Jon Mitchell has details on Your Way, but in a nutshell, the new service better integrates Google+ content into Google search. That could have some looking for more objective ways to search, while also raising the ire of some big Web players.
Among the most vocal so far is Twitter, which said in a statement the changes are "bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users." Google, for its part, said on Google+ it was "a bit surprised by Twitter's comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer" - but not before other critics piled on the search giant, with some users even threatening to boycott Google.
All of this could play well for Bing. Since 2009, the number three search engine has had a partnership with Twitter similar to the one that lapsed with Google last summer. Since the Google agreement expired, it is now easier to find tweets in Bing via realtime searches than it is in Google. At the time of the breakup in July, it was unclear which side walked away, but Bing was quick to renew its ties with Twitter and strike a similar deal with Facebook.
Yesterday's news doesn't put Bing any closer to become a verb, but the search engine was running second to Google with 15.1% of the market in December (it's a distance third, as Google still controlled 65.9%, according to ComScore). In a keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Bing, in conjunction with Yahoo!, now controlled 30 percent of the U.S. search market.
The fallout from search isn't the only reason why Bing may get a boost this year. The company has improved integration of Bing with Xbox and Kinect, which helps Microsoft grab a younger demographic when gamers move their search activity online from their consoles. Bing has also been working to improve its mobile offerings, releasing a much-imtpoved Bing app for Android and iOS5.
But perhaps the biggest indication that Bing is worth paying attention to came from Google itself, when it paid $900 million to Mozilla to be the default search engine in Firefox for the next three years.