Search Social Media

Bing Gets Even Friendlier: Enhancing Social Search Further

Posted by Lisa Wehr on May 26th, 2011 at 8:55 am

There’s no doubt that the popularity of Bing is growing due to their commitment to innovation and desire not to be outdone by Google (who has made some aggressive social integration moves in the last few months). Bing’s latest creation in the search world is putting them one step ahead of the other search engines—changing the classic way of providing searchers with results.

When you’re in search of a good local restaurant, who do you ask? Often a friend. Who do you turn to for medical advice? Perhaps a family member who knows your genealogy. The point is, Bing understands that nearly 100% of people turn to their family and friends for answers, recommendations and advice.

So, Bing has created a search functionality that calls your mother and your BFF and then provides you with their suggestions, merely kidding of course. But pretty darn close to my joke, last week, Bing rolled out their new feature, “Friend Effect”. If you sign into your Facebook account, and then search on Bing, you’ll be presented with personalized results influenced by your Facebook friends. You’ll receive search results that relate to what your friends have recently “Liked” or shared on the world’s largest social network. This is certainly a godsend for the eCommerce world. Just think of the endless possibilities there are for products and services.

The design of the results page is rather clever too as Bing lets you quickly see what your friends like in your search results by providing a small thumbnail of their Facebook photo beneath the search result they influenced (by clicking the associated  Facebook Like button).

Aside from being quite fun to see what your friends like, and helping you narrow your search, how does Bing’s Friend Effect affect your business?

Well, is your business “Likeable”? The Facebook Like button influences the results of search queries. Based on what a searcher is looking for and what their Facebook friends have Liked, the ranking of their search results will be impacted by the Like button. This means if you don’t have a Like button incorporated on your company’s site, you ought to get one immediately. If you offer products or services, it’s a wise idea to have a Like button for each one. And don’t be afraid to promote the Like buttons on your site and reward people for clicking them. Of course, Bing doesn’t stop there, their new toolbar features a universal “Like” button, which lets users approve (give a thumbs up to) any webpage.

Want to learn more? Check out Bing’s quick and informative video on their new feature!

What are your thoughts on social search? What do you think the potential of Bing’s new additions are? How do you think Google will try to top Bing? Do you think Google’s +1 social feature can really measure up to Facebook’s Like button, which Bing cleverly seized?

Leave a comment