At least that is the feeling I got after reading the article, Google’s New Social Search Is Missing Something Super Huge And Important at the San Francisco Chronicle Website.
The article exposes Google’s primary weakness- A lack of social data.
Google receives it’s data from “bots” that “crawl” webpages for data. Google’s system has obviously been very effective up until now but, due the explosion in social media, the way users browse the web is changing fast. Users trust their friends and family more than they trust Google. They would rather get information from someone they trust instead of search pages that display paid advertisements and webpages with high page rankings.
Think about it. Would you rather use a product that appears at the top of a search page or would you rather use a product that 50 of your friends and family recommend?
All the article linking, video sharing and the Facebook “liking” is translated into very valuable user information that, combined with algorithmic computations, can be used to display search results. That is what Bing wants to do with Facebook’s user information.
In late 2010 Microsoft and Facebook entered into a partnership that allowed Bing to use Facebook’s “like” data to help personalize users’ search results. The personalized search results are not noticeably different yet but as long as Bing has access to that data and works to combine it with an effective algorithm, then the longer they will have an advantage in preparing for the future of online searching.
I still use Google a few hundred times a day but if something came along that worked better, I wouldn’t blink an eyelash. I know some people may not want their Facebook information used for online searching and marketing but remember, if its displayed on Facebook, then its fair game.
What do you think the future of online searching will be? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.