12:37 PM

Analysis: Sticky Versus Quick...Did Google Make The Right Choice?

Google has always been about getting people connected to the content they are looking for as quickly as possible. They even publish how quickly, in milliseconds, they perform a search.

This has been a much different strategy from that employed in the dotcom boom days of the late 1990s when "stickiness" was a prized metric and mantra. The more eyeballs stuck to a site the longer the better.

Google chose quick over sticky but was that a good business strategy?

Facebook likes sticky over quick and it seems to be working. Nielsen estimates that US Internet users spent nearly 2 hours on Google in March 2010.

They spent nearly 7 hours, or 3.5 times longer on Facebook.

Although Facebook revenues are secret, you could argue that Google makes more money per user/minute than Facebook. However, look at all the future opportunities to monetize all that extra time that people spend on Facebook versus Google. There's a lot of low hanging fruit that Facebook can pluck.

The Facebook experience is also much richer -- you get to see content from your family, friends, and contacts -- versus Google's plain vanilla page with a blinking cursor inside a search box.

I appreciate Google's quick in-and-out policy but if I were an investor I'd prefer a much stickier strategy.