Over a month ago, Bing began enhancing their search results with Facebook “Likes” along with their significant expansion of their partnership with Bing. On Bing’s blog, they explained that they thought, “the addition of this new “social signal” will allow us to deliver a number of valuable enhancements into the Bing experience.” Users will only see Facebook “likes” in search results if the user is signed in to Facebook and their friends have allowed their data to be published under the privacy settings.
This added feature will likely influence click-through rates from the search result because of the perceived value of a “friend’s” recommendation.
- Importance of Word of Mouth
Eighty-three percent of online shoppers said they are interested in sharing information about their purchases with people they know, while 74 percent are influenced by the opinions of others in their decision to buy the product in the first place. (Manage Smarter, September 2009)
- When asked what sources “influence your decision to use or not use a particular company, brand or product” 71% claim reviews from family members or friends exert a “great deal” or “fair amount” of influence. (Harris Interactive, June 2010)
- Majority of consumers (74%) rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions. (Gartner, July 2010)
Practical eCommerce recently published an article, “Bing Social Search: Are ‘Likes’ the New Links?” (http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/2344-Bing-Social-Search-Are-Likes-the-New-Links-) that I thought helped answer common questions surrounding the new “Like” feature. Here are the major take-aways:
- Facebook data does not affect ranking results in Bing
- Impact lies mostly in click-through rate
- “Likes” are only valuable to the individual connected to the “Liker” and do not count as inbound links
- SEO is NOT dead – personalization just brings new elements to traditional SEO factors
- There is no way to manually enable seeing the “Like” feature in the search results and will not be seen with all searches
- Bottom line – let fans like the exact pages like the home page, category pages, product pages or blog. If Facebook fans can’t “like” a page, it won’t show up in Bing’s social search results
- Put the like button in your email newsletter, offer an incentive to “like”, make it fun and rewarding. People will “like” a page if it’s a must-have product, has informative resources, pretty pictures, funny videos and great content.
For more information on implementing the “Like” button on your website, visit: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like
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