An interesting evolution is gaining pace in advertising thanks to targeting and I predict the result will be increasing ad revenues & rising CPMs due to better ad targeting. This will resolve the free v paid content debate in favour of free content. Why would a publisher choose to put up pay walls and limit marketing potential for smaller safer revenues if free content delivered the holy grail of both good marketing AND revenue potential? I don't believe they would. I believe free would be a valuable competitive edge ultimately. Content is changing from being a product to being a service. That future means content will be free not paid.
FACEBOOK HAS AD RELEVANCY EDGE, FOR NOW
I am seeing more relevant ads that hold my gaze and show me things I am likely to be interested in on Facebook. Their ads seem more targeted for my activity than the ads I see during search.
Google needs to address this strategic pothole as their AdWords model is predicated on search terms actively typed in by the searcher. Whereas Facebook relies on my social activity to determine what ads to serve me.
Both are relevant. But whilst Google serves me what I need at the time, Facebook serves me what I want ALL the time. Google requires me to actively search whilst Facebook requires me just to be me.
And with the current rumours of Google Me set to launch to challenge Facebook's social network dominance the fight seems to be moving in that direction. Plus with Google beta testing results from one's Social Circle the potential to outflank Facebook by blending social AND search could be a move to make even Sun Tzu blush with pride.
One final aside, Yahoo and Microsoft really missed the boat on both social and search.