Google's next search foe: Facebook

June 25, 2010: 9:47 AM ET

Facebook's search engine is now venturing beyond the walled gardens of Facebook.com to the greater web.  Will its user-generated results give it an advantage over Google?

AllFacebook is reporting that Facebook is now displaying some 'outside' webpages with in its Facebook search results.  For instance, if you Search for the Annapolis Marriott hotel in Facebook, one of the results is the TripAdvisor page which has been favorited by five 'Facebookers.'

To make matters worse for Google (GOOG), Facebook uses Microsoft's (MSFT) Bing Search to place Web results at the bottom of the Facebook search results.

Also, it appears that Facebook is only including results with special codes embedded into the Web Page, which Trip Advisor has included.  That doesn't mean Facebook won't be crawling the greater web, for results.

Will Facebook's Semantic Search Engine, which uses user popularity as a measure of website quality and keyword relevance be enough to best Google? Will "link baiting" give rise to "like baiting"?

Facebook 'likes' could become the new PageRank if Facebook search becomes more popular.  That could also mean an army of offshore faux Facebook users liking Viagra pages.

If this kind of search becomes useful and therefore more utilized, is Google's search dominance in jeopardy?   Facebook does have some mind-bendingly huge numbers of users and growth.  It remains to be seen how much better this feature becomes.

If Facebook's search can garner better results than Google, then there is some trouble ahead for Mountain View.

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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