their support in return for yours in more opportune time.
  6. You would also develop newer weapons so as to combat the ever growing threat.

Google has immense advantages still available to it because it is the ruler of an empire and a defender.

Let us take a look at some of its strengths

  1. It has a strong user base of already existing customers and publishers
  2. It has a technological edge that is unmatched
  3. It has a solid reputation that does work ethically and in a logical manner
  4. It is a well respected brand .
  5. It dominates the internet search market
  6. It has added Android operating system to dominate the growing mobile market and is doing it really well
  7. Frankly, Google still commands much much more respect than any of the other internet companies. ( See the poll, Google ranks far ahead of facebook ).

To fortify its defenses, Google has been updating its search engine often to get more better results for its end users. Panda update is a case in the point, where till now spam sites which rode on the top because of misleading tactics are now biting the dust. Google has been  been constantly changing its user interfaces and getting into areas that were probably neglected sometimes ago.

Neglecting Orkut is a mistake

In my opinion, Google is neglecting Orkut. I am very sure there are plenty of people like me who would prefer the simplicity of Orkut over Facebook. However a lack of freshness in Orkut for a long time is working against Orkut. In a war, the defender just needs to stay one step ahead of the attacker. Orkut would have become a weapon against Facebook and stemmed its rise. But sadly, Google lost that ground and once you lose it getting it back is very difficult because you are now an attacker and your enemy the defender. It will keep building trenches  to protect itself while you wonder how to attack and reclaim your territory.

What are the wrongs of Facebook that Google can exploit?

Facebook is making far too many mistakes. In my opinion it has become complacent in area such as privacy and spam, which is probably the most important to an end user. The privacy issues at Facebook are inspiring  tonnes of articles on how Facebook is invading the privacy of the its user.

Even though I said that Facebook has probably more advantage with  privacy than Google because of its business model it is negating the advantage.

Read here for such an article on privacy crisis. Too many privacy issues and inept handling by Facebook is really playing havoc with Facebook’s brand image. People are scared to share personal information on Facebook  with friends because of the privacy concern. This is a direct threat to Facebook’s main business ( of attracting more users to its fold).

How Google handled such an issue previously

Even though same concerns came up when Google started sifting through the emails in the Gmail service to deliver the ads, I think Google handled it pretty well. But see how Google handled it

Ad targeting in Gmail is fully automated, and no humans read your email in order to target advertisements or related information. This type of automated scanning is how many email services, not just Gmail, provide features like spam filtering and spell checking. Ads are selected for relevance and served by Google computers using the same contextual advertising technology that powers Google’s AdSense program.

Facebook has been constantly attacked by malwares, spams and their threats are growing everyday. Unless Facebook really correct this issue , I believe a new product “TightBook” with water tight privacy features may replace “Facebook”. Already  “Path” with its tighter policy controls and limited number of friends is proving a good Facebook rival. Maybe its time for Google to buy Path and develop this as weapon against Facebook.

In Summary here is how I think, Google can win over Facebook.

  • Improve search results constantly
  • Develop better relationships with Publishers and Customers alike
  • Develop new products to gain more market of ad revenue
  • Reduce complexity of its products and make it more user friendly
  • Buy or create a program similar to Facebook with a “Different brand name” ( not Google) or under a different company ( cannibalize).
  • Keep working on improving privacy levels ( hit Facebook at its soft spot)

I would love to know your opinion on this issue. Please vote below /comment to provide your opinion

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Who wins the Ad revenue race in the long run -> Facebook / Google?

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