Thursday, May 19, 2011

Are You Ready? Facebook Now Impacting Search Engine Results

Just how important is Facebook and the number of "Likes" you have for your web pages to your online business success? It became critical this week ...

Bing has just introduced a new feature where what you see for search results can depend upon the opinion of your Facebook friends. To put it another way, when your potential customers conduct a Bing search, the results they see will be impacted by what pages their friends "Liked". If you are not actively promoting people "Liking" your pages, you lose.
The fine print: Users must be logged into Bing and Facebook, and will be seen only if a user has opted to share content with "everyone." Bing claims the system will add a "trust" factor to the search results, but will not necessarily impact the actual keyword position of a web site. However, if two sites had an almost identical setup (keywords, link popularity, text, etc.), you can rest assured the tie will go to the site with more "Likes." Bing also indicated the system will not only consider the opinion of just your "friends", but, in some circumstances, the entire Facebook community.

Many believe this is only the start of search engines integrating social media into the search results.

Moral of the story ... now is the time to improve your Facebook "IQ". Focus on building your number of Likes. Research articles and guides on the subject. Try using Bing for the research ... maybe you'll see what your friends Liked!

The obvious first steps are to get "Like" buttons on your web pages, and to ACTIVELY encourage visitors to like your page, especially your Facebook Fan page.

Info on adding a Like button to your web pages:

Facebook Guide

Webmonkey  Guide

Further reference concerning the Bing - FB Like system:

Social Times article

HuffingtonPost article

Washington Post article

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