Bing Posts To Facebook Timeline If You Use New “Linked Pages”

Yesterday, Bing rolled out a new “Linked Pages” feature that looks interesting. But using the feature gives Bing permission to post to Facebook on your behalf. That’s a lot of permission that seems necessary only as a way for Bing to pimp itself. It also means your friends might soon be posting Linked Pages to your Facebook Timeline.

How Linked Pages Look

With Linked Pages, you can add pages that will appear in association with your name or those of your friends, when those pages are viewed by you or others you are friends with on Facebook. For example, here’s how my page now looks, in a search for my name on Bing:

You can’t see any of the Linked Pages that I added because, as the first arrow shows, Bing changed the search to “daniel sullivan” and “danny sullivan,” which turns out to disable them. Worse, even though I’m signed in, and Bing knows who I am on Facebook and that I’ve already linked pages, it still prompts me to add them again.

If I use the link to change to search to only show “danny sullivan” matches, finally, the Linked Pages I added appear:

Adding Linked Pages To Friends

The arrow points to me. I added several Linked Pages in all. I also added one to Greg Sterling, one of my other editors here on Search Engine Land.

Who Sees These?

Logged out of Facebook, no Linked Pages appear to show up on Bing when you’re searching. But logged-in, it’s not entirely clear who sees these.

In my case, I’m pretty sure anyone I’m friends with will see all my Linked Pages, if they’re using Bing while signed-in to Facebook. I’m pretty sure others who aren’t friends with me won’t see them. But it’s not clear.

It’s less clear what happens with Greg. I added that link to his listing. Do only I see it? Do only my friends see it? Do only our mutual friends see it? Does anyone signed-in to Facebook see it?

I’d like more clarity about this, and I’m checking with Bing about it. Certainly the idea that people might start tagging pages you don’t want associated with your profile is kind of a pain. But that leads to the bigger issue in my mind, that to make Linked Pages work, Bing wants the keys to your Facebook account.

Bing Gets Permission To Do What?

Consider this message I got, when I used the feature:

To link pages to my profile, Bing needs permission to post to Facebook as me? To potentially post “status messages, notes, photos and videos” on my behalf?

That’s a lot of permission just to link a few pages to my profile. I can link pages to my Google+ Profile without granting any of these types of posting permissions to Google+. But Bing wants me to let a third-party have them all?

If you choose “Skip,” by the way, the feature won’t work. You won’t be able to post to Linked Pages at all, in my testing.

Look What’s On My Timeline

Sure enough, after granting the permission and linking one of my pages, I found this had been posted to my Facebook Timeline:

I actually added several pages, but Bing and/or Facebook has the smarts not to post them all. But still, why do I need or want it to post any of them? Why wasn’t I at least asked if I wanted that to happen.

Look What’s On My Friend’s Timeline

That leads me back to that page I added to Greg. According to Bing, he should get a notification that I’ve done this. Indeed, he even got this from my right on his timeline:

Since it’s Greg’s timeline, he can remove this, if he wants. But it’s kind of annoying. If you haven’t blocked your timeline from letting people post to it, anyone you’re friends with may start adding it with these links, not to mention adding anything to your Linked Page on Bing that other friends will see.

That would be fine if you were really friends with all your “friends” on Facebook, but many people are friends with coworkers or others that they aren’t necessarily that close to.

To me, there’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t be able to link pages they want to their own page without having to give Bing this type of permission. As for linking pages to your friends, that seems like a feature that should overtly ask your friends if they want to allow, not just happen if they haven’t proactively blocked posting to their wall.

Postscript: Bing tells us that technically, it doesn’t need to post to Facebook in order to create Linked Pages. However, it does this in order to:

  • Allow you to express that you’ve added pages to your profile through announcements on your Facebook Timeline
  • Notify friends if you’ve added links to their profiles via their Facebook Timelines and also via the Facebook notification system
Bing said it will consider allowing people to add pages even if they use the “Skip” option to prevent granting Bing permission to post on Facebook.

Related Articles

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Facebook | Features: Analysis | Microsoft: Bing: Linked Pages | Top News


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Karthik kumar

    One of the things I don’t like in Facebook is that it often lets third party apps ask for permissions from me. That apart, letting someone link some page to me is just not of my interest. I can’t let the control over my online persona to someone or some third party apps. No way.

    And, Bing wants the users do all the work for building some knowledge graph it needs for personalizing its own results? But ‘search’ is not a charity that you can ask people to contribute to.

  • Karthik kumar

    And by the way, ‘Linked Pages’ doesn’t seem to be consistent either. I get the message “This service is temporarily unavailable” all the time. Or doesn’t it work in India yet?

  • Kimi Sharp

    I think from what you’ve said, maybe I should wait until “Bing … [considers] allowing people to add pages even if they use the “Skip” option to prevent granting Bing permission to post on Facebook.”

  • Nick Stamoulis

    I imagine that for those that actually read the fine print the “allow Bing to post to Facebook as me” is a huge turnoff. Why would anyone want Bing posting on their behalf? For now, it doesn’t seem worth it to give this kind of permission.

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