If I were Google, I would be afraid.
I grow more and more enamored of Facebook’s ad platform every day. I am now probably spending 50x more money with Facebook than I do with Google. See here for my first post on Facebook’s ad platform.
On one set of keywords, for instance, I can get a CTR of 0.3%, pretty good I think. I am paying 3 cents per click. 3 cents. On this same set of keywords Google has no ads shown on searches, no one else is bidding on it, but because of quality score or perceived popularity or something they have a minimum CPC of $4. Lets see, do I want to pay 3 cents to target people who ARE interested in my products (because I’m targetting based on what they LIKE in their Facebook profile), or $4 to target people who are merely searching related keywords (possibly for a myriad of reasons)?
This is not a hard issue for me to decide.
Also, I’ve made a page on Facebook for one of the businesses I advertise, so now, when someone clicks the Facebook “Like” button on my page after visiting it through an ad (something that happens, a lot) they sign up for my page automatically, basically becoming a subscriber for anything I wish to post. This is a great marketing tool, and I dare say Facebook posts probably are read more than emails. It is also better than email because people can comment and ask questions. All told a great tool.
International ads are even cheaper, if you have a product you wish to target to non-US customers, really cheap. That is the one I’m paying 3 cents for (the same US based ad I’m paying 20 cents for, but I’ve paid as low as 6 cents for similar, but not identical, US based ads). I tell you what, it is very easy to make a positive ROI at 3 cents a click.
I also think Facebook widgets, showing how many people like your business or product or website, can add a degree of respectability to your site. These few thousand real humans like you, you can’t be all bad.
Google is turning into a bit of a centrally planned system, it isn’t a market driven ad auction anymore. They’re setting price controls ($4 minimum on terms where there are no advertisers ROFL), and they’re losing business because of it. Facebook is still purely market driven, if your eCPM is higher than the next guy’s, you get shown.