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Facebook Caught Besmirching the Good Name of Google

Stephen Logan

by Stephen Logan on 13th May 2011

Google has its fair share of competitors across a wide range of industries, most of whom would probably be more than happy to put the boot in on them. Whilst these undercover operations are far from uncommon, it is extremely rare that they are ever uncovered.

Well, that’s exactly what has happened. And if that wasn’t surprising enough in itself, the source of this ‘secret’ smear campaign certainly is. No it’s not Microsoft; a company battling tooth and nail in a number of key technology fields, not least in search, internet browsers and operating systems. It’s not even Google’s newest nemesi Apple, who are actively engaged in smartphone and tablet warfare.

In fact, the company looking to dig up some dirt on Google was actually found to be Facebook.

Considering the recent ‘successes’ that Google has had within the social networking sphere, it’s a little surprising that Facebook felt the need to undergo a smear campaign. However, that’s exactly what they did – as revealed in The Daily Beast.

This skulduggery was perpetrated by representatives of leading PR agency Burson-Marsteller. It seems that the social networking giant decided it was unhappy with Google siphoning data from its site as well as having concerns over the security of user information through ‘Circle’ – the friends of friends system Google developed.

Unfortunately, it quickly went from a covert whisper campaign to a rather loud and overt embarrassment. Worst of all, the admission of guilt from Facebook has successfully deflected any attention from the search engine’s activities.  Therefore, even if there are issues that should be looked into more closely, the impetus to do so has been lost somewhat.

As previously mentioned, it would be rather foolish to assume that this is an isolated instance. Everybody wants to get a competitive advantage, whatever it takes. Whilst most tactics are out in the public domain and fully above board, you can be sure that a little subterfuge is going on behind the scenes.

For Facebook, this should serve as a valuable and humbling lesson. The rivalry has been cranked up a notch or two with this revelation and you can be pretty sure that both sides will be looking to gain the upper hand in the months to come.  Things should certainly get interesting from now on.

Stephen Logan

Stephen Logan

Stephen Logan is our Senior Content Marketer at Koozai. With four years experience writing exclusively for the search engine marketing industry, he has amassed a wealth of industry related knowledge. He will be breaking news stories and contributing compelling SEO related stories.

1 Comment

  • Mike Essex

    Mike 13th May 2011

    Ultimately it’s quite promising that the blogs they contacted didn’t just run with the Google story. They did their own research and found the claims against Google were unsubstantiated. The message sent to them from the PR agency looked well researched, had citations and made quite a valid argument, but was seen through by the blogs doing their own research.

    Good to see blogs not running something just because some says it’s so, no matter how many citations they may have.

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