Home ShopTalk Will The ‘Empire Strike Back’ Against Google’s SPYW? Bing’s Steven Weitz Responds!

Will The ‘Empire Strike Back’ Against Google’s SPYW? Bing’s Steven Weitz Responds!

It’s Groundhog Day. Will Spring finally come for Bing marketing while Google is taking serious slings and arrows for favoring Google+ content in its new “Search Plus Your World” search engine results?  Or will there be six more weeks of winter’s chill?

“The Power of Shyness” may have been this week’s TIME magazine cover story, but what has it done for the Bing brand in pressing its social search advantage considering that Bing has explicit deals to access data from both Facebook and Twitter?

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Bing Search director Stefan Weitz  fielded questions on the subject from AllThingsD which offered some perspective.

In response to the question: Do you think it makes sense for search engines to pay to access social data? Weitz replied,  “I’m not on the business side, but I think for search to work properly, you have to understand that if a missing component has to be included, you have to make a deal for it.”

What are the most complex social challenges for Bing?

According to Weitz: “Figuring out what does a “Like” mean, what does a share mean?   Originally we were going to fire off “Stefan likes this result” even if there’s a comment. But what if I say in the comment, “This article’s totally wrong.” On one hand I have the “Like,” on the other hand I have the lexical comment. Or I might be retweeting it from someone else, or I might have just thought it was funny. Trying to understand that very atomic action is hard.

“We’ve found it’s important to look at the whole person and understand “Stefan likes to share on computer science, and he has an interest in spatial dynamics.” On Twitter search we will identify experts on a certain topic. That’s something we can do but we don’t do that on any scale yet.”

Will Bing take on Google to “call out” to accentuate the controversy in Google Search Plus Your World and its new Privacy Policy?

Weitz: They did what we didn’t want to do, which was make the user experience peppered with this stuff, with +1s everywhere, the Google+ content in the top corner. I think [Google] realized we were ahead and they overextended.

 When will Bing press its social advantages in having both Facebook and Twitter deals when Google doesn’t?

Weitz summarizes:” You’re going to see the culmination of a lot of our learnings in the not too distant future. All those lessons will be applied into something that I think is pretty interesting. How we think about social is always evolving, and the next turn of the crank is more differentiated than we’ve seen in the past.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft  took out full-age ads in major newspapers Wednesday, slamming Google privacy policy changes to merge user data across its services. The attack ads appeared in papers including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and New York Times. They followed an overhaul of the way that Google handles user data, which the company announced last week. The aim is to streamline more than 70 privacy policies into one main document plus about a dozen others.

“Every data point Google collects and connects to you increases how valuable you are to an advertiser,” Microsoft says in the ad.

In response Google published a blog post in which it refuted what it called “myths” about its new privacy policy, saying, “Our privacy controls have not changed. Period.”

Online expert Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of the website Search Engine Land, said that Google’s privacy policy simplification has turned into a public relations “nightmare,” but only because it again focused attention on the kind of data that Google has collected for years.

He said Microsoft is in no position to point fingers, since it also collects a lot of user data from its search engine, Bing, and will adjust search results based on information it finds in users’ Facebook accounts if they are logged in.   [24×7]