Microsoft and Facebook are turning your opinion into a celebrity endorsement.
The two internet superpowers have recently announced a deal to incorporate information from your Facebook friends into the search results you see on the Bing search engine. When you search on any given topic, a new “Liked by your Facebook friends” category will appear among the results, showing a thumbnail picture of your friend along with their endorsement.
The Facebook Likes will appear either on the top, bottom, or anywhere in between on the Bing Search page, depending on how relevant Microsoft deems your friends recommendation to what you were searching for.
So how does this announcement affect Kontera publishers? It’s a golden opportunity. If you consider how critical it is to appear on the first page of search results, think how even more effective it would be for your site to appear on the front page of results, as a recommendation from a trusted acquaintance. While growing steadily, Bing still only accounts for 11% of all U.S. search queries. Yet, its share is larger in other continents, and Facebook has already expressed an interest expanding the feature to other search engines in the future. Additionally Google is rumored to be tested a similar “shared by” feature on their results page that would lead to Google Updates . This means that moving forward; it’ll become even more important to have a solid social networking strategy for promoting your site.
With that in mind, here are some quick tips for social networking optimization, both specific to the Bing-Facebook deal, and in general:
- Create a Facebook page for your site, which you can do here. While there are numerous benefits to having a Facebook page for your site, in this context the key reasons is to converts readers from your site into “Likes” of your brand on Facebook. Just don’t be shy in soliciting your readers! According to a recent study by Opinionway Research, 75% of people who Liked a brand on Facebook, only did so after an invitation or advertisement from that brand.
- As previously discussed, you need to have the Facebook Like plugin implemented on your site.
- Make sure you post a link to every individual one of your posts on your Facebook wall. Even if an individual reader has “Liked” your site, or a specific post in the past, the more items they like, the better the chances that when their friends search for something on Bing, your site will appear as a recommendation.
- “Like” everything you post on Facebook. At the very least it will assure that all of your Facebook friends will see links to your site, when performing a relevant search on Bing.
- Grow your base of Facebook friends, through Facebook Profile Search. The other just announced collaboration between Facebook and Bing, when you search a person’s name on Bing, among the results returned are Facebook profiles, weighed heavily towards displaying people with mutual Facebook friends. It’s a great way to locate someone who say for instance, commented on your site that’d you’d like to befriend but has a really common name.
In all, while the technology is still in the nascent stages, the Facebook/Bing collaboration is likely a harbinger of things to come. With search going from universal results, to geo-specific results; a completely personalized search experience is the next logical step, and social networking data is the most logical bridge for this. The faster you adapt and prioritize building your social networking presence, specifically on Facebook, the better prepared you’ll be as social networking SEO is only increasing in importance.Categories: Optimization, Social Media