If you go to Bing and search on “pizza,” you’ll get the names of various pizza places around your area, probably some national chains, maybe the Wikipedia page on pizza (in case you weren’t sure what pizza was). But if you’ve connected Bing to your Facebook account — as you now can — you’ll notice that the pages your friends have ‘liked’ will get a lot better placement than they otherwise would have.
It’s called social search, and it’s been seen as the next big thing for a while now. Google has had something similar up and running for a while but they’ve never integrated Facebook into their offerings and when it comes to social data, Facebook is a pretty big player. It’s not for lack of technical know-how over at Google, it’s just that the two companies don’t get along and haven’t found very many ways to work together. But Microsoft and Facebook get along famously and so we have social search on Bing.
We talk to Christina Warren from Mashable.com, who explains how this new system works and what you can expect when you go check out Bing.
Danny Sullivan, who runs the site Search Engine Land, joins us as well to talk about why this whole thing’s happening. Danny says it gives search companies a way to get around the search result spam by serving up stuff from your friends instead of just companies that gamed the system somehow. He says if you use social search, you gain better results but you might lose some privacy as your digital trail is getting passed around a little bit more.
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