Bing has long been giving searchers insight on Facebook updates with Bing Social, which Brafton reported on last month. Now, Facebook and Bing plan to make search even more social with a new alliance the two companies announced today. For marketers, this means getting content shared on the social site can boost overall search rankings and brand visibility on the web.
Brafton has speculated that Facebook would continue to improve its internal search options to enter the search market. We also reported that Google's CEO outright said he wanted Facebook data to improve Google search. Now, Facebook may be taking on Google's search engine, but like-based search won't happen at the social site – it will happen at Bing.
As announced in the Facebook blog, the social network and Bing are partnering to provide users with friends' recommendations on search. Bing search results now display a "Liked by your Facebook friends" feature for users who sign in to Bing with their Facebook account information.
Brafton reported TheFind.com has been offering like-based search for users who log in to Facebook for awhile, but the power of social search magnifies when Facebook data is brought to Bing. Microsoft sites serve as the third-leading search portals by ComScore's measure.
Marketers should take this news as an indicator that content marketing through social channels is more important now than ever. Bing users will be offered links to articles liked by their friends, so distributing industry-relevant content on Facebook will be key to catching clicks from both social users and Bing searchers.
Businesses trying to decide what type of content they should offer on Facebook might want to consider the findings of a recent CNN study covered by Brafton. The report indicates that nearly one-third of consumers favor brands they affiliate with news content on social sites. Plus, Chitika says news is the leading driver of traffic to the social network.