Wondering why Microsoft’s search isn’t being promoted on Facebook? Greg Sterling has noted this odd absence a couple of times, such as in his article today on a possible Microsoft purchase of Facebook. Others have as well. The answer is simple. Last year’s big Microsoft-Facebook ad deal didn’t include search. I asked Facebook about the absence of a Microsoft search box today and got back:

It is not part of our deal–our deal is directly for MS running industry standard banners in US and internationally.

The big picture? If Facebook does potentially offer a goldmine of search traffic, it’s still up for grabs. Theexodus of Googlers from there to Facebook could suggest that Facebookers wouldn’t want to fall under the shadow of Google in anyway, not to maintain its "next big thing" position with some. Then again, those Googlers might still want to work with the Big G. Or Yahoo. Or Microsoft, which already has an investment. We’ll see.