Bing on Facebook: What will we lose by personalizing the search result?
Yesterday, the "underdog" Bing made a very good friend with Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said his company would pair with the Microsoft search engine, in part because of its 11 percent market share, underdog status compared with the Google giant, which gets about 65 percent of search market traffic.
The partnership means people will start seeing Facebook information show up in their search results on Bing. It will pull "liked results" from friends on Facebook and add them to your search results. More or less, that means if you "like" Justin Bieber, and your Facebook friend heads to Bing and searches for "unnaturally talented, young, coiffed man-child," they'll see your "like" recommendation.*
The idea, posited by Search Engine Land, is that while search engines such as Google uses links to rank pages, a search engine powered by Facebook "likes" would be more trustworthy, getting you to the right data based on your friend connections.
As with many of Facebook's recent moves, the specter of privacy invasion has risen, but another concern also seems to be percolating: Will this hamper the search experience by narrowing results to random "likes" by your Facebook friends?
One reader, Roule, was not happy with the announcement:
What miserable progress: Google returns search results based on corporate ad dollars, and Facebook returns search results based on your coddly group's opinions of the corporate ad-driven trend of the moment. If this is the future of search, count me out.
Gizmodo focuses on the great Bing-vs.-Google battle:
There's no more powerful partner in social search than Facebook and its 500 million users, and no question that for specific types of searches this gives Bing a solid upper hand. But is it enough to make you abandon Google's warm embrace? Depends on how active your friends are--and how much you trust their opinions.
Th advertising and marketing Web site Kherize has a warning:
They know we trust our friends and are more apt to click on a link that our friends have liked (and so do the hackers).
Fast Company says the change means companies have to rely less on links, and more on great customer experiences:
When their customers go searching online--for a movie, a camera, a travel destination--their friends' recommendations are going to be front and center. Launched a store that no one "Liked?" you're not going to show up in the search results.
Facebook has 517,760,460 users, but how many use the like button as a recommendation tool? Does this further the serendipity of stumbling on a link outside of your social circle or does this just mean we're making our online lives bigger echo chambers?
What's your take?
*(Okay, that search may not be totally accurate. It is an estimation.)
| October 14, 2010; 11:13 AM ET
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