Bing, always the bridesmaid and never the bride had announced on Thursday that they were expanding upon their Facebook like results and featuring them more prominently in the search results. But, it was once again overshadowed by Google punishing Overstock.com and then the Google Guillotine of ridding search results of sites with shallow or low-quality content. The “Farmer Update” as termed quite fabulously by Danny Sullivan at searchengineland.com goes into great detail about Google improving search results by creating algorithms to free them from scrapers and content farms. Poor Bing.
Bing Featuring Facebook Likes More Prominently
Bing announced in December the new trusted search with Facebook where they would be providing likes of friends as part of the search results. If you opted into instant personalization and your friends liked pages that matched your search query their results would appear down at the bottom of the page. Now, Bing has added the likes to the actual result where it is ranked. If you are thinking, geez, this sounds familiar. I feel like I have heard this before. Well, you have as Google recently updated their social search results.
According to Bing, they are extending the Likes in results to annotate any of the URLs returned by their algorithmic search results. Does this mean that any page we have liked and linked on Facebook will appear in the search results regardless of our privacy settings? There has been no mention of this on any research performed and searches on Bing did not have results from my page however according to InsideFacebook.com this change has not been rolled out yet. If it does include any page that we have liked regardless of us opting out of instant personalization, I can see some unlikes coming.
Page Likes in Search Results
What about page likes? Facebook has made some pretty extensive and comprehensive changes to the
business fan pages that do allow an administrator to act as the page and not themselves. This is a welcomed change but if a brand likes a page will that show up or is this limited to just individuals? Does this new change compromise the privacy that the administrator has set up for their own page? In other words, are pages automatically opted in (without an option to opt out) of instant personalization? I cannot confirm or deny this so I open it up to the community. Has anyone heard anything about the pages?
Naturally for any results to appear you have to be signed into our Bing account and your search query has to match something that a friend(s) have liked. Again what about a brand? If Kherize5 likes Pepsi and you are a fan of us and, you are searching on Bing for Pepsi will it show up that Kherize5 liked it?
Facebook Commenting System
Also there is the Facebook
popularity contest commenting system where users can like a comment. Does that like come into the search results as it is a like, it can be matched with your profile, keywords (both in your comment and then the article) and then does that make the article appear or do you have to like the article for it to appear in search results? Does the credibility score play a role? If so then I can see it now, the gaming of Facebook and Bing will be plentiful. This is very confusing or is it me and we should just consider that every like has the possibly of appearing in search results?
The popularity of the social signals appearing in the search results is heating up however I do not see Facebook likes having enough power to lure people over to Bing and take away massive amounts of search share from Google. They tried to be competitive by copying Google’s results but they were caught. They were telling us that Google’s search results were better than theirs, right? Doesn’t this hurt their credibility or are they such a non player that we do not pay that much attention?
Does Facebook have the power to lure people over to Bing and make Bing their search engine of choice? Or does our loyalty lie with Google?