Op-Ed: Who Will Win the Internet? Google and Facebook Face-Off

I’ve also seen companies ascend the mighty Internet mountain, only to pass out from the lack of oxygen and come tumbling back down.

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I often read hundreds of blogs from industry insiders and Google employees. And I’m shocked at the lack of consensus on what actually impacts Google rankings. For example, you could take two “experts” in the search engine optimization (SEO) field and ask them, “What are the top 10 ranking factors?” and you’ll get two very different lists.

Google continuously changes the rules of the search engine game. The company makes broad algorithm changes that impact thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of companies and give little or no notice of the change. Exact match domains anyone?

Whereas, Facebook actually seems to want to help companies increase their reach and exposure (i.e. Graph Search, news feed optimization, etc.).

All of this doesn’t even take into account the fact that people trust a friend’s referral over an organic search result, but that’s an argument for another time.

The bottom line is: companies are built on an idea that they can make revenue projections. A large part of those projections is based on marketing strategies. More and more, companies will find that social media offers a steadier, more efficient, and more reliable medium for marketing over organic search rankings. As the shift continues, you’ll see more companies divert marketing dollars away from search engine marketing (SEM) towards social media (i.e. Facebook).

There are already signs of Google losing marketing dollars to Facebook. The pace of loss is accelerating.

I don’t know when Google will get light-headed from a lack of oxygen, atop that mountain, and come tumbling down. But I do know that Facebook is well stocked with mountaineering supplies, and they’ve made base camp just below the summit. They’re just waiting for their opportunity to ascend.


Mike Templeman is an independent marketing consultant. He’s founded numerous successful internet companies. His latest ventures include a social network for entrepreneurs and an internet marketing consulting firm.

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