Bing Helps You and Your Friends Find the "Real You" with Linked Pages
Have you ever done a web search for your friend "John Smith" only to find that there are a million other John Smiths out there? There's a John Smith who's a photographer, while there's another one who happens to be a doctor. When you're looking for a particular person with a lot of name doubles, sifting through the irrelevant search results and websites can be a pain.
To address this, Bing launched “Linked Pages". This new feature allows you to tell Bing which search results are about the “real you." For instance, if you're John Smith the photographer and you want your friends to see pages about YOU and not about John Smith the doctor, you can use Linked Pages to mark search results that are relevant to you. This way, when your friends search for your name on Bing, the first search results that they'll see will be the ones that you marked.
How It Works
So how does Bing know who you and your friends are? With Facebook, of course. To use Linked Pages, go to bing.com/linkedpages. Click “Get started" then log in using your Facebook account. You'll be prompted to grant Bing permission to post to Facebook as you. Click “Allow" if you want to continue. After this step, you can start linking. Do a search for your name on Bing, and you'll see that each search result has a “Link to me" button below it. Click that button for all the search results that you're associated with (i.e. your LinkedIn profile, blog, company website, etc.).
Linking pages doesn't stop with you, though. You can also link pages to your friends. Just search for your friends and link away. Worried that your friends could link irrelevant or unflattering search results? According to Bing, “You have full control over what results you're linked to." When someone links a search result to you, you will receive a Facebook notification. “Simply follow the link notification from Facebook or go to bing.com/linkedpages to remove links you added or links your friends added about you. Once you remove a link, you are the only person that can go back and relink yourself to that page. And as a reminder, you have to give permission to Bing to start linking pages and can turn it off at any time by disabling the application in Facebook."
Facebook Permissions and Concerns
Bing's Linked Pages while helpful, does raise some issues and concerns about Facebook posting. Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land demonstrated that once you start linking pages, Bing adds a post about it on your Facebook Timeline on your behalf. This feature is quite annoying. As Sullivan put it, “If you haven't blocked your timeline from letting people post to it, anyone you're friends with may start adding it with these links, not to mention adding anything to your Linked Page on Bing that other friends will see."
Another issue that Marketing Land pointed out is “One missing option that may anger users is that users cannot move other pages above the Facebook link. Linked Pages will display the Facebook link above all others in the search results pages, an obvious traffic benefit for Facebook. If you are one of the users who like to separate their Facebook accounts from work, linked pages probably aren't for you."
Bing vs. Google (Facebook vs. Google+)
If you can recall, we previously reported that Google received a lot of flak for seemingly prioritizing Google+ pages in its search results. However, this time it looks like Bing is doing the same thing, only with Facebook. With Linked Pages enabled, a user's Facebook page is always on top of SERPs. It seems like Bing and Facebook are pushing back against Google and Google+. Could this be another sign that there's a war happening between Google and Bing (plus Facebook)?