Yesterday, May 15th, Bing’s social search function went live. Bing is following in Google’s footsteps and is now pulling results from Facebook, Twitter, Linkden, and even Google+ into its “social results” sidebar. This sidebar will appear on the right side of the results page and list “Friends Who Know,” “People Who Know,” and “Activity”. The Friends Who Know results are determined by the social network connections that a logged-In Bing user has, and the activity results refer to discussions in a user’s social network revolving around the given search term. These results emphasize the social media connections a Bing user has made and lets the user see what people they know have to say about a given search term.
The People Who Know section pulls results from the open web, which means that it does not depend on a user’s social media connections. This section is an effort to list social media users who Bing sees as authorities credible enough that their social media discussions on a given topic would be useful to the general public. So how does a social media user become a credible authority that will rank on the Bing sidebar? The user needs to post original, informative content on their social media page.
Business owners are experts in their field, and they should also strive to be recognized as experts and authorities online. There may be a fine line between reveling too much and sharing useful knowledge, but there is also value in positioning a business’s social media page and website as an authority in the field. Other sites in a field will recognize that authority and link to a site with fresh, useful content and share this site’s social media pages. Search engines see this and will consider also consider that site to be an authority on plumbing, maple syrup, or immigration law and this will lead to higher results, and, as social searches become more prevalent on search engine results pages, a new way to be found online.
– Andrew Wise
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