In a recent post in Bing official Webmaster Center blog, Bing’s product manager, Duane Forrester, is explaining the connection between SEO and social signals and how it can affect search rankings. Although Bing holds only 12%-15% of the U.S. search engine market share (without Yahoo), There are good insights in the post that might reflect on the entire search industry.
Search Engines As “Human Nature Observers”
Duane explains that search engines are always looking for psychological behavior patterns of the human nature and so, as social networking sources has grew they have been provided these kind of social answers and therefore, in order to provide better search results it was actually unavoidable that search engines will begin using these social signals.
Additionally, social signals aren’t only useful for search engines, they are also tremendously useful for the users themselves to make all kinds of decisions. People are almost always looking for advices, suggestions and recommendations from their friends while sometimes they even demand that to make a decision, so those social signals can provide them these answers and solutions.
Integrating Social Signals Into Search Engines
To help the users make decisions and connect with their friends in real time when searching, Bing has made it possible to see your friend’s Facebook “voices” in the search results page. Whenever one of the user’s friends has “Liked” a page that appears on the results page, he is able to see it (Google has implemented Google+ in its results the same way).
But social signals don’t have just external effects, they also have internal effects on the search rankings directly, which can be even more significant. Positive social signals (“Like”, “Tweet”, “+1”, etc.) can improve the site’s rankings while no social signals at all (as there aren’t negative social signals) can result a certain drop in the site’s rankings!
Bing’s recommendation is pretty basic- It is recommending webmasters to create quality content while building a long-term relationship with their social followers. To achieve that, Bing suggesting to experiment with the content’s topic, type, structure, tone and even the time of posting the content while sticking to a plan.
Bing acknowledging that this is a complicated task, but it holds many benefits- Search engines find the content more easily, it is spreading deep links of the site, it is encouraging for other to create “real” links to the site and obviously it has a great direct traffic potential from the social networks. The post is ending by an indication that social signals will only get integrated furthermore in search engines in the future.