Google, in spite of the ‘weekly’ new product announcements or enhancements, still derives most of its revenue from its blue links at the right and at the top. People go to Google for its most relevant search results, even though Bing and Yahoo searches have improved considerably. Google derives its power from its ‘perceived’ and ‘real’ search accuracy.
Who can compete with Google in coming years? Bing and Yahoo of course. But both do not have any momentum, in fact, Yahoo has a negative momentum, and Bing has possibly an advertisement induced and hype induced momentum to some extent. This puts Google in a comfortable position for years ahead.
How about Facebook ? A recent report claims that one in 4-7 web pages viewed are now from Facebook. So Facebook is already many things to many people, similar to the iPhone in many ways applied to social networking, with its Applications and viral Networking. It has huge amount of data including real time status updates.
What if Facebook develops a search engine that makes use of its huge real time data in status updates and other information, and adds the static (relatively speaking) content to it? It could produce even more relevant results than Google.
Even Yahoo and Bing together can not produce anything inherently better than the individual pieces to compete with Google except for some advertisement synergy, as they do not have any strategic advantages. Advertisement advantage is an offshoot of search. Without a search advantage, advertisement is nothing. Facebook has the real search advantages, and it should use it. It even has the people with similar talent as Google.
This might turn the tide upside down in the search race and Google might have its first REAL competition in search.