Bing and Facebook are forming a strong alliance and Google may pay the price. Nothing reinforces this statement more than recent news of increased Bing and Facebook integration. Here is a quick list of recent updates regarding Bing and Facebook strengthening the tie between the two sites.
Bing Users Can Now
- See search results that have been liked by their friends on Facebook, with their friends profile picture.
- Share Bing shopping lists with friends on Facebook with the click of a button.
- See highly liked items on Facebook that relate to the search query. This can include pages, status updates, etc.
- Find Facebook user information by simply searching Bing. This includes info such as enhanced profile search results, including profile picture, location, education, and employment details.
- Have travel updates sent directly to their Facebook feed. You have to “Like” Bing’s travel search function to make this happen.
One more important point: Facebook “likes” now directly impact Bing search rankings.
As social media marketing and search engine optimization truly become integrated strategies, it is interesting to watch the evolution of Google and Bing. Bing has been non-resistant and welcoming to Facebook, while Google has done its best to develop its own tools that are similar to those created by Facebook, in an attempt to keep the sites and businesses separate. Google has also formed a strong alliance with Twitter. Ultimately, it is now Facebook and Bing vs. Twitter and Google. It’s a little uncomfortable for all of us, don’t you think?
The new functions being presented by Bing bring much more authority to Facebook pages and social shares. Now, authoritative pages and content, in regards to “likes” and shares, offer an increased opportunity for new traffic and SEO rankings. To elaborate, a new website will have a tough time getting highly indexed quickly for a competitive search term, but now they have the option of attempting to get their Facebook page or a piece of heavily shared content listed high in the search results. If they are able to do this it will allow them to funnel this traffic to the main website where the user can be channeled into a conversion process.
All of this really poses a few questions. Does the addition of these social functions in Bing enhance the search experience? Will these new additions attract new users to the search engine, diminishing Google’s base? In my opinion, these new features, if not addressed appropriately by Google, will allow Bing to grow and gain more search market share, the reason being, the younger demographic loves social media. The youth seem to be asking for a more social search experience. To them, Google results are dry. If Bing can become more like Facebook it may very well be the search engine of choice for members of younger generations, who are the searchers of the future. The only thing that can beat Bing (in this particular flavor of search) is the internal Facebook search engine, which is getting better each day, and/or a better and higher adopted system by Google. Because as of right now, it does not seem like Google and Twitter integration is going to cut it.