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Will Bing’s New Social Sidebar Seduce Searchers?

Bing new social sidebarTwo weeks ago, Bing started rolling out a sidebar which presents social results separately to the main search results – see my post from last week with FAQs on Bing’s social sidebar.

The question is, will these changes be enough to entice searchers to use Bing instead of Google?

I for one can’t wait to try it out. Any real attempt at improved user experience means great content increases in value – and an increased focus on white-hat internet marketing techniques like the ones we teach on our SEO course. SEO isn’t really about numbers, but when your search engine rankings are a big factor in the success of your business, you need to make sure you cover all bases – and that most definitely includes Bing.

The second reason this development is exciting is that it forces Google to up their game. Co-incidence or not, whilst it was all about Bing two weeks ago, last week in SEO found the focus back on Google with the announcement of the foray into entity search with their Knowledge Graph. Having come under fire since Penguin, it’s very timely that Google have found a new big development to draw attention back.

The more Bing manage to make newsworthy changes, the more people start to suspect that they are making valiant efforts to catch up with Google. The more they appear to be refining their SERPs, the more searchers will give Bing a try – and SEOs have to follow suit.

Search Plus Your World vs. the Bing Social Sidebar

Google’s provision of social search results involved taking signals from Google Plus to organise and display SERPs. Bing uses Facebook in much of the side bar – but also pulls information from Twitter, LinkedIn and even G+! Read the rest of “Will Bing’s New Social Sidebar Seduce Searchers?”

Bing’s New Social Sidebar – FAQs

Bing social results sidebarIt’s been a week since Bing announced its new Social Sidebar – a complete overhaul of how it presents search results, relying heavily on data from the searcher’s Facebook account. This development seems nicely timed to benefit both Bing and Facebook – can it possibly be a coincidence that Facebook’s IPO is today?!

We’ll get into the big picture side of things next week but, for now, let’s address the basics. What does this mean for the searcher? In the SEO community, there’s a tendency to forget the user experience is what counts. Our SEO course and social media training teach the importance of creating content that people will want to share. If what people share is important to the search engines then it’s important to us too!

With that in mind, here are the most FAQs about Bing’s Social Sidebar from the last week:

Read the rest of “Bing’s New Social Sidebar – FAQs”

Google Plus – Social Network or SEO Tool? How Far Will Google Go to Save G+?

It’s clear that recent discussion of the importance of authorship has caused just as much buzz in SEO as other developments like Panda and Penguin. What’s caught our attention is how, once again, Google has raised the profile of a ranking factor that involves Google Plus.

1 in 5 Google search results now includes an author tag, with a link to that person’s Google Plus profile. Using this link enables you to establish yourself as an expert author in Google’s eyes.

Like Search Plus Your World, which shows results (pages, likes, posts) from friends if you’re signed into Google Plus; your degree of engagement with other Google platforms/software has become a determinant of which results you see first – and where your business ranks.

Google Plus For SEOThe individual updates all make sense on paper – they do seem to be valid ways of giving the user more appropriate rankings – but together they lead us to one question:

Is Google trying to save Google Plus?

Remember Google Wave?

Google doesn’t have the best track record with developing new software to break into markets other than search. Google Wave, an integrated communications platform, didn’t get much further than development due to a lack of interest. Google Video’s lack of success resulted in a Google purchase of YouTube as they just couldn’t compete.

With these failures in mind, a lot was riding on the success of Google’s foray into the highly competitive world of social networking. Read the rest of “Google Plus – Social Network or SEO Tool? How Far Will Google Go to Save G+?”

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