Google will win war for Likes

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Google, not Facebook, will win war for Likes

Google leads at intent-driven marketing (through AdWords), while Facebook is top for affinity-driven marketing (the “Like”). But Research firm Forrester says that Google will eventually win both categories. Analyst Nate Elliott notes that “Facebook has more affinity data than anyone else, Google’s got a lot more of this data than you think it does — and Google’s affinity data covers a much broader range of social actions.” According to Elliot, Google beats Facebook on the three criteria needed to win the affinity battle: lots of data from many varied sources, the capability to bring meaning to that data, and a variety of advertizing formats to monetize it. He cites Google’s access to data on 800 million YouTube visitors, 500 million Gmail users, its search index, billions of product reviews, blog posts and Twitter tweets, advertiser base and experience with multiple types of ad units, and skills at analyzing “big data”. Google+ may not add a huge amount to Google’s data set for a while, but its Android mobile phone operating system, its Google Play distribution platform and advances in voice search for Web and apps are a gold mine.

The message for brands is to concentrate on encouraging affinity-type user actions across the board, which Google will pick up and factor into its organic search results as well as into its AdWords algorithms, not just on Facebook and Twitter, which are walled gardens.

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