Google has more ability to bring meaning to data as compared to Facebook that is lagging behind in the brand marketing war.

Nate Elliott from a recent Forrester blog notes a new term called a "database of affinity," that is formed by adding up the behaviours of people during online social interactions.

This data collected by observing the social behaviours of people is very significant for marketers and a comparison of Facebook and Google indicates that the search engine giant possesses a broader set of affinity data than Facebook.

It is true that Facebook has more affinity data than anyone else but Google's affinity data covers a much broader range of social actions. In addition to tracking the preferred videos of 800 million YouTube visitors, Google keeps an eye on almost every review posted on any site online through its search index.

The Google search index also includes nearly everything posted on Twitter.

More value from data

Google is offering to marketers tools that help them optimise ad buys and this delivers more value from the database of affinity.

Google's business is focused on evaluating huge amounts of data to find out exactly what type of content people want to see. Through its DoubleClick unit, it has delivered more relevant ads to online users for more than a decade now.

Facebook mostly offers text-based and static-image ads to brand advertisers and doesn't collect many numerical ratings or detailed product reviews.

This site can significantly increase their success if it can effectively harness the data from all the likes and shares and votes and reviews it records.

The real value in affinity data will also be unlocked if companies invest time and effort in data analysis. They will also have to find out if people are interested in the ads targeted to them through the formation of a real-time feedback loop.

All vendors supplying affinity data should help marketers use that data to target online and offline brand ad units.