In previous posts, I’ve put a lot of heat on Vivek Wadhwa, who – while he’s clearly knowledgeable – has also released a lot of fairly… let’s say “extreme” ideas for where search should go from here. One of his big ideas was integrating highly filtered social results into the search engine results page. Shoving aside the maelstrom of privacy issues and the technical impracticality of his ideas, let’s settle to one very clear conclusion: Wadhwa is right that search is, and needs to become, more social.
Both Bing and Google are currently in a race for obtaining the most effective social search features. One of the great advantages Bing has had over Google thus far has been its partnership with both Twitter and Facebook, the two largest social networking platforms. Bing was the first to introduce social search concepts, “lifting” search results that friends had “liked” on Facebook. Google, seeing the competition getting this jump start, levied their own creative capabilities for a Twitter integration that was more specific and visually rich.
The problem is that Google doesn’t have Bing’s social reach; that is to say, Google and Facebook aren’t friends. Google standing toe-to-toe with Bing was very possible temporarily thanks to adding their own clever ideas to Bing’s social concepts, but it only lasted a couple weeks. Bing has already released an algorithm change that uses a similar visual element to tell users who, specifically, liked the promoted web page.
Bing describes this “exciting new development” as something that they hope will be a “delightful experience” whenever it’s triggered. Certainly, Bing and its employees should be delighted by their ability to so clearly one-up Google in the field of social. Until Google manages to partner effectively with Facebook, they will lag far behind in the social search race.
[via the Bing Blog]