Facebook users who want to control what information pops up when a friend searches for them at Bing have a new option.
Rolled out yesterday, Bing's Linked Pages let Facebook users manage which of their Web pages, profiles, and blogs show up on Microsoft's search engine. So whether you want to promote yourself or keep your other Web pages off the grid from your friends, Linked Pages will give you a certain level of control.
The feature requires a Facebook account, but you can use it to manage any Web pages about yourself, not just your Facebook profile. Managing those Bing search results can also ensure that friends searching for you find the real you and not someone else with your name.
To tap in to the new feature, browse to the Linked Pages Web site. Click on the Get Started button and log in to your Facebook account. You'll be asked to grant Bing permission to post to Facebook.
You'll then see a list of Linked Pages pointing to such items as your Facebook account, LinkedIn profile, Twitter blog, and Google+ page. Any other Web sites, blogs, or personal pages will also likely show up. You can click on any page to make sure it's about you.
To ensure that specific pages appear in the Bing search results for your Facebook friends, click on the "Link to me" button. You can always change your mind and unlink a page so it won't appear in the search results for your friends. You can also search for yourself with specific parameters to find more results.
Bing even lets you corral your friends into the mix. Clicking on the links to your Facebook friends on the left gives you a chance to link to their own pages. Of course, you may want to ask them first.
Using the new feature, I was able to link to pages that were specifically about me and ignore pages about other people with my name.
Features like this always concern me, at least at first glance.
With the battle over online privacy, it feels like there's too much information about us on the Web, rather than not enough. But Bing does give you control over your Linked Pages and limit their viewing to just your Facebook friends. So you can add only the pages you want your friends to see and even block linking by your friends.
So, ultimately it's up to each person whether to use a feature like Linked Pages and how to best manage it.