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Facebook Searches For A Way To Compete With Google

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) might come up with its own search engine. According to its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, the market, which has been largely dominated by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), presents a huge opportunity for the social networking giant. The young CEO also said at the tech industry conference in San Francisco this week that Facebook is uniquely positioned to foray into this segment.

Facebook Searches For A Way To Compete With Google

Also, an Ex-Googler, Lars Rasmussen joined Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) about 20 months back and is working on a project to improve search. The CEO’s comment and Ex-Googler joining FB, clearly signals that the company, sooner or later, will enter the internet’s most lucrative markets. It’s only logical for Facebook to enter this market, as its own advertising revenue growth rates are slowing.

The 28 year old CEO also said that his company is progressing well on mobile business, calling it ‘killer stuff’, and is confident of a bright future for the company.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s talk’s of a search was one the main headlines that grabbed everyone’s attention, though none of the experts and analyst have any clue on what, exactly, a Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) search service would look like and how it will be different from Google. Facebook currently uses Microsoft’s Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing for search queries entered on the social networking site. With the help of Bing, Facebook users can find pages within its social network. The CEO also said that Facebook currently handles about a billion queries per day, from Facebook users trying to find other people, but a significant portion of the queries are related to businesses, brands, and apps on Facebook. Talking about such queries, the CEO believes these represent a big opportunity. “Facebook is really uniquely positioned to answer a lot of the questions that people have,” Zuckerberg said, and added “These are queries that you could potentially do with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), if we built out the system that you just couldn’t do anywhere else, and at some point we’ll do it.”

On the other hand, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been attempting to combine social and search for at least a year now, by integrating Google+ into its search engine.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) “might be the only company on earth that I think could truly go up against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and win on the search side,” said Gerry Campbell, who has been involved with web search at various companies for more than ten years. Another expert, a CEO of tech consulting firm Frequency Group, said, “the massive amount of data that Facebook has about all the activity on its 955-million-user social network, as well on external websites that feature its Like button, represent a partial index of the web that would be satisfying enough for most users.” Bill Gross, an industry veteran and CEO of Idealab, who developed the search advertising business model that is used by Google and Microsoft’s Bing, said “”I don’t think people care about ‘social search’ itself, but they do care about getting better search results,” and further said that if the company comes up with an ideal solution to use the information in its social network to provide consumers with better web search results then it certainly has a chance to compete with Google and steal more market share.

However, there were doubts by many experts on Facebook’s search engine, one such was from Citi analyst Mark Mahaney, who said “Search is an extremely complex, time-intensive, capital intensive endeavor, with dramatic learning curve advantages,” he then added, “From a Wall Street perspective you have to have to have a little bit of a critical read on this and say ‘When your stock’s been trashed, you tend to maybe talk about things to get the stock moving.”

As per the data from research firm ComScore, Google dominates the market, with a 66.4 percent market share, while Microsoft’s Bing had 15.9 per cent share and Yahoo which also uses Bing had 12.8 per cent share.

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Aman Jain
Personal Finance Writer

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