It has long been a giant tech tug-of-war between social media and search, with Google and Facebook at the respective ends of the rope. Google already owned the lions’ share of online advertising in the decade leading up to the emergence of social media as a viable form of more intimate advertising, and Facebook – as well as other sites, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, to a lesser degree – bet everything on its ability to close the distance.
Even as the social network corralled over a billion users and closed the gap, it seemed that Google would always outpace it, as Search proved to be a more viable advertising platform than paid ads on social network profiles. On Friday, October 18, much of that changed, as Google announced its intention to sell Facebook ads through the DoubleClick Bid Manager. Soon, businesses that buy targeted ads on Facebook will no longer be relegated solely to the premier social platform, and can take advantage of Google’s considerable reach.
It seems Google is continuing its tradition of branching out – as evidenced by the recent Google Fiber free wireless network – and turning competitors into part-time allies. Just recently, the Mountain View, CA-based tech giant purchased the social signals intelligence company Wildfire, to supply the Search algorithm with a way to gauge social signals and incorporate them into search results. This couldn’t have come at a better time for Google, as more and more consumers are opting to do their searching and communicating on mobile devices than workstations. Facebook’s purchase of ad server Atlas seems to further buttress the hints at their tentative liaison – but don’t ever expect a merger between the two companies.