Mark Zuckerberg just put Google on notice that he's going after its cash cow

Mark Zuckerberg Larry PageBusiness Insider/Julie BortMark Zuckerberg and Larry Page.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg provided a blueprint on Wednesday for what could turn into a major new business: search advertising.

Facebook has had search capabilities on its social network for years, but the company has never really tried to turn it into a money-maker in the vein of Google’s lucrative search-advertising business.

But during Facebook’s Q2 earnings call on Wednesday, Zuckerberg made it clear that search advertising is in the cards, although he didn’t provide any specific time frame.

Zuckerberg said that he saw search, like all of Facebook’s products, as going through a three-stage process. Stage 1 is introducing the product to users. Stage 2 involves making search “organically” useful to businesses. Stage 3 is when Facebook charges businesses for search features.

Right now, he said, search is in Stage 2.

Zuckerberg didn’t elaborate on what exactly the company would charge businesses for when it begins Stage 3, but it’s likely to involve some sort of promotion within Facebook search results.

“At some point we will probably work on that,” Zuckerberg said, addressing the potential for commercial and monetizable search features.

That’s sure to increase competition with Google, the world’s No. 1 internet search engine, which generates the majority of its revenue from search ads.

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