Facebook just gave Google an orgasm!

This is a shocker, indeed. I don’t mean that I used the big “O” word in the title. I mean how the script is unfolding.

Facebook is trying to eat away at Google’s search hegemony. Meanwhile, Google has been laser-focused on toppling Facebook’s social network dominance.

It’s just like a classic movie showdown!

But every now and then two rivals meet at a climactic point in the script, engage in hand-to-hand combat, and…get distracted. They smell each others’ hair. They touch each others’ skin. They look into each others’ eyes.

But rarely do we see one of the rivals give the other an orgasm. Perhaps Hollywood is more family-friendly than social media after all.

In case you have been hiding under a rock this past week, Facebook “announced”:

“We’re getting to a place where because more people are sharing more things, the best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it.”

This has not sat well with the many, many online small businesses who are among the most voracious users of social media. Here are a few samplings I have read this week of reactions to this news:

To sum it up, if a person “likes” your page on Facebook and wants to receive your updates that way, tough luck.  For them, and for you.  Chances are they will very rarely see those updates.

As a user, I actually like that.  Just because I “like” something, doesn’t mean I want updates.  In fact, I might like something because a friend recommends it or because there is a contest or some other incentive, and the last thing I want is to have all that commercial stuff blocking updates from friends, inspiring mini-posters and those crucial lol-cats.

But from a marketer’s perspective, after investing huge amounts of time and money building up a “likes” arsenal, it totally sucks.  100 percent.  Let this serve as yet another warning – I laid it out in Who Owns Your Twitter Account? and in 2011 Social Media Fail of the Year – you don’t own the work you invest in someone else’s website.

Google “Likes” Facebook

So Facebook is neutering your “likes”.

And Google really likes that.

Google has tried many times to supplant Facebook. Remember Orkut? Remember iGoogle? Remember Google Buzz? Remember Google Circles? Oh, wait…that ended up becoming Google Plus.

Well, it looks like Google’s long history of trial and error is finally over, and the question most of the way through 2013 has been whether Google Plus could do to Facebook what Facebook did to MySpace. (Don’t get me wring – MySpace is still big, especially in certain niches. But it is “big” only if it isn’t in the same room as Facebook.)

A year ago, Google Plus already had some impressive stats, having passed Twitter in total number of “active” users, but still with only half the number of Facebook.

Social media users

Dreamgrow published the following graph showing the trends up to March of 2013, and as you can see, Google still had not broken out of the pack as far as actual usage by US users is concerned.

Social networking usage

According to Jeff Bullas, Google Plus is closing in on Facebook, at least as far as the number of users and active users is concerned, but still had quite a way to go before catching up as of March.

I wish I could find some more recent stats, but I can’t. However, over the past six months, I have seen traffic from Google Plus increase, not just to my sites but to others’, as well. And the engagement going on now has hit fever pitch with all the circle sharing going on (Yes, drop me a line if you want to include me in a circle share; I would love to join the party.).

So, to cut through the blah-blah-blah, Google Plus is storming the palace gates and what does Facebook do? Facebook opens the gates. If small businesses move from Facebook to Google Plus for their marketing, and at the same time bring their personal social networking over, it could just be enough to create a neck-in-neck race.

In the world of social media spectator sports, 2014 promises to be a year full of oohs and ahs.  And one big social media “O”.


  1. I tried Facebook’s paid ads when they first came out. The targeting capabilities were most impressive, and left all other non-search advertising behind in the dust.

    Unfortunately, half a year later I found myself on the wrong end of a $1,200 transaction at a Sam’s Club in Houston, TX (I haven’t been to Houston in nearly 20 years), in which the card I used to pay for FB advertising was used to make the purchase.

    Combine that with the fact that my Facebook account was being accessed by at least one person in Houston, TX, and it became pretty clear where and how the thieves got hold of my credit card data. That if for no other reason is grounds for me to avoid entrusting Facebook w my financial info at any point in the foreseeable future.

  2. Wow, very well written article, David. Not only is the title “enticing”, but the article itself delivered. This is not one of those “opinions based on nothing but just because I can” kind of article, but “opinion based on statistics, facts and what’s on the ground”, :).

    I really like how you supported this article with stats and facts. Makes it more convincing.

    With the kind of cash, manpower and properties Google has, it was just a matter of time before they gave Facebook a real fight and maybe even win. And it seems that time is almost here, if not here already. No thanks for Facebook opening the gates, as you just pointed out with this article.

    Talking about Google’s manpower and properties, apart from Facebook itself and a few other properties Facebook has acquired, how many other Facebook properties do SO MANY people use EVERYDAY like they use Google’s properties?

    I agree that Google plus will eventually close in on Facebook. And that’s mainly because of the power of the other Google’s properties, manpower and of course cash.

    But if one has something why not use it, right? Others will argue that Google plus is growing so fast because Google is directly or indirectly, subtle or otherwise, forcing people to use it, but I think it’s working very well for Google.

    As for us, Internet marketers, why complain if it ends up working better for us, right? I know I won’t, 🙂

    By the way, thanks for sharing this on the Internet marketing social networking and bookmarking site, Kingged.com. I have “kingged” this, as usual!

  3. Proof that no matter what site you choose, your content- continuing and stimulating- is what is needed for the small business to win…
    You can’t rely on another…

  4. This is such a great article, David! Very good statistics that back up the words and that title, wow that was amazing!

  5. One big problem with facebook is a lot of bugs. And FB developers teams don’t have time to fix them even after thousands of bug reports and complaints. Here are some bugs and a lot of people including me are complaining, but not fixed.

    I am admin of 5 FB pages. All 5 pages are active and running well. But I can see 4 pages under “Use Facebook as”, when I click the setting icon on the top-right corner of facebook. I can’t see the 5th page in this list.

    When I try to connect my page to twitter via http://facebook.com/twitter/. I noticed that this FB to Twitter App page also showing 4 FB pages instead of 5. It is not showing the 5th FB page “Smashing Ideaz”. And until it don’t show that page, I am unable to connect my FB page to twitter.

    This is not a special case with, I found a lot of FB users on community help center and discussion forums who have same problem with their FB pages.

    A few weeks ago, a lot of people were complaining about the bug to login FB twice each time. There is also another bug in page rating system plus some serious security issues.

  6. The most recent Google+ statistics I’ve seen are from Vic Gundtra in October, he stated that they now have 540 million active users and 300 million active users in the stream.

  7. No doubt, users still prefer to stay on Facebook because they are habituated with that and the other reason it’s GUI – that’s more important. Google is lacking in typical amazing user interface, if Google change it then Google+ can beat Facebook in upcoming years!

  8. Good article David.

    With brands losing their organic visibility on Facebook, it will be very interesting to see how the new Facebook video ads will play out for small business owners that use Facebook for marketing.

    Depending on how Facebook launches their automatic video ads this week; Google Plus may see a rise in popularity with small business owners using YouTube videos.

  9. Facebook is at a crossroads as we speak. I can’t tell you how many of my colleagues are either thinking about jumping ship or planning to do so (or have already left!).

    Google+ on the other hand is mostly filled with SEO folks looking to get the dofollow links. There are other pockets of folks, especially social media pros, on there for professional reasons primarily.

    It seems the various platforms are being self-selected by users based on strength of offering and interface. Google won’t stop until they make this work, but they surely haven’t figured it out just yet.

    Thanks for the great data and well written post. Glad to find your blog today.

  10. I have been punting Google Plus everywhere i tell you…what ever I share on Fb i copy over on Google plus because i believe for the amount of time then small business spends on Facebook, we are just not getting the returns. My hope is that FB will soon have a formidable rival, perhaps not a take over because the the competitor may also become as complacent as FB has.

    This was a gorgeous article…thank you