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Outsmarting Social Media: Profiting in the Age of Friendship Marketing by Evan Bailyn

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1. The Clash of the Internet Giants

Back in 2007, Google was sitting pretty. It was the leading search engine in the United States by a large margin, its stock was soaring, and it was innovating at an incredible rate. The word “google” had long become an entry in the dictionary, and our culture had fully embraced the company. All roads seemed to be leading to Google.

Social networks were a big deal back then. MySpace was extremely popular, and Facebook was a rising star, especially among college kids and twentysomethings. Conveniently for Google, those sites had nothing to do with search. They were separate businesses altogether, whose main purpose was to connect people online. Any search functions they possessed were either rudimentary or, in ...

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