Search Just Got Even More Social
If you’ve been paying attention to SEO trends at all in the last couple of years you should know that social media is no longer just a branding or customer service tool for business. A social media presence can improve SEO efforts. Both Google and Bing incorporate social signals into their search engine algorithm. However, Bing is now taking social search one step further. Last week Bing launched “the new Bing” and one noteworthy feature is the addition of a dedicated “social sidebar” that will appear on a search results page.
If you’re logged into Facebook and conduct a search on Bing, Bing will suggest your Facebook friends in the sidebar that might be able to help you with your search or provide you with more detailed information. The friends appear for a particular search based on what they “like”, profile information, and photos that they’ve shared. For now, friends aren’t matched based on status updates or check-ins, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that information was incorporated eventually.
Bing has had access to Facebook data for awhile, but it was always more discreetly dispersed throughout a search engine results page (SERP). With this dedicated social sidebar, it is much more prominent.
Bing has also made efforts to improve the social search experience across devices. On a mobile device, the layout and placement of social results has been optimized for the smaller screen and for touch input making it as easy as it is for people that are browsing on a desktop computer. For those that are concerned about privacy, Bing allows Facebook users to opt out of instant personalization or block the Bing app.
So what does this mean for business? First, social search is only going to continue to evolve. While Bing is far behind Google in search share, this is a good indicator of what’s to come from both of the search giants. Bing is pulling the data from Facebook, but let’s not forget about that other social network, Google+. Google incorporates Google+ data into its algorithm. If you don’t have a social SEO strategy you aren’t giving people the opportunity to Like you or add you to their circles, meaning that you won’t show up in social search results. As search results continue to be “socialized”, you need to be social in order to appear.
Categorized in: Search Engines
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