Microsoft’s Bing is the major challenger to Google’s search engine crown, and last month they announced a further development with the online social networking giant, Facebook. Bing users are increasingly finding more Facebook “Likes” incorporated in their search results. When you start a Bing search for something which your Facebook friends have already expressed a “Like” for, a form of Facebook recommendation, you will see this reflected in your personalized results.
This expansion of the Bing-Facebook partnership is hot on the heels of the Google +1 button; effectively a “Like” button for webpages. Bing is also using the “Like” signal as a factor in their ranking algorithm, which will continue to have implications for SEO strategy and programs. Essentially, we’re seeing the continued evolution of social impact on search, and the pace of change is accelerating.
Bing’s announcement is going further than just the circle of Facebook friends you have. The recent partnership also takes into account the opinion of Facebook users who you are not connected to. In effect, the algorithm is continuing to recognize and value the opinion of real people. Therefore, all of us as marketers are going to have to ensure that we’re understanding what exactly will attract traffic, what traffic converts, and how can we improve and earn customer’s “Like” endorsement in the process.
Consistently developing great content is of course the ultimate bridge to success as the strength of real consumer opinion continues to further influence the engine’s algorithm. It’s evident that small businesses and site owners must create great engagement which adds value and is highly relevant. Committing to this path will definitely support all marketing initiatives including SEO, as the impact of social media is continuing to expand its influence as a critically important aspect of all SEO Programs.