Bing has added to its list of Facebook features, the first of which appeared last year. But now we are going to see quite a lot of Facebook in our search results. Should this be the case? Should Google follow the personalised search results idea? And the ultimate question, will it be enough to make us switch from our beloved Google? Maybe it will, maybe not, but here’s our opinion!

So firstly we’ll run you through the new features:

Likes now affect search rankings

Well for us this is the most important change, certainly an SEO change which will have an effect upon many websites. Those with popular content such as blogs are more likely to be shown above competitors, irrespective of their optimisation for search engines.

Facebook pages integration

If your search result doesn’t have any likes from your friends but does have a Facebook page, its recent Facebook status updates may appear in your search results.

Highlights content liked by your friends

If your search result is an online blog, all articles which your friends have liked will be displayed below the result. You will be shown the article thumbnail and title. We listen our friends far more than a search engine, as they are real people that we trust. This feature is certainly an interesting one Bing..

Bing’s new toolbar

We found this quite a surprising feature. Bing’s new toolbar will allow you to like any online content, irrespective of whether it has a Facebook like button.

More advanced people search

Bing’s previous Facebook people search allowed you to search a friends name and they would appear in your results. This has been improved by allowing you to search for information related to your friends. For example if you search for something including ‘Lancaster’, Bing will show you which of your friends actually live there so you can ask them. We think this is a great usability feature Bing, well done!

Sharing options

According to Bing, 90% of us consult our friends and family on many decisions, known as the ‘Friend effect’. So to make this process faster, Bing has brought us more sharing options, allowing you to post things to your wall with ease.

You can read more about these features over on Bing’s blog

Our opinion

We like the way Bing is going with it’s personalised search results. This is possibly the way search results should be with the amount of personal details we list online. Whether we like it or not (no pun intended!) Facebook is becoming a large part of our online lifestyle’s. We’re certainly interested to see if these changes will convert some any of Google’s fans. We believe that the success is dependant on how Bing markets these changes. For us though… we wont be switching.

Let us know what you think!