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Search vs. Social Exposure
By Stephanie Tsai, Associate Editor, Internet Journal

Because social marketing represented by Facebook and search marketing represented by Google are coming from very different foundation and mechanism, it is instructive to compare how a company gets the exposure (traffic) through the organic way.

The paradigm for search exposure exemplified by Google is based on Google search page as the distributor of traffic and exposure. The mechanism consists of the following:

    1. Web page search ranking based on certain keyword. The two key elements of ranking are relevance and popularity. Relevance is how relevant a Web page's content is to the keyword. Popularity is how many external links from sites of significance to this page (it is like endorsement).

    2. Unless the site is a news or content site, traffic to or exposure of the Web page is dependent on Google to show that page link on its search result. Web page is really passively waiting for the traffic as the result of Google showing the search results and the searcher click on your link. If either of the two does not happen, you don't get the traffic or exposure.

Therefore, Web sites try to increase or maintain their high organic search ranking so that they are visible to the searcher and hoping to be picked. This is really a PULL model. Traffic or exposure is pulled in.

The paradigm for social exposure exemplified by Facebook is based on a user's Facebook's news feed page as the center of universe. The mechanism consists of the following:

    1. A person's news feed is a personalized information center. One can specify what she wants to see and can interact with the news feed items. She does not need to go to the source to find out what new. It can be fed to her.

    2. If a Facebook Page can become a part of her news feed, then this Page has an automatic conduit to PUSH its post/contents to her to get the exposure. Therefore, the Page can actively engage the user, not passively wait for the user to come to go to the Web site.

Because of this paradigm, a business can engage a user much more frequently, actively, and personally. For marketers who are used to the search paradigm, social exposure and engagement is quite different. Engaging users requires providing them with information they are interested and information that are useful to them, in the context of your products/services. Because you are now actively push and engage them, what you say to get them interested and keep subscribe to your news feed is different from providing contents to your Web pages.

From Google search platform and Facebook platform perspective, Google search does not have the demographic information of the searcher. It has a history of search interest of the search, while Facebook has the demographic and psychographic information of the user, but does not have the immediate interest information that the search offers.

Google+, however, can combine both and make it a more powerful platform for targeted ads..

About The Author
Stephanie Tsai is the Associate Editor of the Internet Journal Internet Journal provides the insights and analysis on Internet marketing, eCommerce, mobile communications, eSecurity, and global e-Business. If you have any comments about Internet Journal, please send email to


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