The Internet Search battle has escalated. Bing, the Microsoft search engine, announced it will begin to integrate data from Facebook as part of their central search experience on the site.
That means that the links to the pages that our friends recommended when using the “I Like” button will have higher rankings than other results on the page, for example. Bing also includes in its search results both pages and content of articles hosted on Facebook. Moreover, the results of each search can also be shared on the FB network.
To use the new service, users need to log in to Facebook through Bing.
The rise of social search
These new tools show us that the search engines are betting that the information coming from social networks is increasingly important to bring to you what you want.
A few weeks ago Google began to turn its “+1” through which users can recommend links to those who follow them on social networks. This project, however, does not include Facebook.
“Bing and Facebook are taking a gamble-one that marries the logic of search, with the recommendations and views of your network and the masses, helping to to expand the search dimension. This takes search engines from a purely data based decision to a new system that taps the power of humans.
According to Microsoft “research shows that 90% of people seek advice from family and friends as part of their decision process.”
The project follows the current South Korean search model where Google is not the leader. In this country people seek information and advice among their networks of friends and relatives whom they trust, something not found in other Internet service providers.
Microsoft is an investor in Facebook and as such seems to have some kind of data exclusivity with the company. To date no other search engine has announced a similar agreement with the Social Network giant.
On the other hand, Google and Facebook have been locked in a battle on transparency of data handling on the Internet. The search leader has accused Facebook of being a “walled garden” for user data. Facebook for its part accuses Google of failing to respect the privacy of its users.
And meanwhile Bing is betting that with this alliance with Facebook and its current dispute with Google, it’ll be able to close the 30% plus gap in market share with the Larry Page Search Engine in the United States.