17 Sep 2012
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Facebook searching for Google war

Facebook could capture 50% of global search market over the next few years through a new 'Social Search' era according to latest findings.

Results of a report by independent digital marketing agency Greenlight, Search & Social Survey, suggests Facebook could potentially capture close to a quarter of the search market were it to launch its own search engine tomorrow, making it the second most utilised search engine in every major market except for China, Japan, and Russia, where it would occupy an uncontested third place.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his company has every intention of giving Google a run for its money by marrying social networking with one of the most valuable areas of the technology industry: search.

Representing a “big opportunity” for Facebook, search is an area the social networking site is uniquely positioned to address according to Zuckerberg, speaking at a technology industry conference in San Francisco last week.

Greenlight’s survey shows Facebook could increase its share to 50% within just a few years while acknowledging Google+ has been more successful than initially speculated meaning both companies will be at the forefront of the ‘Social Search’ era.

Surveying 500 people including students, lawyers, medical staff, accountants, the unemployed etc, Greenlight asked participants how they engaged with online advertising, search engines, and social networks, in order to glean insight into how consumers engage with marketers today, and formulate views on what the future might hold.

The survey revealed 5% would "definitely" use a future Facebook search engine if the firm were to launch one to rival Google's yet 26% simply would not use a future Facebook search engine if available as opposed to 27% who would if it was better than the current Google service.

“These stats therefore suggest Facebook could capture around 22% of the global Search market by simply launching its own search engine tomorrow morning," says Andreas Pouros, chief operating officer at Greenlight.

"It wouldn't need to be a spectacular engine either, just well integrated into the Facebook experience and generally competent.

Results also suggests Facebook could increase that projected market share to a maximum of 50% within a few years by converting the least overtly loyal Google users over to them, raising interesting questions about the future dominance of the global search market.

Can Facebook topple Google as the leading global search engine? Tell us your thoughts below.

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