On Monday, Bing made some fairly significant additions to its social search feature (I’m saying social search because you have to be logged into Facebook while conducting a search on Bing for these new features to go into effect). According to Bing:
Today, Bing is bringing the collective IQ of the Web together with the opinions of the people you trust most, to bring the “Friend Effect” to search. Starting today, you can receive personalized search results based on the opinions of your friends by simply signing into Facebook. New features make it easier to see what your Facebook friends “like” across the Web, incorporate the collective know-how of the Web into your search results, and begin adding a more conversational aspect to your searches. Decisions can now be made with more than facts, now the opinions of your trusted friends and the collective wisdom of the Web.
You can quickly see what your friends like and are sharing. Find and connect with the right friends faster. Pick the brains of friends of who live where you’re traveling and share shopping lists with your own team of retail gurus. And, return the favor to your friends by liking more things on the Web. With one click you can let your network know that you like a brand, an article, a celebrity or even a place. Because we know the best decisions are not just fueled by facts, they require the opinions and recommendations of your friends.
So what does this really mean? What should you be concerned about for your business? Here are the top items that stood out to me.
1. “Bing will surface results, which may typically have been on page three or four, higher in its results based on stuff your friends have liked.” In other words, the Facebook Like button is now effecting individual’s search engine results. Brands that have Like buttons that get used will appear higher in the search engine results than brands that don’t. Which means, you need to have a Like button on your website and/or products. And you need to encourage people to use it.
2. “Bing not only shows you what your friends like and share online, but also what major brands and companies are saying.” The example Bing uses says that when you search for Avis, the search results will integrate any recent Facebook posts. Which means, your brand now needs to have an official presence on Facebook (if you don’t already), that you update with regular, fresh content.
3. “Our new Bing Toolbar has a universal “like” button – letting you easily give a virtual thumbs-up to any page on the web.” Again, we see the importance that Bing and Facebook are placing on the Facebook Like button, which in turn will impact individual’s search engine results based on what their friends have liked (see #1).
Here’s a quick video from Bing explaining some of the other new additions:
What do you think of the new Bing/Facebook features? Are you likely to be logged-in to Facebook while you search for items on Bing? How do you think this will impact search? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!