Facebook Login Fiasco Demonstrates Challenge in Competing with Google

You can’t make this stuff up.

If you’re not already aware, this week ReadWriteWeb wrote up a post pondering about how Facebook wishes to be the “One True Login.” The idea behind the post is that recent moves seem to suggest that Facebook wishes to become a starting point for most users to the rest of the web.

Google quickly ranked the post in its “News” results at the top of the results page for “Facebook login.” People began clicking on the post thinking they could login to Facebook from there. When they couldn’t, they began leaving comments on the post expressing frustration and wanting to know how they could just log in!

Here are some of the gems:

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And my favorite…

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Indeed, the last commenter is right. You can, indeed, go to Bing, query “Facebook login” and the first result is a direct link to the Facebook login page.

The whole fiasco reminds me of a certain “man on the street” video conducted by Google:

I’m sure we all have friends who are pretty clueless about the Internet. I’ve heard people talk about Google as if it’s a unicorn-powered magical robot that offers the only true pathway to the Internet. They don’t see the websites they visit by clicking on a result as separate from Google. Many probably think Facebook is a feature of Google.

Despite Google not always being able to offer them satisfaction on their queries, Internet users return time and time again. They don’t turn elsewhere because they don’t even know they can.

Other engines can innovate like crazy. Indeed, they have. But getting people to quit their Google habit is the true challenge. Even Facebook apparently can’t get people to come to its homepage to login – and they have 400 million members worldwide.

When you get in the thick of optimizing websites or running paid search campaigns, it’s easy to get into high-level thinking. Scenarios such as this are a great opportunity to take a step back and remember how web-savvy – or not – consumers really are.

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