A few months ago I ran a search for my name on Bing. I do this from time to time to both feed my ego and study changes in my status. I was surprised to see that my Facebook page along with my picture appeared in the number one spot on the number one page. I am accustomed to seeing listings about things I have written but not used to seeing my personal data displayed. After a few days the listing disappeared.
Yesterday, Bing announced that users could link their Bing results to their Facebook pages and to some degree vice versa. Plus anyone who comes along can also link results to a given Facebook persona. This creates a linking subset quite different than the linear structure we are all accustomed to when using Google. The purpose of the new Linked Pages feature is said to allow people to find exactly the thing or person they are looking for when those are easily confused with similar names. The example cited is the use of the name John Smith. Which Smith is which? The one desired is the John Smith who is a famous skier not the one who is famous for eating 12 pizzas.
In activating this feature on Facebook you give Bing permission to post to your Facebook pages. There is a great deal of this permission seeking going on right now. In fact it is quietly turning into the greatest promotional use of Facebook ever. So much so that cash and prize incentives are being offered to those who subscribe to various commentary. A business entity can quickly garner 100,000 posting opportunities. These are then read by tenfold as many Facebook users. It will not be too long before the web development community, both black and white hat wearing, figures out how to manipulate Linked Pages for exactly this kind of opt in posting. If Bing remains connected to this, the search engine might very well lose all contact with quality information and results.