Tomorrow morning Microsoft is hosting a Bing event at its campus in Mountain View, and Facebook is going to be there.
The two companies have a partnership that stems from Microsoft’s 2007 investment of $240 million for a 1.6% ownership stake. They’re also increasingly united against a common enemy: Google.
Tomorrow’s announcement will almost certainly bring more Facebook data into Bing search results. Last month, it was reported that Bing might begin to employ Facebook “like” data to make search results more personally relevant.
That could be a huge blow to Google, whose relevance ranking algorithm is the company’s crown jewel and the main reason why it still dominates the search market. Google guesses what users are interested in based on their past behaviour. Facebook knows what users are interested in because they’ve entered the data right there on their profile pages and news feeds. If Bing can get that Facebook data, that’s an advantage.
Another possibility is integration between Facebook Places and Bing Maps. Imagine signing into Bing Maps using your Facebook name, then seeing the location of all your Facebook friends who’d also checked in. Facebook certainly could use help getting people to use Places: since launching in August, I’ve hardly seen any of my Facebook friends tag their location. But more and more of them are signing up for geolocation service Foursquare.
Whatever the announcement, Microsoft has to keep trying new things to claw some market share from Google. Just this morning, search marketing company Efficient Frontier published a study saying that Google’s share of paid search revenue continues to rise despite the recent search merger between Bing and Yahoo.