Bing is testing a new look for its Social Sidebar.
Google is the clear search leader. But that doesn't mean you should ignore Bing. It accounts for about 16 percent of searches and could have an impact on your site's traffic. Bing is testing a new look in an attempt to make searching easier and more intuitive. What does that mean for you? Keep reading.
The Social Sidebar
Bing debuted its Social Sidebar several months ago. It displays search results from the user's social networks, including Facebook, G+ and Twitter. For instance, someone searching Bing for "apartments in Chicago" would see links or photos posted by friends that are related to the original search term.
A New Look
Bing's Social Sidebar has a new look for some users. While testing the initiative, some Bing users will now find that rather than gray, their Social Sidebar is now the same white as the rest of the search page. The new design also shows users how many social results are relevant to their Bing search and increases the amount of information showcased in the Social Sidebar, rather than requiring users to hover over it to see the full results.
What it Means for Marketers
You're probably already employing SEO best practices—including linking, posting unique content on a regular basis and using keywords—to ensure you rank highly in search results, but what if you're also looking to show up in Bing's Social Sidebar results? You'll need to continue to execute your current Internet marketing solution while also taking the time to be more active on social media and earn the chance to be featured on the Social Sidebar.
Informative posts are critical. If you're active on social media, link to your interesting and helpful posts for followers to read. If your piece is truly informative and useful, there's a good chance your followers will like the post. This means someone searching for "apartments in Chicago" could see that their friend has liked your post "How to find apartments in Chicago" in their Social Sidebar and subsequently take the opportunity to check out your post and properties.
Media works just as well. Videos and photos work much like written blog posts if you're trying to get noticed on the Social Sidebar. Make sure you link to your new videos on your social media sites, and wait for the "likes" to start adding up and contributing to your presence on a searcher's Social Sidebar.
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