Facebook vs Google in Local Search

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Google leads the way when it comes to online searches. It’s the first place almost everyone goes to when looking for whatever it is they have in mind. Although there are other competitors like Bing, Google is ahead by some distance when it comes to searching the internet, and this has always put it ahead in local search.

However, Facebook has recently added an important update to their mobile app that could change all of that for local businesses and consumers searching for local services to them. It will enable customers to find businesses in their area much more easily via the app, without having to leave it to search in Google.

What has changed with the Facebook app?

On the face of it, Google will take some catching up to do when it comes to daily searches. Their Places directory already enjoys a mightily impressive 1.5 billion local searches every day. However, they are still some distance behind Google who can boast an even more amazing 3.5 billion local searches per day.

The increase in Facebook’s traffic is the result of a redesign that enables pages on the app to behave in a way similar to a web page. This means users are no longer moved across to a different site, allowing them to access everything they need right there within the app itself.

How will the app improve your results?

The ‘nearby’ filter in your search options allow you to narrow down the types of businesses you are searching for within your area. As well as being given their location, you get to see user ratings, reviews and if any of your friends have interacted with them. Nothing quite beats a recommendation from a close friend, which increases the chances that users will want to try them too.

With so many people using the Facebook app every day, the ability to search for nearby services means they do not have to leave to open up Google. It may not seem much of an effort to switch from one to the other, but those few seconds can make all the difference when it comes to winning over a new customer.

However, there are some negatives to the app. Due to Facebook’s ongoing tinkering with their algorithms, many pages are suffering from a huge decline in organic reach. The percentage drops over the past few years have been quite dramatic, which means businesses now have to work even harder to ensure they don’t disappear from sight completely.

What does this mean for Google?

As it stands, Google remain the masters of the internet as they still receive many more local searches compared to Facebook. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect your Facebook page. With 1.5 billion local searches made every day, it’s clear there is real potential for you to find new customers via the app.

There will be more changes made over the coming months and years and you need to be best positioned to take advantage of it. Facebook is easily Google’s biggest competitor and they will be doing all they can to close the gap between the two. And if you have optimised your Facebook page correctly, your business will reap the benefits too.

If you need help with any of these strategies for your business we can help. Drop us a line by completing the contact form on our Contact Us page and we’ll be in touch to discuss further.

You may want to explore our podcast episodes, especially the one all about Local Search where we speak to SEO expert Lorenzo Luiso.

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