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Facebook gets Microsoft in its search box

Alex Christie

4 August 2008

Saerch_fb
It seems that Facebook and Microsoft have finally kissed and made up and
are ready to get back in bed together. (Well, metaphorically, anyway, I’d hate
to get slander allegations from Gates and Zuckerburg). It emerged last week
that the two internet behemoths have struck a deal over Facebook’s search
facility, bringing Microsoft’s live search results to Facebook search listings.
Full details of the deal, however, are yet to emerge.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who uses the Facebook search facility,
whether for friends, events or groups. However – I’m wondering how general
search results will be received. I’m not sure that (in referencing an earlier
blog of mine) if I search for the group ‘panic buy carrots’ on Facebook I want
to have every man and his vegetarian dog trying to sell me fruit and veg.

And here’s where another factor comes in – the commercial opportunities
as a result of the deal. Facebook is the largest social network in the world,
and the power of a search facility on it, if adopted, is mind boggling. Depending
on how results are crawled and delivered, it could lead to some significant
changes in how we optimise for search engines.

Whether this could be a case of Facebook trying to do too much remains
to be seen, and at this stage, Zuckerberg stresses that the advancement and the
focus is not about monetisation, but expansion. There’s another company out
there who adopted the same strategy for years, and are now the most profitable
internet company out there. And it just so happens that they are also in the
business of search…

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