Going on a Bing Binge: Recapping the SLCSEM – SMCSLC January Event
The Social Media Club of Salt Lake City was proud to team up with SLCSEM to present an evening with Duane Forrester, senior product manager for Bing Webmaster Tools. Duane’s discussion covered a ton of ground, from social to mobile to search and beyond. The 200+ attendees learned quite a bit from the man with the deep Canadian accent (“oot and aboot” was tossed out more than once.)
You may be thinking, “Hey, I’m a social media guru, why should I care what the search engine guy says?” If you’re thinking this, you’re crazy, because social content is already very important to your company’s overall search presence, and according to Duane, it’s about to become downright critical.
Why? The Internet is a changing web of objects, and each object influences what appears in a search ranking – locations, devices, social content, people, services and multimedia. Search is about discovery and interaction with those various objects. BUT, as Duane noted, people don’t just throw out search queries over and over for fun – they’re looking to accomplish something, and search engines are utilizing as many factors as they can to serve up the absolute most relevant results possible. This is where your social efforts come in.
The truest test of good content is if people engage with it and tell others to engage with it. – Duane Forrester
Search engines see social engagement as authority. The more shares a link has, the more the engine assumes it has authority over whatever topic it covers. Similarly, the engines are constantly looking for fresh, real-time content that people are interacting with.
Duane also made clear that your social networks are going to influence your results. Bing has a close partnership with Facebook, and if you connect your Facebook account to Bing it’s going to consider your network when you search. So if you’re looking for social media help in Salt Lake City, it’s going to see your friends here in SMCSLC and point you in our direction (hopefully!)
The big takeaway? Create relevant content, build a network and engage with your network. Or, in human terms: be thoughtful, helpful and smart.
Check out Duane’s slides from the presentation (also embedded below.)
For a quick summary of the salient points, read on.
Duane’s tips on how to invest in social:
- Build a plan – know your messages, have a calendar, and start producing content
- 80% of what you talk about is not about you (80/20 rule.) To paraphrase Duane, if you give people a link to useful content, they will love you. Don’t just sell them your own content.
- Share items related to your topic, not just your point of view
- Answer questions promptly – just be responsive in general
- Match level of detail to the audience – Speak their language, basically
Quick tips from Duane:
- Mark up your content (check schema.org for help)
- Mind your followers/following ratio on Twitter. If you’re following 85,000 people and have 85,000
- followers, Bing knows there’s no way on earth you’re staying engaged with a large chunk of your community. Bing also punishes those who gain their followers inorganically.
- Don’t build m. mobile sites. Build in HTML5. m. sites create a lot of duplicate content that pisses Bing off.
- The key to great search results is to build great content. There are a lot of important elements in search, but if you don’t have great content then they’re irrelevant.
And here is the slide deck.