ALERT: Google and Facebook are NOT locked in epic death battle!

Sorry for the dramatic headline, but I figured it might not hurt to use the same tactic that I’ve seen others employ with regard to my email inbox.

I guess I’m just a little bit tired of hearing self-proclaimed gurus and experts say things like, “SEO is dead” or “Facebook KO’d Google” or anything similar. The fact that YouTube receives more searches than Google, or Facebook has more traffic than Google, doesn’t mean that Google is harmed by this or going away anytime soon.  Google actually owns YouTube, in case you didn’t already know that part.

Yes, I agree that our time online has undergone a shift from old-school surfing and searching to using the internet as a primary source of entertainment and socializing, too.  This is revolutionary and terrific, and I use these new tools as much as anyone (and probably a whole lot more, in some cases).  That being said, there is not a death knell ringing for traditional SEO efforts.

I welcome any disagreement or proof to the contrary – I have an open mind on this.  Here’s a quick question for you:  If you want to find a book, or movie times, or an address, or find out about homes in another area of the country, would you visit Facebook? If you’re halfway normal, the answer is no.  You would probably start with Google.  If you’re heavily involved in social media, you might ask your friends/followers for recommendations for a good local plumber or electrician, but if you’re in a hurry, I bet you would go to Google or another search engine for this.

My point here is to be wary of those who proclaim any prevalent technology to be dead, unless of course they’re talking about digital laser discs or 8-track tapes, neither of which will make a comeback.

If someone is going against the grain, it doesn’t always mean that they’re innovative or ahead of the curve. Sometimes, they are just trying to sell you something (“Buy my new system”, “Listen to me talk”, etc.), or they just plain don’t understand the internet very well.  I see way too many emails and pitches about video being the “next big thing”.  I’ve been hearing this every year since 2007 or so.  I promise that video is important, but it’s not even a trend anymore – it’s just plain here.

I’ve been online since 1994 or 1995, and I’ve seen a lot of changes.  I started my first website in 1998 for my business, and I started blogging in 2004.  Even though I feel like I understand this stuff pretty well, I don’t consider myself to be a full-blown expert, other than in certain specialized niches.  I am not selling anything with this post, either.  🙂

A few thoughts I want to share with you:

  • Google and Facebook really aren’t competitors at this point, and I don’t see that changing.
  • Facebook, Twitter and blogging are all important and useful in your marketing mix, but don’t overlook SEO.
  • YouTube may get a lot of searches, but most people aren’t going there to buy anything.  If you manage to get leads from your videos, I bet they found the video…..on Google’s organic search results.

The bottom line is that not everyone is as knowledgeable as he/she may indicate.  Sometimes, those who are respected as teachers and consultants for internet marketing and social media are simply those who are speaking loudest, or in the right place at the right time.

There are a bunch of people I respect in social media, people who “walk the talk” and whom I admire. I won’t even attempt to name them here, because I know that I will leave out someone important.  Many of them have written books on these subjects and they deserve their accolades.  Unfortunately, however, I’ve also seen a growing group of people who are proclaiming their importance and tech knowledge to anyone who will pay attention.

Just some food for thought.  Sorry if this one came across is negative.  I just really hate to see anyone being led astray.

Thanks for reading!

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/span112/3682335659/

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  • Jody Keating

    Jason, I agree with you however many of the Guru’s of social media only provide I “Give Un-Reliable Utterances) (Guru) for short.
    Essentially no-one can project the future of social media as it’s an evolving process that very few participants can appreciate and understand. Who knew that either Google, Youtube or Facebook would be where there they are today…..none of us!
    Anyone that really is a GURU will be the first to acknowledge that they do now know everything or where the future may lie but they will also acknowledge that what works for the moment is what matters.

  • Anonymous

    Jody – Thanks for stopping by to comment. I agree that those who are truly wise are also humble about their knowledge and not “know it alls”.

  • Peilei

    Jason, first I agree with your assessment of most gurus. However, there is a kernel of truth to their mumblings. Consider that Google is advertising company. 85%+ of Google’s revenue comes from ads. Google’s platform for ads is their search engine, primarily.

    Facebook continues to capture eyes/traffic in ever increasing amounts and Facebook is working hard to keep their users on their site. Essentially, any site that captures traffic and keeps it is a Google competitor. This is the kernel of truth from which gurus proclaim that the two are locked in a death struggle.

    Almost everything that Google does should be understood and placed in the context of ad revenue. Even the crazy stuff like build a phone operating system (Android). They are all about ads. They give most everything away for free. Therefore, any site that captures a large portion of Internet traffic and keeps people off Google and Google-affiliated properties is a direct Google competitor.

    Death struggle – not at this point. Competitors, yes. The guru claim is silly. Facebook is much to limited and closed at this point to replace Google. Of course, gurus need to sell product and to do that they need to get you attention. So, the building must be on fire.

  • Debe Maxwell

    I agree with your point of view, Jason. In an article from mid-2010 in Realtor.com, the major phones used by agents were listed–the Droid was not even on the list. Times change, technology develops and we adapt. Like you though, I don’t feel that the basic search will change from Google to FB; I will say that I do perform a good number of specific searches on ActiveRain.com where it relates to anything real estate and FB if I’m in search of friends.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Debe! I just find it funny that some of the “experts” (a few of whom are in our industry) are predicting that Facebook will be far more important than Google for business. I think both are important, and they’re in related, overlapping spheres. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    With regard to competing for ad revenue, I will concede that point. However, in my primary industry, real estate, people simply aren’t visit Facebook to find an agent or a home at this point. In the future, this could change, but Facebook isn’t a destination for this type of activity, and to use their traffic figures vs. Google to indicate a shift is what I like to call “how to lie with statistics”. 🙂

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