When Microsoft’s Bing first launched its ‘Linked Pages’ update, people were a little bit confused about what it really was. Considering the fact that it launched on the heels of Google’s content authorship markup, many assumed that this was Bing’s answer to that feature.
If you were among the people who thought that, it is important that you know that Bing’s Linked Pages is very different.
Where Google’s content authorship markup is targeted at allowing you to ‘claim’ content that you write and use Google+ as an identity verification service, Bing’s Linked Pages is intended to connect content that is about you, and not necessarily authored by you.
In a nutshell, it aims to help you establish your online identity by linking content that is related to you.
Anyone and everyone can link pages to and from your identity – but you have the ultimate say over what you want to be linked to you. Bing links up with a Facebook app to help make this easier to track, and you can see when others link pages to you, just as others can see when you link pages to them.
After this, Bing then serves up the linked pages as personalized search results. So if you search for your own name it will show up, and if friends of yours search for your name, the linked pages will show up as well.
Right off the bat it should be easy to see how this will help out people who have names that are quite popular. For example the name Danny Goodwin may be your name, but unfortunately it is also a popular baseball player and so if anyone types it into Bing they’ll probably turn up results for the latter.
But now with Bing Linked Pages and their personalized search, people you know who type in Danny Goodwin will actually get content related to you – on account that they know you and so it is likely that they were searching for your name. Of course the popular baseball player will still show up, but at least your name won’t be buried under the mountain of results relating to him.
Basically this is Bing’s way of upping the ante as far as the personalized search game is concerned. All search engines are trying to provide more and more relevant and hence personalized results – and with Bing Linked Pages that might actually be a possibility.
If nothing else it will certainly help all those people who happen to be unfortunate enough to share a name with some celebrity or famous person. But if it catches on, it could really become a new phenomenon.