While Facebook brushed off any comparison to Google’s search engine post-Graph Search launch, the parallels are obvious. And though the social network doesn’t coin itself a Google challenger, it seems there’s some competitive spirit. The Register has discovered that Facebook is semi-blocking any public events from showing up in Google’s search results.
By “semi,” we mean that if you really wanted to find a public Facebook event through a Google search, you have to log into Facebook first. Private Facebook events aren’t indexed.
The Register recommends typing in a search query in Google like:
- dance “January 2013” site:facebook.com/events.
- Or you can simply just type “site:facebook.com/events” into Google.
Regardless, the point is that if you’re logged out of Facebook and attempt to open up the event, you’re hit with a brick wall in the form of a Facebook login page. Even copying and pasting the event’s unique URL directly into the browser only brings up the login page.
Is there preferential treatment for Bing here? Since trying to access an event via URL doesn’t work for the Microsoft browser either, the answer is no. While Facebook’s partnership with Bing means it’s offloading Graph Searches it can’t complete to the search engine, it would appear that Facebook is treating both search apps the same.
So why go through this effort to force visitors to jump through these hurdles? It forces non-users to sign up or in to Facebook for starters. Secondly, by logging in, Facebook is able to target ads specific to you which the social network otherwise wouldn’t be able to do should you be logged out.