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A new study shows that Facebook would earn 22% of the search market share immediately if it launched a search engine right now, today. This actually brings up two questions for me.

  1. No. 1, why doesn’t Facebook have an adequate search feature then?
  2. And, two, what if the search engine just wasn’t any good? Would that share drop off considerably once users decided they didn’t like it?

Of course if Facebook did have its own search engine, that would strain its relationship with Bing. I can’t see that Bing and Facebook would continue to have the relationship they have now if Facebook were to develop its own search engine. So I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

Thirdly, if Facebook had 22% of the market starting out and it did build a search engine that people would use, it would likely siphon off some market from Bing. It could very well end up at the 40% market share neighborhood and leave Bing flailing like Yahoo!

Building a search engine is a difficult thing to master. Certainly, 22% of the share of the search market would put Facebook at No. 2 in the search engine competition. However, creating value in search is not easy to do as both Yahoo! and Bing have discovered.

I’m not saying Facebook shouldn’t build its own search engine. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be good if they did. I am saying that simply building one wouldn’t necessarily mean it would be good.

What do you think? Should Facebook build its own search engine? Would it be worth trying if they did? Would you use it? And one more question: How would that affect search engine optimization practices?

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