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So what’s been happening?
Google has entered the social media foray with +1 which I’ll explain in a moment, and Bing teamed up with Facebook last year to offer friends opinions as part of search. On the face of it Bing’s move was a real coup as it gets access to Facebook’s massive user base. Google was so rattled that it’s responded with +1.
I’ve covered the rise of Social Search in a previous post and clearly Google took notice (just kidding). Google have actually had Google social search for a while but it’s not been widely rolled out and there is no support for a “Like” button hence the appearance of +1.
WHAT’S GOOGLE +1?
Say you are looking for a hairdresser and your search brings up 7 businesses. If anyone in your Google contacts list has +1’ed (not as catchy as Like) one of the hairdressers you will see this in your search results. The caveat is that you have to be are logged into Google and have a public Google Profile page. Take a look at Google +1.
The +1 button is competing with the “Like” button on Facebook but Google are coming from a long way behind and the next 12 months should be interesting. You can add a +1 button to your web page, the only problem might be finding space, what with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, a Blog and now Google +1, our pages are beginning to look a little busy.
WHAT ARE FACEBOOK AND BING DOING?
In a recent announcement Bing has enhanced the way it takes data from Facebook such as Likes and Interests. This originally happened in October last year and has just been enhanced for more accurate results. It now uses this information to present you with more relevant search results by “understanding” you better.
There is a huge debate as to whether the Facebook Like feature has a major relevance to search but there is no doubt Social Search when done properly will bring more relevant results assuming, you’re not just after good old information.
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