The quest for Internet domination has sparked a cold war among two giants.
According to The Daily Beast’s Dan Lyons, the social network behemoth has tapped the services of a PR firm to plant anti-Google articles in the Open Web. In a nutshell, Facebook’s churning up SEO tactics to turn the SERPs against their godfather – Google. In recent weeks, rumors were swirling around Silicon Valley that a company hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller to pitch and circulate negative stories about Google’s privacy issues. Burson offered to help an influential blogger named Chris Soghoian to write an anti-Google story which they promised will appear in popular sites like The Huffington Post, Politico, and The Washington Post.
However, the plot backfired when Soghoian refused the offer and posted the emails that Burson sent him. Worse, USA Today reported that Burson is spreading a smear campaign against Google on behalf of an anonymous client. The Daily Beast figured out it was Facebook instead of Apple and Microsoft. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that Facebook hired Burson-Marsteller citing two reasons: Facebook believes that Google is cooking something against social networking that will raise privacy concerns. Second, Google intends to use Facebook data in their own social media service which Facebook resents.
The Internet rivalry has escalated into a cold war. With Google seeing Facebook as a threat, the search engine giant has made futile attempts to launch its own social networking site but to no avail. And now Facebook wants to throw a cheap shot at Google by pitching anti-Google stories about their company. Why? Google is about to launch it’s the latest social networking product called Social Circle.
Social Circle will allow users to see information not only about their friends but their friends’ friends as well. Google calls this “secondary connections” Burson then wants to pitch that Social Circle is a deliberate violation to an agreement with the FTC. Some reports tell that Burson is also commissioning Burson alumni to compel many reporters and journalists to circulate the privacy issues connected to Google’s new social networking product. It seems we haven’t heard the whole story yet. But one thing’s for sure, this cold war has made Facebook resort to clumsy attempts (and without any finesse) only to trample a fierce rival in Google.