Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

Google vs. Microsoft-Yahoo Heats Up – Indirectly

 

April 25, 2010

There seems to be a misconception that recent upgrades on Facebook imply an intensified competition with Google. Well, yes and no.

On three occasions since Christmas Eve, 2009, Facebook has outdrawn Google in U.S. visitors. And Google now counts social media in ranking Web sites, but ostensibly tends to disregard the importance of Facebook.

Facebook made some big news when it unveiled details about its new “Like” button.  What you should know about Facebook’s changes – CNN.com was a very popular topic on the Web.

So, in defensive football parlance, Google is probably hearing Facebook’s footsteps. At the same time, however, Google is also hearing Bing’s footsteps. Bing provides search for Facebook, which means its capitalizing on Facebook’s success. And, of course, the effect of the Bing-Yahoo advertising-search partnership will soon be obvious. My sense is that Yahoo is already doing better in search.

So what is Google doing? It continues to evolve, too.

Google is already tweaking its Google Places, which it launched in the Q4 2009. Google Places inserts listings for companies that Google lists also in local searches.

The features include:

  • Companies can display the territories they serve in their service areas.
  • With advertising tags for which Google charges $25 per month, companies can be spotlighted on Google Maps and Google.com. Their applications include pictures and coupons.
  • Depending where you are based, Google provides free photo shoots of business interiors. If you wish, you can also add your own pictures.
  • From Google Places Dashboard, you can get customized QR codes, which direct customers to your place page. Prospects can use their smartphones to scan the codes, which can be inserted on your marketing collateral.
  • The search engine’s Favorite Places program is forwarding window decals that have codes to about 50,000 U.S. companies.
  • With Google Places, you will be able to learn from where customers are coming and who they are.

There are restrictions, for example, companies must indicate a mailing address and only one listing for each address.

Huh? Yes, all of these developments are true. Check them out for yourself.

Whatever your online marketing and search-engine preferences, such competition is exciting and provides more options for businesspeople and consumers.

From the Coach’s Corner, there are Google restrictions. Here are the Google provisos.

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.