Get a load of this! RBC analyst Ross Sandler estimates that Facebook drives 19% of Google‘s search traffic and it’s “growing at 188% annually.” It suffices to say that Google’s market-share gains over Yahoo and MSN search engines have been pumped up by Facebook traffic and not Google stealing steam from the other search engines. Guess Google is starting to owe the online member community – Facebook – big. Wonder how that will play out? I just love when a social media plan comes together.
So in the time it took me to write this piece, new developments have already emerged. Google is informally entering (or re-entering, depending on your perspective on whether you count Orkut or not) the social networking arena. Already Gmail and Google Talk are transforming your contacts into a list of “friends.” You can share pictures and info through their Picassa and Blogger sites. Should you want to control some of the information people see about you when you’re “googled,” you can upload a profile. Hey, wait a second. This is starting to sound like a social network! I’ll leave the details of the topic up to others but it suffices to say someone has been listening to his mom’s advice, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”