I read an article the other day over at SearchEngineJournal.com written by a super smart guy named Clay Adams. Clay wrote a well thought out, organized and researched article that speculates that in 2013 Google + destroys Facebook.
Clay writes a very compelling argument why he thinks that Google will eventually crush Facebook and he supplies lots of infographics to support his theory. In his article Clay writes:
Perhaps two of the largest entities in cyberspace, Google and Facebook, have been waging their own digital turf wars – albeit not always directly with each other – throughout the past several years.
By taking an in-depth look at the interaction between these two powerhouse players, as we will in this article, it becomes clear that Google will prevail, and quite decidedly at that. Facebook’s death will be slow and painful, causing the majority of grief to its nearly 1 billion users along the way.
However, while Google will likely endure the blame for crushing Facebook in the coming year, the social behemoth’s demise will actually come at the hand of marketing communities across the internet. I’ll explain why throughout this article….
Here’s the thing, Clay is a really smart guy with lots of experience in SEO but I happen to think he’s wrong about this. Clay is not alone in his viewpoint however.
In fact lots of professional SEO’s think that 2013 will be a banner year for Google and the year they take down Facebook. and for the first time ever, the number of new Google plus accounts exceeded the number of Facebook accounts – that’s huge!
But here’s the thing, the viewpoint that Clay expresses is one of someone who might be guilty of a blind spot in their perspective. I’ve worked in SEO for a very long time and I personally know some of the smartest SEO’s in the business. And I find that this perspective is actually pretty common. In fact it’s common in all areas of expertise. “If all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail.”
Why I don’t think that 2013 is the year Google destroys Facebook
1) Facebook will find the tolerance level of its audience to ads and not serve more than that level.
2 ) Facebook allows communities in a way that Google does not. Search is evolving to the point where people will come to rely on personal connections and recommendations much more than search ranking.
3) People have a love hate relation with Google. Google treats its advertisers like crap (one reason why FB ad revenues are exploding) and web masters are sick of Google constantly changing the rules.
4) Only 1 website can have the number 1 spot in Google. Why chase that when it’s SO much easier and profitable to drive targeted traffic and sales with other methods.
5) Most important of all is that users spend way more time on Facebook than they do Google.
The average visitor to the social network spends just 6 minutes 47 seconds on Google+’s site in March vs. the 6 hours, 44 minutes users spend on Facebook.com.
*Statistics by Nielsen as supplied to Mashable.com.
I think Google is a monster and will continue to thrive, but they aren’t going to kill Facebook. Facebook may fad away someday like MySpace, but it won’t be because of Google.