I really don't know what to make of this to be honest with you. For some reason my instincts tell me that what was said during an interview with Lars Rasmussen, Facebook’s Director of Engineering, was actually a slight mockery of Google. Here's his quote,
Emphasis mine. So Lars, Google does search so well you say?“I am working on something very specific which is super exciting but it hasn’t launched yet so I can’t tell you much about it,”
“I can’t predict what will happen in the future but I don’t think it will make sense for us at this stage to even begin to think about doing web search. Google does that so well.”
So now, in comes another Facebook plugin that seems to fit into one's website very nicely, easily and almost seamlessly. The new Recommendations Bar sits quietly at the bottom of your page, to the right. It initially displays the Like or Recommendation call to action for the page itself and eventually pops open in the very same manner and look as the chat popup box in Facebook, but displays content from the site you're currently on that you may or may not be interested in.
My theory (sorry about theorizing again) is that Facebook will launch a browser type of application that will virtually keep users on their site even if they're using Google or browsing any other website. First came the Like buttons, then the comments boxes, now the Recommendations bar. Will we eventually a Facebook browser? We'll see, but I can promise you this, if there ever is such a thing, it will be the next generation of browsers and probably so much fun to use - especially if you like Facebook.
Interestingly enough, when one clicks on a Recommendation on your website, they are taken to Facebook which redirects them to the new page on your site. Of course we know Google can now crawl Facebook comments but I wonder if Google can see and crawl these Recommendation links or not. I guess we'll find out soon? Maybe Danny Sullivan will find out for us.
You can see how the Recommendations Bar works in an article on my site written by John Britsios (Webnauts). Stick around on the page for a bit and watch what happens at the right hand side of the screen at the bottom. When I first implemented the plugin (which was super easy to do) no articles were popping up in the bar but after recommending some of the pages (in one browser with a ghost Facebook account (for testing)) I found, after being logged into my real account (in another browser) that the recommendations started showing up. If you don't see anything pop up on my site please let me know.
So go ahead and install the plugin. I say why not? And if you have an answer to that please share your thoughts. And in my opinion even though Google+ is showing some gains in memberships, their still far behind and not even in the position to compete with Facebook. Maybe the should stick with search.