Google has said publicly that it fears Facebook. As well it should. The social network is now the most trafficked website online. But there is another reason to fear Facebook too. It has a competing advertising model.
For the longest time, serious advertisers online went to the pay-per-click line, and Google was the beginning of that line. The alternatives were Yahoo!, Bing (or Windows Live), and smaller PPC search engines. But then Facebook became the popular social network and introduced its own PPC advertising model. In the last couple of years, Facebook has improved its advertising offerings and is now in a respectable position.
The latest test run by Facebook is for real-time advertising. Will it win out?
Imagine posting to your Facebook wall, “I’m going out tonight and wearing my red high heels.” At that moment, an ad appears advertising shoes. Would it creep you out? Would you click the link?
The verdict is not out on whether Facebook users would tolerate real-time advertising. My bet is that they would. There may be a few complaints, but most people would just go along with it. So I think this represents a great opportunity for advertisers. If you want to promote your business through PPC, Google is no longer your only option. It may not even be your best option.