Microsoft's Bing Introduces Linked Pages for Users

Microsoft's latest Bing feature lets users associate pages from around the Web with their name. Bing continues to trail Google in the search-engine wars.

Microsoft has introduced a way to make people stand out more clearly on Bing, its search engine.

A new €œLinked Pages€ feature lets users associate pages from around the Web with their name, allowing others to tell the difference between, say, five different John Does. €œWith Linked Pages, we€™re letting you link Websites related to you by search results,€ read a Feb. 22 note on the Bing Community blog. €œNow your friends looking for you online can find what you want them to find. You can also link pages to your friends helping them shine on Bing as well.€

Users who want to take advantage of the feature will need to log in via their Facebook ID and give Bing permission to post to Facebook. Users can also remove posted links. €œOnce you remove a link, you are the only person that can go back and relink yourself to that page,€ the posting added.

Facebook and Bing have something of a symbiotic relationship, with the social network€™s €œLike€ button appearing in the latter€™s search results. In addition, Bing also offers up Facebook information as part of its results. For example, Bing can notify users of airfare deals to places they€™ve €œLiked€ on Facebook, and lets users post Bing Shopping Pages on their Facebook wall.

€œDecisions don€™t get made on rationality alone,€ Bing director Stefan Weitz told eWEEK in 2011. €œPeople ask other people for information. Eighty percent of the people making a purchase online will delay that decision until they ask someone else.€

Despite that focus on social search, Bing continues to trail Google in the overall search market by a significant margin. In order to help close that gap, Microsoft has entered into search-related agreements with other companies in addition to Facebook. Bing now powers Yahoo€™s back-end search, for example, which essentially doubles Microsoft€™s overall search-engine market share.

But Google has been making moves of its own. In November, the search-engine giant tweaked its algorithm, with an eye to improving search results and better competing with the floods of data from Facebook and Twitter. It is also devoting significant resources to its Google+ social network, whose data has likewise begun to appear in Google search results.

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