Facebook Search Queries Jump 10% in February

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Facebook redesigned its site at the beginning of February, moving its search box from the right side to the top middle of its home page, and it seems to have paid off, with the company’s U.S. search queries growing 10 percent in February, according to new data released today by comScore. That’s a significant one-month jump, and it’s great news for Bing (s MSFT), which powers Facebook web search and announced last month that deeper integration is on the way.

Facebook had 436 million U.S. searches in February — still a drop in the bucket compared to Google (s GOOG), which had 13.5 billion search queries. Google was down 4 percent for the month, but then, February is short, and every single site in the top 20 listed by comScore showed a monthly drop except for Facebook.

Facebook still has a long way to go to compete on search, though it has recently made its internal search tool much more useful by including sortable results from friends’ status messages, pages and events. The site sits at 15th in comScore’s ranking when you split out the major properties’ sub-search engines, such as YouTube and dedicated search domains like Ask.com (s IACI). But this trend seems likely to continue. Understanding information through a social lens can be incredibly useful. Not to mention, half of Facebook’s 400 million users log in every day, so they will likely become accustomed to searching through the site where they live on the web.

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10 Comments

Jules Mariner

Going forward, Facebook is likely to develop a significant search presence once it has amassed and analysed colossal amounts of shared data.

Bing is starting to integrate social elements into the search results and sites such as http://www.facebooksearch.us are offering compelling forms of Facebook social search of the API alone.

Watch this space…

jccalhoun

I would guess a lot of that 10% is from people typing their status updates into the box accidentally. I know I’ve done it more than once.

Ian Bell

This is more likely a failure of the UI redesign’s ability to help users locate Facebook tasks, functions, and people easily than it is the success of the search function’s placement… which brings to mind an interesting scenario: if they’re paid for searches perhaps they’re financially rewarded for having a bad user interface? This would not be the first such instance where a web site profits through ineptitude.

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