On Wednesday, Bing announced the roll out of Linked Pages, a feature that allows users to link their accounts or websites to Bing.com. The tool allows users to link any number of accounts, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora and other popular social websites, so they are in control of what appears when people search for them. Although the feature is user-facing for the moment, marketers may ultimately use it to link their businesses’ social pages to their brand names to create rich SERPs for their companies.
With Linked Pages, a user can control which websites link to him or her, so any time a friend, potential employer or anyone else searches for them, they will see only the profiles the user has linked.
Users log into Linked Pages through their Facebook accounts, and then they’re able to link other pages to their search profiles. More than anything, this feature provides an easy method for searchers to distinguish between the person they’re searching for and others with the name.
The move appears to be a response of sorts to the launch of Google’s Search, plus Your World. When logged-in Google searchers look for friends, the company will draw from their Google+ connections to determine who they are searching for and return friends’ G+ pages.
Among the primary differences between Linked Pages and Google’s Search, plus Your World, is that users must link pages on their own. With SPYW, logged-in users automatically see relevant Google+ results.
Moreover, the ability to opt-in will likely satisfy the concerns of the 45 percent of users that said they did not like the idea of Google using their social data to influence search results. Brafton reported that most of these users consider this an invasion of privacy, not necessarily concerned about the tool impacting the relevance of their search results.