"Smartphones surpassed 125 million U.S. consumers and tablets are now owned by more than 50 million." 2012 Mobile Future in Focus, comScore
We’ve already written about Google’s foray into social search, Search Plus Your World, which linked their social network, Google+, to their traditional search engine to provide social search results from within Google. That move had many people up in arms over Google’s exclusion of any other social media results besides those on Google+. Overall, it seemed a bit too controlling for many people’s tastes.
Now Facebook and Bing have teamed up to respond to Google’s move by providing customized Bing search results that are influenced by a user’s Facebook friends. This is a significant move by Bing to attempt to gain market share by taking advantage of Facebook’s far more popular platform. One of the failings behind Search Plus Your World is that the results are powered by Google+ data, which is laughably sparse when compared to that of Facebook. If social search proves to be important to users (which is still not a guarantee), a move like this could persuade many Google users to move to Bing, which is a much simpler move than going from Facebook to Google+.
So why is this move important? Right now, the implications of this move for B2B marketing are limited. However, as more people use Facebook for business by liking companies or even liking industry stories, the database to power business-related Bing searches will increase. So, in order to increase visibility in Bing searches, linking as many resources as possible to Facebook will be increasingly important. Every blog post, PDF and page of the site (where appropriate) should receive a Facebook like button. The more likes you receive, the more likely you will be to show up in a Bing search.
That being said, Bing still only accounts for around 18% of the search market. While that percentage has been steadily increasing since October 2011, it’s probably best to wait to see how everything shakes out before making any drastic changes to your SEO and/or social media strategy. But, knowledge is power – keep this one on your radar.