Bing Explains Why Facebook's Graph Search Is A Boon For Its Business

Bing VP of Search Derrick Connell and Director Stefan Weitz describe how their team worked with Zuckerberg's team to make people "first class objects" on the web.

Today Facebook launched Graph Search, a search engine for the people, places, photos, and interests that make up your social graph.

But, as Mark Zuckerberg said at the press event today at Facebook HQ, "We wouldn’t suggest people come and do web searches on Facebook."

For that, there's Facebook's search partner, Bing. When Graph Search doesn't deliver the results you're looking for, you'll also get a list of Bing web results within Facebook.

Zuckerberg's emphasis on Graph Search's ability to deliver "answers" rather than "links to answers" makes it clear that Facebook and Bing are on the same page: The Bing team has long been working on a search solution that eschews "blue links" in favor of a search engine where people are as important as pages.

"We’ve been saying people are first class objects on the web, and more important than any page we could show you," Bing Director Stefan Weitz told Fast Company in a recent interview. Before Facebook even announced its new search, Weitz said of the new social era: "This is the first time that anyone has considered people as a critical part to search."

Bing's VP of Search Derrick Connell explained the newly enhanced Facebook relationship in a blog post today about Graph Search:

"As part of this product, our two engineering teams worked together to advance a unified search experience. That means that when people want to search beyond Facebook, they see web search results from Bing with social context and additional information such as Facebook pages."

Graph Search is also beneficial to Bing, who has made no secret of its belief that social data will be a key component of search. Bing Director Stefan Weitz recently told Fast Company that the majority of people doing research on the web--say, on a new product, or a potential vacation destination--won't rely on pages alone. They'll turn to friends and experts to get additional input before making a final decision. The more Bing bolsters its social sidebar with increasing amounts of social data, the less you'll be likely to jump around to other sources while putting together your research.

[Image: Flickr user Darwin Bell]

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