Bing makes another step toward social search

Posted on May 21, 2011


Bing, long a second-runner in the search engine game to Google, has made another step toward social search with further integration in terms of Facebook data. The search engine added Facebook ‘Like’ results to its calculations at the end of last year, but in a recent blog post announced that Facebook data would be used in other ways for search results.

The new components for Bing’s search include ‘Trusted Friends,’ which taps into Facebook’s ‘Like’ data to recommend sites that three or more of the user’s Facebook network have Liked. Bing has also introduced ‘Collective IQ,’ which uses crowd-sourced data to provide a less personalised result.

Most notable in the changes is the introduction of ‘Enabling Conversation,’ which is Bing’s term for search networking. This component aims to put searchers in touch with those in their networks who are the best sources of advice on particular subjects. This is a significant step toward social search.

Google has also been incorporating social elements into its search options, with ‘+ 1’, a recommendation system, being added earlier this year. However, the leading search engine has not relied on Facebook for its recommendations, requiring users to log in and recommend manually.

An interesting component of Bing’s use of Facebook data is the effect of Likes on search results. Site owners interested in search engine optimisation for Bing will now have to pay attention to the number of Likes their site attracts, making the pursuit of Facebook networks something to add to the list of SEO jobs.

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