Last night Microsoft and Facebook hold a press conference where they announced a new level of Facebook-integration with BING. Long-term partnership with Facebook will be expanded.
BING is the search engine which helps you to make decisions quicker and easier. If you are interested in watching a new movie and you are not sure if you will like it, then you search for the name of the movie and see immediately if your friends clicked on “like” at Facebook. You search for Video-Clips of a Rock Band and will find certain videos in a higher position of the search result list (SERP) because your friends “liked” it on Facebook.
This video shows you what the new Social Layer is about:
We are used to the fact that search results are ordered by
- relevancy (amount of links to a page, Google PageRank-Approach)
- boosted up to the top because someone paid for it or owner of search engine boosted manually
- freshness (newest on top, sort by date)
- density of query-terms in the webpage.
Now the Social Layer has got major impact on the search results and it is already realized here in BING with Twitter- AND Facebook. So we are talking with the forthcoming wave not about the first Facebook-Integration with BING.
The fascinating new dimension is that "Facebook-likes" may be the new currency for ordering search results (as we had with PageRank in the past). SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was usually a lot of work for specialists and is now also in YOUR hands because you show your preferences on Facebook. SEO will lose importance because a rich Social Graph contains data with more value.
The Integration of Facebook and BING is a controlled experience. It can be disabled on BING and on Facebook, so there is no need to share your favourites on a search engine but it will improve your search experience drastically. Making decisions (e.g. choose a Hotel in Munich, buy a new Laptop) is much easier if you know what your peers, friends and family think about it.
I would love to see more of these "social proximity" features! BING could also let me know if people have checked in to certain places or have written a review. I am aware that there is a Foursquare-App for BING Maps but this has no impact on the search results. If I search for a Thai Restaurant in Munich, then please show me first the one where my contacts currently are or have written a review.
EDIT: The new social features are active now! Switch BING to US-English