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Google Instant Preview

Okay, so the Bing news is old news, but it is interesting to compare the apparent strategies between the two big Search Giants. And nobody bring up Yahoo! Search. They’ve lost it essentially. Let’s admit that.

Okay, onto the news:

Google is trying to turn Instant into a trend by launching another addition to their super-powered search engine. Google Instant Previews allows you to actually see the website that Google Search brings up when you hover over the link. I personally haven’t seen it yet, but they are apparently rolling it out over the next few weeks.

The preview is said to appear in an unobtrusive preview window off to the right (potentially where the local listings map is now). And not only does it show you content from the page, it shows you where on the page your search terms appear.

Google Instant Previews

So what does it mean? It means people are going to need to get rid of their ugly websites, that’s what! If you can see the layout before you click, nothing is going to stop you from deciding that the layout is cluttered and unhelpful.

Also, people are going to try to engineer their websites to display good and compelling content around their keywords. As time goes on we’ll see how the preview system works and people will have a better idea on how to graphically design websites to create optimized and aesthetically pleasing results.

My question: are the PPC people going to get up in arms if the preview covers up their paid advertisements? I wonder if that was an issue during development. That’ll be interesting to see.

Getting down to Brass Tacks: Google is providing you with tons of information so you never waste a click and find what you’re looking for faster than ever before.

Bing and Facebook's Like DataBing, on the other hand, is trying to reassert itself as the “Decision Engine.” As we all know, Microsoft (for once the underdog) and Facebook have teamed up and are sharing search results and “Like” data in order to make search a social experience. Sharing this info will make it easier to know what people like you (and people you like) think about your search query.

For example, if you’re searching something about movies (or a particular movie), Bing can tell you whether or not your friends like it. It is essentially having your friends advertise or share the things they like with you.

By turning search into a social experience, Bing is counting on the “Share” effect we see on facebook so often. When people find something cool, they share it on their wall. People go check out the link, and presto-magico! The video or cool thing goes viral!

Bing Social Search

Brass Tacks: By having “Like” data do essentially the same thing (depending on the person), search is personalized to the tastes of the search user and therefore helps find a better-liked decision faster.

So what does this mean for leverage social media marketing? Honestly, I’m not sure, but I think that Bing just made a big step. Probably not big enough to overcome Google’s All Knowing Super Genius God brand image, but perhaps the idea of Social Search will catch on.

Tell us what you think below.

Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director