Home People BingMaster Tools Guru Duane Forrester Mines the Social Connection

BingMaster Tools Guru Duane Forrester Mines the Social Connection

Why does Social media matter so much to Search?

Ask Duane Forrester who is navigating the product map for Microsoft Bing’s Webmaster Tools as Sr. Product Manager.

To Duane, it’s all about Context. Social data allows a business to connect directly to a searcher in the context of the transaction, or the intent, and to better discern the searcher’s point in the awareness process and decision-making cycle.

Simply put, social reveals the searcher’s “relationship to the business and the transaction and improves the accuracy of the communication. Would you be surprised to learn that only one in four searches delivers successful results? Or that 42% of searching sessions require search refinements? People coming to your Web service or online business may all be finding you under the same umbrella term but they are coming for more than one different reason.

The challenge is daunting. Understanding a searcher’s true social identity and the underlying meaning isn’t easy, nor is establishing your social visibility as a marketer. “Forget about using “AutoFollowers” on Twitter that promise to amplify your social stature from zero to 3,000 followers overnight,” warns Forrester.

“The search engine knows  those followers don’t have any real worth. A single person can’t consume 3,000 users’ feeds overnight.” No, it takes time and effort to conduct real social networking. But by tweeting things of value, adding links, doing the stuff that matters, you can earn followers and deliver value to people.

Why get Social? Humanity is leaving its Traces:

·      50+ Billion Tweets were sent on Twitter in 2011

·      60 hours of video are uploaded every minute to YouTube

·      28 photos are uploaded to Flickr every second

·      30 Billion posts a month occur on Facebook

Microsoft feels challenged to find a way to “deliver knowledge by computationally understanding user intent.” This is how we are looking at the problem and trying to solve it.

To Forrester, social is the scheme of things that SEO needs to fit into. Content, social, user experience, link building, and SEO are all interrelated.

Let’s Break it Down.

Content: This is the most important object you can invest in. People will share your website knowledge and engines like Microsoft and Google notice this. What are you really putting out there? That’s what will get websites noticed and put you higher up in search results.

Social:  What is the sentiment being expressed?  Bad media or complaints won’t convince and engine to wanting to advertise these companies. We want users to have good experiences.

User Experience: How user-friendly is your Web property?  Labeling buttons, placement of information, making the website accessible; these are very important to the users’ positive view of a website and also something we will catch onto.

Link building:  Duane opines that if you are doing the other things right, links will follow naturally. 

Back to basics:  What is SEO?

·      Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website to make it more relevant to searchers and search engines.

The Social Influencers: 

·      Build social followers and fans organically

·      Wall posts/tweets with links are perceived as more credible and useful

·      Get the basics of SEO covered, then focus on content

·      It’s worth repeating: unique, compelling content still works!

According to Toolmaster Duane, there’s no need to guess at which topics to target. Keyword research will help you understand which phrases people search for most frequently. That nugget of insight is critical to planning what you should be blogging about in the first place. Leverage this discovery to increase your relevancy in the eyes of searchers.

Know the score, and the myths. If you build a Website, they will come is a fallacy.  But if you build a Social Network that leads to a Website, they will come in droves.  [24×7]