Google, Bing and Facebook: The Tale Of Clickstreams

With the hullabaloo over Bing copying Google search results that occurred yesterday, I started to think what may have motivated the announcement and its timing. Obviously, maximum impact was one, but beyond that why would Google take it to the court of public opinion before using other methods.

Google obviously keeps an eye on its competitors and in search Bing is their biggest. But Facebook, on the other hand, with its vast army of users may be more of a threat to the search giant. Now, Facebook and Microsoft have started a partnership - Facebook sharing information from their site with them and Bing using it in their search results.

But what happens if Facebook were to integrate Bing in to their site? There have been rumors to that effect. But the impact of the partnership has already seemed to raise Bing's numbers. If you look at the Alexa traffic numbers it would appear Bing is making headway.

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Bing shows an increase in traffic for the month of 24% against Google's 4.7% - granted Google's number would be higher since they have more search share, but if you factor in comScore percentages of 29% to 67% then Bing did have a bigger increase.

Did the Facebook partnership help? Did the "new and exclusive collaboration with Facebook designed to make search more social and relevant to you" have an impact?

Either way the fight for Facebook partnering seems to be important. No doubt all three have seen what Alexa shows about the clickstreams of Bing and Google..

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Facebook tops Google for where people go after using them, as well as where they were before using them. If Bing and Facebook continue their partnership could these numbers jump for Bing and drop for Google? Only time will tell, but is Google willing to just sit by and wait? They do have a record of being aggressive.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.