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News Update: Bing’s Social Search Merges with Facebook

May 17th, 2011 | | News Update

Bing announced yesterday the addition of new social features on search results pages, nesting Facebook likes inside individual listings. If you’re logged into Facebook and you conduct a search on Bing, you’ll be able to see the search results that your friends have “liked,” as well recommendations from the larger Facebook community.










But the integration of Facebook with Bing search results doesn’t stop at pages liked by friends or the Facebook community. Facebook users will also be able to share shopping lists created on Bing with their Facebook friends. Bing Director, Stefan Weitz, explains that many people trust their friends the most for input before making purchasing decisions, so now you can easily enlist feedback from your friends online before purchasing. Similarly, you can also “like” deals you find on Bing, making them viewable to your Facebook friends.

Here is a quick look at some of the other features now available on Bing as a result of Facebook’s integration:

  • When searching for travel destinations, or services in a particular geographic locations, Bing will display your Facebook friends that live in that city underneath the map of service locations.
  • When searching for news items, Bing will let you know which articles your friends have “liked” from specific publications directly on the SERP.
  • Search results will be personalized using interests shown by your friends. This means that the results you see will be weighted based on things your Facebook friends have liked, regardless of where they may have been organically ranked otherwise.
  • Another key item being implemented is a universal “like” button in the new Bing toolbar, allowing Facebook users to “like” any page they stumble on across the Web, even if a “like” button isn’t otherwise available on the specific page.

This announcement comes on the heels of Google’s release of the +1 Button, and certainly provides a personalized experience for searchers on Bing. While Google stated that their +1 Button would likely affect search rankings at some point in the future, Bing has given Facebook user “likes” a lot of power out of the gate with the personalized search results mentioned above. As stated in the release on their blog, Bing acknowledges that most people don’t go beyond the first page of search engine results. And with input from your friends on Bing, you certainly won’t seem to need to do much digging beyond this.

Bing, however, doesn’t address how Facebook data will be able to be utilized by search engine marketers. Google mentioned the availability of anonymous demographic information in Analytics from people utilizing the +1 Button, so I’m curious to hear if Bing will be providing similar data to marketers/advertisers from their Facebook fans.

If you have a minute or two, I highly recommend watching this video from Bing:

<br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&#038;vid=243216f7-9941-4f48-a2d0-2065e06a47b5&#038;src=SLPl:embed::uuids&#038;fg=sharenoembed" target="_new"title="Facebook Friends Now Fueling Faster Decisions on Bing">Video: Facebook Friends Now Fueling Faster Decisions on Bing</a>

For additional reading on Bing’s new “Friend Effect” check out the following articles:

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more news updates from SEO Boy!

Sarah is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.

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  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    This could be huge for Bing.  Facebook has become a part of our everyday lives.  This could encourage more people to try Bing, and maybe they will like what they see.  

    • Sarah

       Hi Nick – I completely agree! Since I caught wind of this I’ve given Bing more of my attention, and have been pleased with what I’ve found. I think this partnership with Facebook combined with their new shopping interface will go a long way in bringing over more users.

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