According to the numbers, Google+ is not a big success. Only 400 million active users has the network. In contrast, Facebook has over 2 billion active users. But can a social network be the centre of the internet? I think it is important to know, that Google not only drives the G+ service, but also a search engine. The question is, why does Facebook has no search engine? Is Facebook too small? Not really. The yearly revenue of Facebook is 28 billion US$ if we are combining this with the revenue of Timewarner and Microsoft all three companies have together 146 billion US$ revenue. In comparison, Google has only 90 billion yearly income. So the question should be: why has Facebook not an own internet search engine, which is better than Google? The answer is simple: they do not want inform their customers. It is easier for handling the mass, if they can’t search but only see push notification.
Let us imagine a world without a searchengine, in which a Facebook account is everything what a user has. He is logging in, see the messages of companies and gets news from Timewarner. That is very comfortable, because the articles are well written and the friends are posting photos. Only if the user searches for its own in the whole network he will fail. Is that the future? According to Mark Zuckerberg, the customer needs no search engine, because the newsfeed is so perfect, that Facebook decides what somebody has to know. Not providing a searchengine is something which can be seen as a strategic decision, because it helps to keep an information monopol.
Now we are comparing this with Google. Google has also a social network. It is not so perfect, like Facebook, but apart from that Google has to offer something which is more interesting: a fulltext search engine for the Internet. I think, we should support Google only for that reason. Because the customer is in a better position if he is able to query the internet for keywords. That gives him the power to inform himself.
The best example of how Facebook and other traditional media companies are thinking is Yahoo. Yahoo was a hand tailored internet-catalog which works by categories. The idea was, that the user clicks through a menu and finds so the information he needs. Comparable to the table of contents of a newspaper. And that is the way, what Facebook, Timewarner and Microsoft is prefering. Restricting the customer in his search, not allowing him to search in fulltext-archives and instead presenting him a feed of careful selected information. To be fair, Google Plus has also a newsfeed and the information quality there is even worse like in Facebook, but Google has apart from it also a fulltext-search box. Technically Facebook and Microsoft could doing the same, but they are not interesting in such a service. They want to push information to the customers, because this is easier for their business.
I’m not against Facebook because of their social network, I’m against it because they have no additional searchengine for bypassing the newsfeed.
Google vs Facebook
Some marketing experts have mentioned, that on Facebook the users spend most of their time. Other people are saying that Reddit is the frontpage of the Internet. But the truth is, that Google.com is the Internet-frontpage because the searchengine is more valuable than any other service. According to Alexa, Google is on rank #1 worldwide for all websites. Not because the site is so good but because the users are thinking so.
Perhaps it is possible to delete any other website for example Stackoverflow, Wikipedia, Reddit, Facebook, Youtube and Amazon. But one site is more important and shouldn’t be deleted: a fulltext searchengine. Sometimes Google is called a monopolist, because their searchengine is so strong. But in reality, other companies can provide their own search engine. They have enough capital and enough servers for doing so. But they don’t. Holding back information is the business model of many companies. Google is not a monopol, it is an alternative to what was normal before.
Even today, I would guess that a fulltext search engine is more valuable than a social network. A social network may connect friends and provides funny articles, but only a searchengine can answering questions and provide background information. Not using a searchengine is equal to the 1990s. That was a time, in which nobody was able to search for information. Instead information were browsed with different techniques. For example, somebody went to a bookstore and asked for a book about a topic, or somebody has to buy first a newspaper to get the information when the right time is for a certain movie and than he can switch on his television to watch the show. In theory, it is possible to get all the information without using a search-engine but it works very inefficient.