Can a Google+ backlash help Bing?

By Kip Kniskern | Posted January 13, 2012 30 comments

Google -LogoThere’s been a bit of a tempest in a teapot brewing this week as Google introduced what it’s calling “Search Plus Your World”.  The feature, which in some respects is similar to the way Bing uses Facebook interactions to show you results “liked” by your Facebook friends, is another step towards what Google is calling “Social Search”, as they explain in a blog post introducing the new features.

Unfortunately for Google, however, not everyone is happy about the new changes.  GeekWire posted a good overview of the backlash, pointing out that at least one blogger from prominent website Gizmodo is switching from Google to Bing.

While we think that the somewhat heavy handed approach taken by Google to promote its fledgling Google+ service may indeed drive at least a few Google users away, Bing may “benefit” in other ways.  Probably the more important aspect of the change, especially in the long run, is how it affects concerns about Google  and anti-trust violations, something the US Justice Department is already looking into.

Dave Winer just wants a clean set of search results.  However, Google, with Google+, and Microsoft, with its relationships with Facebook and Twitter, know that the days of the open web, where a search engine could crawl the web cheaply and unencumbered, are behind us.

We’re increasingly living in a world where social graph information (information about you and your relationships with others: what they buy, where they go, and how that influences you, etc.) is locked away in silos, as social services realize the value of that graph and the information about us and our relationships that it contains.

Search = social, social = search, John Battelle says, as he notes that we’re in the beginnings of a “major paradigm shift” in search.  The question is, can Bing step in and provide better social search results without appearing as heavy handed as Google?  And can it provide those results without pouring billions more into Bing?

Google took a bit of a PR hit this week (and not only for Search Plus Your World), but it’s a stretch to think that Bing will benefit directly from it, at least immediately.  The bigger question revolves around the race for the social graph.  Can Bing continue to build on its relationship with Facebook, which soon may have a billion users?  Or can Google build out Google+, dodge the Justice Department, and capture a social graph of its own, all while keeping its users happy?

What do you think, did Google stumble enough this week to give Bing an opportunity to advance?  Or does Bing still lack the tools to move into the new world of Social Search, regardless of a Google misstep or two?

Posted January 13th, 2012 at 12:12 pm
Category: Bing
Tags: Bing, Facebook, Google
  • uberlaff

    It depends on how much the bad news spreads. I haven’t heard numbers recently but I just get the feeling that there are not enough people on Google+ (60 million?) that are going to be that pissed about this.

    Two things need to happen, media outlets needs to spread the outrage and Bing needs to do something big to cash in on it. Otherwise… this will just be another blip on the timeline of Google.

  • Anonymous

    It depends on how much the bad news spreads. I haven’t heard numbers recently but I just get the feeling that there are not enough people on Google+ (60 million?) that are going to be that pissed about this.

    Two things need to happen, media outlets needs to spread the outrage and Bing needs to do something big to cash in on it. Otherwise… this will just be another blip on the timeline of Google.

  • Delibird444

    Search is a social thing now? Since when? I don’t want my friends to know I’m searching “cyst removal” or “famous atheists” or “or “who is Gucci Mane” (Heaven forbid you don’t know a modern musician, or your friends freak out).

    Search is a private thing, a self-learning tool- it is your gateway to knowledge on the web. Sure, if I want product reviews or opinions on brand name things, I want friends included, but leave social OUT of my general results.

    • j513

      Don’t think that’s what Google is doing to their search engine….I think you misunderstood.

      They’re incorporating social networks by means of….pretend your friend posted up on his/her status about a good coffee shop in the neighbourhood.  So when you search up “cafes, or coffee shops”, your friend’s recommendation will show up, making your search more “personalized”

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

        Sounds like a nifty feature if you ask me.

      • matthewthepc

        from what I’ve seen using it, it appears to be more of a you search for “cafe” it shows your friends G+ posts about “cafe” in the search results; not what they like, but what they posted. Bing does it by what your friends like.

    • matthewthepc

      actually, this is more like what So.cl does than the new Google+YourWorld thing.

  • Delibird444

    Search is a social thing now? Since when? I don’t want my friends to know I’m searching “cyst removal” or “famous atheists” or “or “who is Gucci Mane” (Heaven forbid you don’t know a modern musician, or your friends freak out).

    Search is a private thing, a self-learning tool- it is your gateway to knowledge on the web. Sure, if I want product reviews or opinions on brand name things, I want friends included, but leave social OUT of my general results.

    • j513

      Don’t think that’s what Google is doing to their search engine….I think you misunderstood.

      They’re incorporating social networks by means of….pretend your friend posted up on his/her status about a good coffee shop in the neighbourhood.  So when you search up “cafes, or coffee shops”, your friend’s recommendation will show up, making your search more “personalized”

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

        Sounds like a nifty feature if you ask me.

      • Anonymous

        from what I’ve seen using it, it appears to be more of a you search for “cafe” it shows your friends G+ posts about “cafe” in the search results; not what they like, but what they posted. Bing does it by what your friends like.

    • Anonymous

      actually, this is more like what So.cl does than the new Google+YourWorld thing.

  • http://www.ratdiary.com/ spragued

    A better question is whether Microsoft can poach disgruntled search engineers who just saw all their hard work on relevance thrown out the window in order to push their Facebook killer.

  • http://www.ratdiary.com spragued

    A better question is whether Microsoft can poach disgruntled search engineers who just saw all their hard work on relevance thrown out the window in order to push their Facebook killer.

  • Revolutions

    I hate to mention this every few days, but where in the world is Bing’s HTML5 update? I seriously despise the current UI.

    • matthewthepc

      they’re testing different UIs, so it’s just whenever you get it you get it. I don’t really like this method, but it’s not my say :/

    • john

      I am sure it will come…. in the next five years or so…

  • Revolutions

    I hate to mention this every few days, but where in the world is Bing’s HTML5 update? I seriously despise the current UI.

    • Anonymous

      they’re testing different UIs, so it’s just whenever you get it you get it. I don’t really like this method, but it’s not my say :/

    • john

      I am sure it will come…. in the next five years or so…

  • Robin van Veghel

    I’ve seen the HTML5 update, with various videos on Bing’s homepage, so it’s out there.

  • Robin van Veghel

    I’ve seen the HTML5 update, with various videos on Bing’s homepage, so it’s out there.

  • markiz

    Apart from the hideous UI, bing is also useless outside of US. Which is too bad, since, I would want to go all in on MS ecosystem.

    • Spindel

      +1 on this. Here in Sweden, we only have Google. Sure, we have bing, but it’s in beta and useless for swedes.

  • markiz

    Apart from the hideous UI, bing is also useless outside of US. Which is too bad, since, I would want to go all in on MS ecosystem.

    • Anonymous

      +1 on this. Here in Sweden, we only have Google. Sure, we have bing, but it’s in beta and useless for swedes.

  • Marspyke

    Three words, duck duck go.

  • Marspyke

    Three words, duck duck go.

  • JSYOUNG571

    People in glass houses should not throw stones at others. Microsoft is so worried about what the hell Google is doing, that they forgot we have been waiting almost 2 years for the official Bing HTML5.  Last week, I had not only the moving video picture, but I also had the flipping windows changing at the bottom of the page and showing the weather as well. That lasted for a week, and now it is gone. This is when I get real pissed with Microsoft trying to be a stone thrower instead of focusing and building on their own platform.

  • Anonymous

    People in glass houses should not throw stones at others. Microsoft is so worried about what the hell Google is doing, that they forgot we have been waiting almost 2 years for the official Bing HTML5.  Last week, I had not only the moving video picture, but I also had the flipping windows changing at the bottom of the page and showing the weather as well. That lasted for a week, and now it is gone. This is when I get real pissed with Microsoft trying to be a stone thrower instead of focusing and building on their own platform.