Despite the attention grabbing headline, this article raises a simple and fair point that search brings results base upon links from people you don’t know, whereas Social Network search could return results your friends like.
There are actually three rather than two possible models on the Internet:
The Curations model: experts recommend.
The Search model: the crowd recommends.
The Social Network model: friends recommend.
Each will have its place and will be based upon the economics and availability of people producing the content people are looking for.
For example the Yellow Pages market will possibly fragment:
1. Curations: Zagats expert or Weblog writing key influencer model will work for high end restaurants and items you see in fashion magazines etc. (1 Zagats review of Nobu beats 100 Pizza eating teenage reviewers).
2. A Social Network will work for where trust is required (I’d rather trust my friends over a celebrity to recommend a Baby Minder).
3. The Search model for things like commodities based on price, such as where to buy Vacuum Cleaner (my friends might not know the best deal).
There will be overlap between the services and the types of things that they are useful for, but all three will survive as separate entities.