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In: Search

Bing’s Social Side Bar

by Atak Interactive - Oct 12, 2012

Bing’s recent re-launch incorporated more than just a new look; the quickly growing search engine formerly known as MSN Search and Live Search has fully incorporated social media into its search results. Thought to be a bold move by many as Google and Yahoo! continue to stray away from too much social media overhaul, Bing.com tries a different approach to beat out the competition and differentiate from the standard search engine optimization. Los Angeles-based ATAK Interactive explores the new social sidebar phenomenon and how you can use it to your business’ advantage.

How It Works

When you go to Bing.com and type in a search query, the result is slightly different than before. Separated into three columns, the left side features organic search results, the middle column shows sponsored results, while the far right shows any social media connections who have posted or liked a post related to your search query. Since its recent partnership with Quora, Bing.com also now gathers postings on social media networks like Twitter from so-called experts on the topic which you are searching. For example, if I type the search query “spinach” into Bing.com, my social side bar results include a posting from a Facebook friend about spinach, and three individuals who I don’t know that are either “experts or enthusiasts who blog or post on Twitter about the thing you’re looking for”.

How You Can Use It For Your Business

Because Bing.com pulls information from Facebook, Twitter and Quora, you can most effectively leverage this new experience by increasing your social presence in all of these places. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, building one is where you want to start. Linking your Twitter to your Facebook is also a good idea so that anything you Tweet shows up in your Facebook feed as well, or vice versa. The best way to leverage Facebook and Twitter for the purpose of the Bing social sidebar is to create brief but detailed posts that feature business advice or information on topics relevant to your business. This will benefit you in two ways. First, anyone who is connected to you on Facebook who searches a topic relevant to your posts will see your name and relevant posts pop up in the social sidebar. Second, the more you post to Twitter on a regular basis about your business, the more likely it will become that your posts will begin to appear to strangers as an “expert” on the topic.

Quora, which became integrated with the social sidebar just a few weeks ago, works a bit differently than Twitter and Facebook. The best way to think of Quora is to picture a message board forum. A Quora user posts a question and then waits for other Quora users who are knowledgeable on the topic to post an answer. For example, a Quora user posts the question “Which brand of dishwashers is the best?” An appliance repair business owner then posts an answer to the question, and possibly a dishwasher manufacturer also adds their answer, followed by an appliance shop owner. This way, the user who answered the question gains relevant information on the topic they posted a question about. Leveraging Quora to your business’ advantage means actively spending the time on Quora to answer questions relevant to your business. The more you engage, the more likely it is that Bing’s social sidebar will feature your posts in Quora, which appear to the general public in related Bing.com search query results.

Is Social Searching The Wave Of The Future?

Bing.com created this new social concept as a means of separating itself from Google and Yahoo!, and many are still wondering if it will help or hurt the number two ranked search engine (after Google). However, statistics show that consumers more than ever are influenced by peers in their purchases and Bing.com has made it easier than ever to compare what multiple individuals have to say about a product or service; experts, enthusiasts or just regular consumers alike. Hiring a professional company like ATAK Interactive, Inc. for internet marketing Los Angeles, SEO and your social media initiatives can save you time and money in keeping up with social media trends that move your business forward.


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