BING, Facebook Strengthen their Bond Against Google
While BING may only have 14% of the search market share when compared to Google’s 65.4% it has something which the Mountain View company does not and that is its close ties with Facebook. While Google has been in a state of war with Facebook hiring a PR firm to strike at its reputation. At the heart of all this is the golden prize, a close integration of social networking and search results.
BING has used its alliance with Facebook to pull it off first. Do a search on BING for shopping for a new laptop and the lists you put together can now be shared on Facebook, for your friends to see, at the click of a button. More than that, BING now reveals in its search results the pages your friends have ‘Liked’ complete with pictures of their faces, and then goes on to show popular web pages Facebookers have ‘Liked’ and which are deemed to be rising in popularity.
More than that, BING’s deep integration with social search can now reveal to you who of your Facebook friends live in particular locations, including their addresses. Apart from being a great feature for stalkers this, presumably, alerts you to visit those you know in parts of the world you plan to travel in.
One more BING trick is to now pull a feed of sites you want to be keep track of (like a deal-of-the-day site, for instance) and have it appear directly in your Facebook stream, saving you the time you would have to spend going to the site and checking it out.
It’s important here, to maintain some perspective. While the BING/Facebook integration is great from a social media point of view and, as far as social marketing is concerned it is the kind of deal that would have companies salivating in anticipation of all those friends who will find out your shopping choices and be swayed by you to change allegiance, the approach is in line with Microsoft’s corporate-centric strategy of doing anything. It is great for companies who want to leverage crowd-sourcing to make more sales but it is unsettling for the individual who may not want his shopping lists, pages he likes and his address appear on public searches. Nor does it address the Holy Grail of search which is relevancy in the organic results pages.Continued on the next page