The fight between Bing and Google has gotten a whole lot more interesting. In February, Google accused Bing of copying its search results. Now, Bing is implementing a feature similar to Google +1 — but greater, with the help of Facebook.
Google +1 is a great idea, but it takes more than just being a Google product to gain widespread adoption. I’m unsure about everyone else, but I for one will not return to the search results page just to +1 a link. Things may change when webmasters start placing +1 buttons on their websites, but now doing so takes time. Also, most of my friends rarely use e-mail anymore. It sure is awkward to ask for their Google-linked e-mail address just so I can see their +1′s.
On the other hand, Bing had all these issues solved the moment it launched, thanks to Facebook. From small personal blogs to high-trafficked news sites, you’re always sure to see a Facebook “Like” button. And you probably already have some of your closest family and friends on Facebook.
How Does it Work?
Unless you opt-out, search results on Bing feature “Likes” from your Facebook friends. Say your friend liked Dice.com on Facebook. You will see his thumbs up on the search results page when you’re searching for “tech jobs” on Bing.
These thumbs up will also be used as a ranking signal. Bing calls it personalized results. Links that your Facebook friends recommend will be ranked higher, as they’re likely more relevant and a better signal than an algorithm.
Also, for more popular websites, Bing will show content that has the most thumbs up from other Facebook users, even if they’re not on your friend list.
Check out this blog post to see other clever things Bing is doing with Facebook’s data.
So, Google, don’t sour your relationship with Facebook, even if you’re the top Internet search company. Or is Facebook the one who’s severing ties with the search engine giant? It goes both ways I guess.