How social networks usurp Google’s local search dominance

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How social networks usurp Google’s local search dominance
by Wesley Young, Search Engine Land
June 18, 2018

Google may dominate most results, but not local search: How Facebook and other social networks take a significant share of local search away from Google.

Google claimed that at the end of 2013, it had 540 million monthly active Google+ users. According to SmartInights, quoting data from StaticBrain (paywall), in 2017, it was estimated that only 4-6 million were active. Compare that to almost 1.5 billion daily active Facebook users. In other words, Google’s social media presence is less than 0.4 percent of Facebook’s.

Why social will win local search market share
A Local Search Association study conducted by Burke in 2016 showed that word of mouth or referrals from friends and family was tied with company websites for second place among resources that consumers used to look up or learn about local products and services....

According to Nielsen’s 2015 Global Trust in Advertising study, consumers trusted recommendations from friends far more than any other source.... In the US, 82 percent of respondents trusted recommendations from people they know. For comparison, 66 percent trusted online consumer opinions (reviews), 61 percent trusted branded websites, 49 percent search ads, 47 percent video ads and 39 percent mobile ads. ....

Is it more likely for Google to attract social users or for Facebook to adopt search and commerce into its platform? Based on results to date, Google hasn’t been successful in several attempts at social media. Yet Facebook has incorporated maps, reviews, recommendations and search functions into its platform.

Edge: Facebook.

And it seems that the changes are having their desired effect. A recent study by the social media giant found that two in three Facebook users visited the page of a local business or event at least once a week.
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