However, there has been a paradigm shift after Facebook introduced their Open Graph in April 2010 which attempts to make the web a “series of personally and semantically meaningful connections,” says CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Ben Popper highlights the differences between the two
Google’s triumph was to design a search engine that used the network of connections between different websites to decide what results were relevant. Facebook’s new Open Graph system does the same thing, but instead of using links between sites to measure relevance, it looks at social networks for the connections between people, places and things.
Facebook has started seeing success in this endeavor, as this chart shows, more traffic is coming from social networks as opposed to Google.
People trust recommendations from those they know. Christopher Dawson of ZDNet articulates the impact this will have on the market dynamics
As social networks become ubiquitous among much broader demographics, leveraging the web viewing patterns of users rather than links from other sites (essentially the core of Google’s PageRank algorithm) will become increasingly accurate, relevant, useful, and, more importantly, monetizable. If Facebook (or any other social network, or Google, or whomever) could find the right algorithms to match ads with user interests (accessible from social media profiles and users’ web traffic) and search, then there’s some serious money to be made.