In the summer of 2011, Google released a new tool called Google Authorship which allowed authorized writers to have their name show up next to the articles they wrote. When these articles would show up in a search results, the author’s image also shows up so that you could see who wrote this piece and you are able to see previous articles written by the same author.
It took over a year, but Bing has just released a similar feature for on their own search results that will show up on the Bing Social Sidebar under “People Who Know”. Bing doesn’t exactly specify which people are “authors” opposed to the other people that show up under “People Who Know”, so you’ve got to look for the words “Writes For”. To the right is a screen shot of Bing’s Social Sidebar after performing a search for “Boston Red Sox”. As you can see, the top 3 results are not Bing Authors, whereas the bottom two results, from Jimmy Golen and Jeremy Lundblad, are considered Bing Authors. When you hover over the name or photo of an author, it will show you a few other recent articles written by the same author.
What Bing doesn’t spell out too clearly is how one can become an author. In a statement release by Bing, a writer will need to be “experts in their fields, sharing the latest news, developing events and information out with the greater world”. Search Engine Land decided to reach out to Bing to request further information on how one can become an Author on Bing and the reply they got read “Currently our roster of experts is created and managed by the Bing team which we update regularly….We have selected an initial list of news experts and authors and constantly update the list and trigger terms.”. This essentially means that a team at Bing will be handpicking the Authors that are displayed on the sidebar. There are currently 45,000 authors in the group and this number will continue to climb daily.
One thing many writers are asking about is if Bing will ever release a process that a writer can complete in order to be considered for authorship. Currently on Google, you can go through the “authorship process” to be considered. I expect Bing to offer something similar down the road as they refine this new tool.
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