It has been a busy week for little bits of technology news, amid some more prominent deals. Here are three items in particular that caught my eye. The common theme among them, I would say, is the importance of relationship building in business.

  • Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Bing search engine, one year old this month, has been in the news a lot. Besides the strange Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) experiment of adding dramatic background images, which drew obvious comparisons to Bing's visual interface, there were other parallels made between the sites. Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz posted a detailed analysis of search engine optimization and ranking elements between the two search giants and concluded that "Google and Bing are remarkably similar," so that building separate sites to target the two engines separately is "a waste of energy." Bing also distinguished itself in terms of "social search" this week, rolling out a new search page that grabs public and shared updates directly from Facebook and Twitter. Social and real-time search has been a consistent point of effort for Bing, which first included some tweets in its search results last July, and formed early strategic partnerships with Twitter and Facebook to include real-time status updates last October. Google has similar efforts in the works, of course.
  • Facebook, the Palo Alto, CA-based social networking giant, announced it has settled on office space for its Seattle engineering outpost. There had been much speculation about which neighborhood the office would be located in, ever since the company announced it was coming to town last month. Facebook's office will be at 101 Stewart Street in Seattle, near Pike Place Market. It is slated to open in late July and could eventually house around 30 workers. (Interesting post here on the personal story behind the Seattle office.)
  • A Shanghai real estate mogul named Jiang Zhaobai is visiting Seattle next week to scout out promising companies who want to do business in China in green tech, clean energy, new media, mobile, and biotech, according to a feature in the Seattle Times. Jiang has a new venture, called the Shanghai American Enterprise Center, which aims to invest in small and medium-sized U.S. companies and incubate them in Shanghai, helping them grow into the Chinese market.

I first got wind of Jiang's local efforts from Rogers Weed, the director of the Washington state Department of Commerce, at an MIT Enterprise Forum event back in January. "We'll make sure that guy gets a bang-up tour of Washington when he starts looking for investments," Weed said at the time. Sounds like it's going well so far, despite rising economic tensions between the U.S. and China.

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Gregory T. Huang is the Editor of Xconomy Seattle. You can email him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call 206-624-2249.