The Epic War Between Google and Facebook: Who’s Winning?

This is a guest post by David Murton.

Picture a cage. An octagon. It stands in the center of a large arena where a boisterous crowd sways to rock music and eyes the two men, the combatants, who stand inside. Each man is pasty from not enough sunlight and decidedly dumpy from way too many donuts. Yet each one possesses the hypertrophied hands of an expert computer nerd, of men whose fingers can fly atop a keyboard or wireless device, leaving in their wake contrails of code to change the world.

In furious anger, the duo of dueling digerati stare at each other, unblinking. Emblazoned on each man’s rear end is the corporate logo of why he fights, or types as the case may be. One man’s shorts read Google; the other, Facebook.

“Are you ready?!” the referee yells over the din of the crowd. Google nods. Facebook nods. “Let’s get it on!” The two men don’t need to be told twice. Like cats – slow, pudgy cats – they waddle to the middle of the ring where they sit down to computers and open bags of nacho chips. Their fingertips quickly rendered bright orange (allowing them greater traction across the keys), the dueling digerati begin typing and, as their code fills the screen, the frenzied crowd, lost in its own delirious roar, cannot hear itself scream.

The long-awaited fight has finally come. The big one. The issue hanging in the balance is nothing short of who shall emerge the king of social media and the champion of the online world. But suppose a person who doesn’t know what social media is wanders into the event: say a small child, or someone’s grandmother who doesn’t know how to log into her own e-mail account. Perplexed, this person turns to you for help. “Why are they fighting?” she asks. Tearing your eyes from the action in the cage, you do your best to explain. It goes something like this.

A User’s First Resource

The fight is a struggle over who will serve as the Internet’s gateway, the first place one visits in order to find anything or to go anywhere on the web. As of the beginning of 2011, Google and Facebook account for an astounding percentage of daily web traffic worldwide, nearly ninety percent. While the huge numbers alone are impressive, the true power comes from gaining as much personal data as possible about each and every user. The reason? This data is then used by the purveyors of goods and services to target advertisements to people’s known interests through the vector of the very social media that these people have made such an indispensible part of their lives.

The result is the marketing equivalent of a military surgical strike, engaging only the target while keeping the collateral costs to an absolute minimum. Therefore, the corporation that provides the most compelling social media experience, the one that captures the masses’ hearts and minds, would literally be in position to serve as the global toll booth to the advertisers of anything in the world. Ka-ching doesn’t come close to covering the consequences of success. Try Ka-ching to the power of near infinity, wherever that is.

Google Buzz and Open Graph

The Facebook vs. Google faceoff truly began with Google’s February, 2011 launch of Buzz, a social networking and messaging tool designed to integrate with Google’s web-based email program, Gmail. Google hopes the system will share links and photos, videos and messages so seamlessly, so compellingly, that the hordes will adopt it as their social media standard. So far, however, not all the buzz about Buzz is good.

Opposing Google’s Buzz is Facebook’s Open Graph. Beginning in April of 2010, Open Graph has allowed users to turn their own Websites into Facebook-like extensions, providing the user with a slew of plug-ins to insert into his or her own domain: Activity Feed, Recommendations, Like Buttons, Comments, Live Stream, etc. The result is a blur between what Facebook is and what one’s own blog is, a blur that is spreading. In only one week, the new Open Graph plug-ins were found on 50,000 websites – a number, no doubt, that will appear quaintly small in the very near future.

User Privacy and Control

As if turning a large swath of the web into an extension of Facebook weren’t enough, Facebook has come up with Facebook Places, an application that allows users the option of checking in via their iPhones to let the world to know where they are. Apart from the obvious privacy concerns, an issue that Google Buzz in particular has had trouble with, launching a product that automatically identifies a personal email address when activated through Google’s Gmail – there is also the basic issue of data portability, the ability for people to both use, (and control), their personal data across a range of applications. Not surprisingly, data portability represents yet another front in the Google vs. Facebook social media smack-down.

Future Battles

So where is all this going? Google is a formidable challenger, but Facebook may prove an even more formidable champ. From its humble beginnings in a Harvard dorm room just seven years ago, Facebook has grown into a 500 million plus world-changing cultural juggernaut. However, the question here is not merely which corporation offers the most seamless and effective tools for social media, but which one is most positively perceived by the public.

Remember MySpace? Public perception is critical and here Google may have a slight edge, but only very slight. In fact, as of this writing, Facebook is making something of a comeback in the public perception front. If present trends continue, then expect to see even more revolutionary social media possibilities that change our lives. And expect those changes that you’ll be seeing online almost everywhere to have a little, light blue button with an ่ฉฎ’ in it.


52 thoughts on “The Epic War Between Google and Facebook: Who’s Winning?”

  1. Dino Vedo says:

    Either way, the affiliate will always win! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. What a dramatic style of writing. The post is interesting but somehow it didn’t have me sit on the edge of my chair.

        I think that there is room for both contenders. There’s nothing I can do about the situation anyway.

        Even if there is a clear winner, the one who doesn’t win will remain a significant player.

        And a new player may appear too.

        Speculations like this will go on and on.

        1. Love to see a new player in the big search and social game.

          1. d3so says:

            I’d love to be that player ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I like your attitude, Dino! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. this war is all about business my friend …

    3. d3so says:

      I think that the companies the affiliate sends leads to will win.

  2. i think google will deserve it,

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I agree. If I had to place my bet, I’d bet on Google!

    2. Lakhyajyoti says:

      Cent percent agree with you John.

  3. I am sure Google will beat down Facebook at any cost.

    1. Don’t be so sure Google won’t come in second place or lower one of these days. They’ve been ticking off people for a few years now and some day it will bite them

      1. would love to know more about it … Kindly elaborate.

  4. Health Blog says:

    I think neither Google nor Facebook will win or loss. Facebook can do without Google and Google can do without Facebook.
    No winner and No looser.

    1. I agree with you, they have a different market segmented

    2. Exactly. Neither of them will lose jack.

    3. d3so says:

      Both are different; one’s generally used for search and the other social.

  5. I think they serve a good purpose..so they are both part of something much bigger then the net..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  6. Tilen says:

    Google will always win!

  7. Google’s the internet Mafia! You can’t beat mafia do you? lol

    1. You sound like a Google hater. Still using it though aren’t you?

      1. I try to use the big G as little as possible, but there’s no way you can get completely away from them.

  8. sibin says:

    Google win.Facebook is a Social Networking site.But Google provide Operating Systems,Orkut,Android,Search engine.Gmail etc……….So Google never fail

  9. Justin says:

    Yeah I think Google is very tough to beat. Either way maybe a third party will emerge and crush the both of them.

    1. That is an interesting scenario. However, I don’t think that Google in particular will be crushed. And why would Facebook be? I think that if there is a new company entering it may succeed remarkably but it won’t crush anyone.

  10. Both companies have their own products and both are pretty good at what they do. I would have to say its a tie. Neither one will prevail over the other. Both will be big influencer’s in the world, unless one decides to sell out to the other.

  11. fas says:

    Its Microsoft who is winning.

    1. Just what are they winning? A consolation prize? Bing is so insignificant it’s painful to even think about it.

      1. I don’t know, Microsoft wins pretty big with Windows, Office, MS Server and tons of other crap that made Bill Gate insanely rich.

        1. And let’s not forget Kinect for the Xbox 360, which just made the world record of being the fastest-selling device ever (10+ million sold since November 2010.)

  12. Allen Walker says:

    I’m sure that Facebook will fade away soon sometime in the near future once people have gotten bored of it, just like what happened with Friendster and MySpace…
    Google on the other hand, is a search engine. It won’t disappear based on rising or falling trends. It might lose to Bing though…

  13. John Walters says:

    I read this very interesting article titled Whatโ€™s the biggest threat to Google?. The author of that article contended that Facebook is the biggest competitive threat to Google. It paints a very good picture on how competition will look like in the future.

    Very interesting article…

  14. I always thought facebook will head google for popularity although they seem to be treading on alot of toes lately.

  15. How To Blog says:

    Allen I would disagree. Too many users now on facebook and thousands joining each day. I have kids that are already wanting facebook pages, yet don’t know what google does. They thing its jus an email address!

    Both will prosper for many years to come.

  16. Hehe i really enjoy reading this article. But honestly even i give so much credit to facebook i dont think that will ever beat google, no chance. At the moment google is like the control of the web. I mean imagine Internet with out google, for me its the end of the world. on the other hand im ok i can live without facebook ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. very well said and quite agree with you as well.

      Infact if people stop using facebook than we will be able to save huge time …. Lollzzz

  17. Paul Hunde says:

    In the end, it will all come down to the people: What would they rather use, Facebook or Google? Most people I know would overwhelmingly choose Facebook.

  18. Lakhyajyoti says:

    Google will beat down facebook very soon.I hope so.

  19. Google come under the necessity because people use google to get the solution or search results of their problem.

    Where as facebook is simply fun place.

  20. Forget about Google Buzz….

    Android is now the top OS for smart phones. If Google can leverage this market position and come up with an Android-based social media app (whether its Buzz or not) then they can get out of this equilibrium.

  21. Internetsalsa says:

    do you really care who wins?
    if so then why?
    healthy competition is always good.
    By the way google buzz was started in 2010. I guess a typo…

  22. Who will win the battle only time will tell great article David

  23. Christina says:

    we could not find the answer easily does we have to wait for some days

  24. Marco Lee says:

    In a bigger sense, or in the public’s eye this will not matter.
    Google will still be the one they would come to when they want to search for something. Facebook would still be their social media.
    Most of the people don’t even know what a broswer is! People would just go with the flow whatever whenever however.

    1. christina says:

      its always changes will come to everything

  25. anitha says:

    who won waiting for the result

  26. both are big powers who has won the battle

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