Google has long been the king of search, dominating rivals including Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. But it increasingly sees social networks such as Facebook as challengers to its search engine, a company official said Monday.
As people search out advice online for everyday, personal decisions, the standard list of links served up by Google is not seen as intimate or trustworthy. For decisions such as choosing a restaurant or a day care provider, social networking sites or known review sites have an advantage, said Google Group Product Manager Ken Tokusei.
Such sites offer information from friends or acquaintances, and Tokusei said users tend to trust that information more. This puts Google’s results at a disadvantage.
“We haven’t gotten to the point where results are seen as if they come from someone you know,” said Tokusei.