Social Media Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid

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Social media has proven to be one of the most powerful Internet marketing strategies today. It is a low cost marketing tool and most useful for startups. But your success will depend on how well you use social media for your online marketing. The right method can covert a small local business into a global brand. Mistakes will render the effort worthless. Here are some social media mistakes every startup should avoid along with tips on how to avoid them.

Nebulous plans: A marketing strategy without a plan is impossible to implement. So here are some essential questions you need to answer before implementing them at startup:

  • What are the objectives of your social media marketing? Do they match the company vision?
  • What are the demographics of your buyers? Are they usually found on social networking sites?
  • Which of the social media tools suits your company’s image?
  • Have you identified the core team that is best suited to implement social media techniques for online marketing? They are responsible and accountable for a good launch.
  • How are you going to track the success of your campaign?

Breaking social rules: Social media has some unwritten and unspoken rules. Breaking these rules of etiquette can damage the image of your company. So these are some situations that you can avoid at startup:

  • Don’t get involved in too many social media networks. A long absence from any of them will result in breaking the loop with potential buyers.
  • A campaign that is just “I, Me and Myself” can sometimes be counterproductive. So an occasional mention of complementary or collaborative businesses would be more informative and engage the attention of prospective buyers.
  • Never have a social media marketing campaign that is negative about your competitors or this might have a boomerang effect. They might get curious about their products instead of yours.
  • It is best not to follow a person on Twitter or be friends on Facebook unless you intend maintaining the relationship for a reasonable amount time. Add someone as a friend only because you value the person’s opinion.

Bad timing: Let’s take an example – you are just launching a designer line of Indian ethnic apparel. You want to attract the interest of Indians and others living in the U.S. and U.K. Have you studied the timing at which your potential buyers are logged on, considering the difference in time zones? You can plan, design and time your social media marketing at startup when:

  • You know the timings at which your potential customers are logged on to social media sites,
  • If your target is a particular season, advertise online at least 3-4 months in advance so that customers have time to notice and book orders.

Not tracking success: The amount of online sales themselves is a feedback on your social media marketing techniques when you have just started. But you can also use paid online trackers that provide regular alerts whenever your products and services are mentioned on networks like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. If you don’t know what potential customers are saying, how will you know what improvements are required?

Not knowing your competitors: “Know thy enemy” is a motto that will prove crucial at startup and forever. Keeping abreast of what they are doing, reading comments on their products and services, watching their participation in discussion forums, etc. will help you gauge their strengths and weaknesses so that you can plan an effective social marketing campaign at startup. You can design and modify your products to overcome your competitor’s shortcomings. If potential customers are mentioning some additional services they would like, you can add those in your products at startup and beat the competition.

Social Media in Promoting Your Financial Services

Role of Social Media in Promoting Your Financial Services

Finance plays a key role in daily lives. In today’s generation we need more money to lead luxurious life. But economy is growing quickly and the cost of living is also increasing day by day. Everyone is facing difficulties to manage their house expenses because it difficult to manage living expenses with their budget. Due to this everyone are facing financial problems and looking for other options to earn money.

Social Media in Promoting Your Financial Services

In market there is rising competition and there are many financial organizations like pawn brokers, credit card companies, bank loans, payday loans and so on .These companies offer financial facilities to people at reasonable rate.  Lenders are trying to attract customers to promote the financial facilities and there are looking to advertise their companies on media .Media have become a best platform for promoting about their products and it’s playing an important role in the society.

Using social media promote financial service and it becomes easy to pass the message and let every individual know about financial service and it can be recognized as brand. Before to promote your products on media was expensive but nowadays we can promote our financial services globally at reasonable rates.

  • Facebook: We can promote our financial services on Facebook and it would look really special when we are promoting it on Facebook fan page. Our main aim is promote our financial services on large social network so most of them will share on their profiles if they like our financial services.
  • Email: The other method of promoting about financial services and we think it’s a great tactic to attract customers giving them special offers and including the website in the email  would be more effective. I believe that we can at least attract 4% of customers by sending emails.

Promote videos on you tube: Create a slide show about your financial services by using Animoto .These kind of promoting products is done when we launch products in our organizations.

Online ads: Marketers promote their financial services online by purchasing digital ads and creating a websites for their companies. On internet we can gain more followers like Twitter.

A customer least spends 30 seconds to watch the digital ads. This helps the organization in promoting the products.

Promoting the financial services on social media gets the brand name for the products and attracts customers. By promoting on media we can give all the details of the product clearly. 

Now days most of the people use internet on mobiles so it would really help if our product is coming with application. People love using applications on mobile and make them free application so most of the customers will download the app this would help organization in promoting the financial service.

 

About the Author:
The guest post was contributed by Jessica, financial guest blogger from Manchester, UK. Find out more about her finance related blogs @financeport 

SEO Audit Considerations for Publishers

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Every site has a different process for carrying out SEO audits. When it comes to SEO audit these are the five main points you need to remember:

Scalable, Flexible Information Architecture

Of course it is important for all sites, but especially so for publishing sites because:

  • A lot of content will be added daily or weekly.
  • Most of that content is likely to be time sensitive.
  • This content will also generate more organic search visitors as compared to the category or even the home page.

So, it is important to ensure that archived content is easily accessible from the home page and that there is equal importance given to linking of new pages too. For this, you can do the following:

  • One way to do this is numbering your pages 1, 2,3,4… rather than just ‘Prev’ and ‘Next’ links on your home and category pages. This makes jumping to any page very simple. Create a page that works as a compilation of links to other groups of links. This way you will have pages that have 100 links per page. This means huge amounts of content very close to the main page. Think about whether the link set is useful for your visitors. Have the specific blog posts been tagged or classified in any other way?
  • Create a widget that uses info from your analytics tool to highlight popular posts.

When you structure an information architecture that is specific to publishing, you can ensure that the site is in a better position to have a higher ranking.

Tags and categories

These can be especially problematic from an SEO viewpoint. Here you might need to consider:

  • Who tags content, and what norms are being used, and whether there are too many tag pages, diluting link equity.
  • What is the basis for creating new tag pages and allocating posts to tags
  • What is the basis for the category organization
  • How much value all of this has for the visitors.

 

You will need to get these answers from the client or compare it with the value a current structure provides. You may have to completely rework the present implementation if it’s not correct.

Google News

Check if they are in Google news; if they publish original and quality content, they should be, and have crawlable HTML pages. Supposing their content is not being displayed in spite of being in Google News, you need to go about improving rankings.

Creating a robust and trustworthy site, getting visitors to share and link to your content etc are the normal things one does to improve rankings. Here are some other things you can do:

Google allows you to assign original and quality content a ‘Standout’ tag to separate it from rewritten or republished content. Make use of this tag.

Ensure that there are no technical problems that are affecting your ranking.
You can think about employing Google authorship to increase visibility in Search results too. These methods could give that extra push to your quality content.

Scalable Keyword Research

You should also have a plan for employing keyword research that will support different pieces of content.

  • You obviously can’t carry out keyword research for thousands of pages, but you could recommend particular keyword targets for pages at the top levels.
  • You could suggest how they could research and include keywords in content continuously. Let them know that they should not overdose on keywords or forcibly include unnatural variations but just make sure to include trending terms into the content innocently.

Try to organize things in such a way that you can give your inputs and the clients are able to act on them too.

Value Of Other Actions

A very important thing to recognize in any SEO audit is the method in which your client earns. You may need to find out what content is of more value than others.

Like, maybe some series have sponsors, making it of higher value. Learn about other offers like newsletter subscriptions and so on.

Social Networking

Improve Your SEO with Social Networking

Do you want to know how to enhance your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) through best use of social networking? There are several SEO techniques which can be used for improving your SEO through social networking, however, you need to find out the best techniques and bring them into play to be on the top of the SEO rankings. Focus on techniques which integrate SEO and Social media in effectual manner. 

Social Networking

Today SEO and Social networking go hand in hand, where SEO helps people find you while searching while social media assists in keeping the visitors engaged. It has been found that social networking impacts the search results to a great extent. People usually search for things through Social Networks, so why not enhance your SEO through effectual Social Media presence. Here are few techniques which you can use to optimise your SEO by creating a presence in Social Media:

Utilize Google + Frequently

Although Google+ might prove to be a boring social network, but businesses these days appreciate having a Google+ profile which helps in improving their SEO. This way with the help of Google+ profile you would be able to direct more traffic to your website.

Brand Building on Primary Social Networks

The most important thing is to create brand profile on almost all the primary Social Networks. It has been studied that millions of potential users join the primary social networks everyday and search for businesses through them. So why leave the chance of not being present and giving a competitive edge to your rival by not being present. Some of the most popular Social Networks where you should have your brand profile are:

  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest and /or Instagram
  •  Twitter
  •  LinkedIn

Selecting a Twitter Plugin for Website

Facing a trouble in sourcing fresh and new content for your website to make it innovative and brand new for the search engines all the time? Here is a readymade solution; you can use Twitter Widget Pro Plugin. The daily tweets will act as refreshing and original new content which your website needs. Isn’t this an instant SEO booster for your website?

Use Brand name on Every Post

Each and every topic which is posted related to your industry should be linked to your brand name so that the Social Network Search gets to know about your company on every posting.

Quick Tips to improve SEO using Social networking:

  • Place Social Media Icons  on the Home Page of your website
  • Embark the campaigns which  gets you Liked,  Shared, Repinned and Followed
  •  Create Social Syndication and Proof
  • Utilise Social Bookmarking Sites
  • Use the ‘magic bullet’ Video Blogging
  • Optimise all the  social profile descriptions regularly

By using all these Social Networking techniques you can enhance and improve your SEO rankings on Google as well as perk them up as overall SEO rankings. Get your business name growing and a well-known brand through Social Networking by increasing the traffic to your website.

google penguin recovery

How to recover your site from google penguin update?

Last week, we covered what is Google Penguin Penalty. This week, we’re going to cover how to recover your site from google penguin update.

Official launch of Google Penguin on 24th April 2012 hit some of the websites very drastically. So after this date if you see that your web traffic has dropped suddenly, then blame Google Penguin Penalty for that. Trouble arises if your website gets hit by Penguin because this straightaway means Google does not like your website.

But need not worry this is not irreparable all you needs is careful and in-depth analysis that why your website was hit by Google Penguin. Next put a lot of hard work and you will be able to recover from the Google Penguin hit. There are few tricks which can be used for getting out of this mess. These techniques will not help you getting back to your original Google Ranking rather it will also keep you well groomed for the future such Google updates.

google penguin recovery

Tips for Google Penguin Recovery

  • Make use of Google Webmaster Tools

    Google Webmaster Tool is an effectual tool which you should start using to get guidance about your website. It helps you in finding the right kind of SEO for your website. It also assists in erasing the sitemap errors.

    Using Google Webmaster also helps in future because you will get messages from Google, regarding any wrong step being taken by you regarding website. All you need is to sign-up and you will get to know about spamming, or cheap backlinks being posted on your website immediately.

  • Avoid keyword Stuffing

    Very high keyword density invites trouble because then you send the signal “Please check me out I have maximum content available”. So if you are stuffing keywords on web content knowingly or unknowingly stop doing it. Stuffing Keywords is basically a black hat tactic and you should avoid doing it by changing the older posts.

  • Utilize Social Media

    Get a Social media page/ pages for your website and mainly on Google+. Encourage the visitors to share the posts on your site and allow them to do so by adding sharing button on the web posts of your website. Socialising earns good credit for your website on Google.

  • Create user friendly web content

    The main reason for imposing Google Penguin penalty is to avoid bad or poor quality web content and to enhance the user experience. This can be done by creating quality web content by following few tips like:

    1. Clear site navigation through clear and visible buttons
    2. Layout should be simple and not confusing
    3. Avoid too many ads clutter on website.
    4. A nice and long intro paragraph with one image for each post is recommended.
    5. Use read-more page-break after every intro paragraph
    6. High bounce rate should be avoided on the webpage.
  • Dispose of Spam Backlinks

    Do not ever think of buying backlinks because Google hates them. The reason being these are automated and cheap backlinks which damage your website more than n doing any good. Link optimization and SEO should be strictly avoided. Automated SEO or the links software are supposed to be very bad for your website so get rid of them.

google penguin recovery

What is Google Penguin Penalty?

Google Penguin Penalty

One of the most rocking and latest update from Google is the ‘Google Penguin Penalty’, which has caused severe destruction. It has acted just like a tsunami for the webmasters. These are algorithm updates from Google called Penguin updates just like the Panda updates. These are highly devastating in the sense they simply leave you just at the edge. However, it is predicted that the magnitude of Google Penguin is not as high as Google Panda. Still Google Penguin Penalty has affected almost 3% of the websites and caused a widespread destruction to the websites.

google penguin penulty

What is Google Penguin Penalty?

It is a well-known fact that Google is the world leader and leads the internet search industry. It has been established as the search industry chief as it owns approximately 66% of the search industry shares.

Google Penguin is another update launched by the Google from its arsenal of weapons which has been elevated in the online world. It was launched on 24th April, 2012. The main motive of encouraging this update was to punish as well as dissuade the spam websites and poor web content.

The main aim of Google Penguin is to penalise the websites which promote spamming on the internet and that is why it is also called ‘Google Penguin Penalty’. The websites which get hit by this penalty depict a demotion in their Google Page ranking.

Reasons for Launching Google Penguin

SEO allows your website to get to the topmost rung in all the search engines, but many a times websites follow shortcuts and use awful quality content and still land higher in rankings. But using SEO tricks the webmasters bring their poor quality WebPages at the top.

In order to curb this practice of the webmasters Google created Penguin Updates. Basically the aim of Google is to filter out all the spam from the web and to endorse quality content.

Effects of Google Penguin

Google Penguin Penalty has both positive as well as negative effects on the websites:

  • The website traffic dips for the sites which get hit by  Penguin Penalty.
  • Sites which have received benefits see rise in their traffic

Reasons for getting affected

There are many reasons why your website might have got hit by Google Penguin. However the exact reasons can be known from the Google insiders only. Some of the apparent reasons which might cause demotion of your Google Page Rank are:

  • Over Optimization

    Over-optimization of websites is being done by people who do not have quality content. This leads to decreased Google ranking.

  • Virus and Malware Presence

    Large number of spam’s, virus or boot scripts also triggers the Google alarm bells.

  • Copied or Replicated or Reproduced Content

    Duplicate web content is strictly prohibited and causes Google Penguin penalty.

  • Very High Density of keywords

    Over stuffing of keywords to gain higher ranking is totally prohibited.

  • Lack of Knowledge and experience on users part

    Inadequate user experience of website is being hit by Google.

  • Soaring Bounce Rate

    The graphics and banners should not overcrowd your website because Google hates it.

Google Adwords

Cost Efficient Tools and Techniques to Google Adwords

Google Adwords can make your business, or it can leave you at a loss – both figuratively and literally. Like any advertisement, it takes work. Adwords are no different from any other form of advertising, and unless you keep that in mind while writing your copy and managing your campaign, you are in for a lot of wasted effort and money.

 Google Adwords

The first thing to do is understand how Adwords works. People see your ad in a context. If the context is actually relevant to your ad, and if they click through to your site, you have a targeted visitor and a potential customer. If the content has something that speaks of free services and products related to what you are offering for a price, your ad will still appear, but the person clicking on it was looking for free stuff to begin with. You get a wasted click and not any useful traffic.

Fortunately, there is an easy way out of this problem. Google lets you set up negative keywords. You need to do some research to figure out what your negative keywords might be, but ‘free’ definitely comes to the top of anyone’s list. Once you have done this, at least there will no visitor looking for freebies clicking you to bankruptcy!

Find alternate and low cost keywords. Sometimes just a variation of a keyword performs just as well as a high cost one, but you have to look for it. Google’s own keyword listings and tracking tools are good enough for this purpose. `

Geotargeting your ads always helps. Make sure your ads are displayed only to people from geographical locations of your preference and at the correct hours.

Use Google’s tools to track and manage your campaign. Google rewards advertisers with low cost and better positioning if their campaigns are performing well. Weed out the badly performing campaigns and raise your overall score.

In any case, you should be monitoring your ads constantly to understand how effective each keyword is, and where. There are almost invariably some campaigns that get a lot of click through but not much sale. This curiosity arousing keywords must be eliminated or their exposure limited. Setting and forgetting is not the way to go when you are advertising online, because surfing habits are extremely dynamic.

Finally, even though this is not directly related to Adwords, it is of the utmost importance since, without it, you stand to lose even with the most effective campaign ever devised by man. Surfers are impatient people, and a click is perhaps one of the easiest of actions to perform. If, after clicking on your ad, the visitor does not land on a page that fulfils expectations generated by the ad, you will have a lot of dissatisfied traffic eating into your budget. Linking to content that you want to show your visitor will round off your campaign effectively, instead of using the more obvious choice of getting traffic to the home page of your site.

Social Media Marketing

Increase traffic with Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing, or SMM, is perhaps the most efficient marketing technique available, provided you have the time for it. Examples of Social Media sites are Facebook and Pinterest that let you interact with others of similar interest.

Forums were a precursor to Social Media, and they still exist, although severely limited when compared to a good social networking site. This does not mean forums are inferior – far from it. However, in a social media site, people frequently appear as themselves as opposed to forum members with avatars and specially created names tailor made to their specific virtual presence. Consequently, knowing your potential customers is never easier than on social media sites.

Social Media Marketing

The main difference between traffic through search engine optimization (SEO) and SMM is that SMM traffic is almost invariably targeted. Conversion rates are, therefore, higher than that of traffic that comes through SEO.

Conversion is visitors turning to customers or buyers. Anyone can visit your site if proper SEO techniques push it to the top of the search engine results, but the person who clicked through may not be looking for quite what you are offering. Or he might want to try other options. This is especially damaging in case of affiliate marketing where the last cookie gets the sale.

Cookie is a simple text file that is dropped to the visitor’s computer by the affiliate network. Cookies may expire in twenty four hours, thirty, sixty or ninety days, or never. This ensures that if the visitor returns to the product site you sent him to within the cookie’s lifetime, the sale will be tracked to you, and you will receive commission. However, if the visitor who came to your site is looking for other options and visits the same product site from someone else’s link, that person’s cookie will drop into the visitor’s computer, and if he buys, you will not get any commission even though you sent him first. This is a tricky situation that can be eliminated through social media marketing.

The concept of pre-selling is invaluable in any marketing. If you have enough social media presence, the visitor that comes to your site and clicks your link will most likely not look for other options. You have already pre-sold him the product through your sheer reputation and the  connection that you formed with him at the social media site.

There is another reason why social media marketing is extremely efficient: advertisement campaigns can be targeted to an extreme degree. Facebook, for example, has paid advertising options. Of the billions of users, you can target the exact customer profile you wish. A site like Quantcast can tell you what kind of people buy a certain product or service. When advertising on Facebook, it is possible to serve the ads to only those that fit the profile. As we have seen, social media profiles frequently present real people, and this factor, if weighed in properly, can make a serious difference to your overall marketing success.

Google’s New Disavow Tool Helps Combat Negative SEO

Google’s New Disavow Tool Helps Combat Negative SEO

In Google’s ongoing effort to ensure the quality of search results, they have provided web developers with another tool to be used in their SEO strategy. However, this new tool should be used with caution and only after you have taken the time to understand what it is and how it works. As with any new product, there is little information available to determine what the full impact of its use will be, so use it at your own risk and only when necessary.

So, what is the disavow tool and when should you use it? The disavow tool is used to alert Google when there are backlinks to your website that you want Google to ignore. It is a valuable tool to be used when efforts to have the links removed by other means have failed and the existence of these links is having a negative impact on your website rankings. You can learn more about other things that can negatively impact your rankings at ClickMinded, an online SEO training course.

Here are some of the circumstances where you might want to consider using the Google disavow tool:

If you believe your website is the victim of Negative SEO from a link-based attack, this tool is one of the best options you now have available for mitigating the damage caused by the attack. In these circumstances, other means of getting the links removed are difficult or impossible to do with any success. With the disavow tool, it’s a simple process to submit a list of links or domains to Google and have all those links disregarded when calculating the page rank of your website.

Another situation that might require the use of the disavow tool is receiving a bad link warning from Google. This is a clear indication that there may be a problem with the quality of links pointing to your website. The first step is to determine where the problem links are coming from. If you can get those links removed by other means, do so. If not, adding them to your disavow file and uploading them to Google is the best thing you can do.

If you have unsuccessfully tried to fix a bad-link warning or have received a link-based penalty for several months and a request for reconsideration has been ignored or denied, using the disavow tool will help to remedy the situation. However, be aware that it can take several weeks for changes to be applied. The disavow tool will not fix your problem immediately.

Finally, if your site was affected by Penguin and you believe it is because links that used to bring positive results are now being calculated negatively, the disavow tool can allow you to reduce the effect of links that you are unable to remove or change on your own.

The Google disavow tool has the potential to provide significant help to web developers struggling to manage link profiles. However, there is just as much potential for misuse and abuse. If poor links are having minimal effect on your website ranking, it is better to get them removed by other means or simply leave them alone. Using the disavow tool to remove every link that you suspect might be bad for your website could end up hurting you or the other website. The disavow tool should be a weapon of last resort, used only when necessary and all other options have failed.

 

Bing search and Google search on a same row of search engine taste test

Bing search and Google search on a same row of search engine taste test

Google has already become the king of search engine but Bing also old horse of Microsoft corporation which has won lots of races. Let’s begin this article with my bias; I use Google but I genuinely appreciate Bing. When Bing first launched it was, in no uncertain terms, a pretty lackluster search engine when one compared it to the gorilla in the room.

Bing search and Google search on a same row of search engine taste test

Bing search and Google search on a same row of search engine taste test

But as our good friend Jeremiah Andrick (then a Program Manager on the Bing team) said at the time when asked why it was inferior after so long in development, “Do you know how hard it is to build a search engine? Give it some time.”

Bing search and Google search on a same row of search engine taste test 

Flash forward a few years, give them some of that requested time to collect user data, grab some market share, and tweak their algorithms, and it turns out he was right.As an SEO, I still use Google and can’t see that changing anytime soon. After all, I’ve spent so much time on Google that I’ve figured out how to search it for complex information. Honestly, clients and website owners are more concerned with how much traffic they’re getting than how great an alternative search engine might be technologically. Heck, if we were more concerned about technology than results Ask would likely still be relevant.A major advantage that Bing has over an engine like Ask however is that their market reach surpasses that of even Google. If we consider Microsoft’s reach onto the desktop and through the Xbox console, they have access to a large percentage of searchers – they just haven’t been able to win their hearts and minds … yet.Which is exactly why they’ve launched the Bing In On challenge (a wise marketing move to be sure). In this challenge they display Google and Bing search results side-by-side with all the branding stripped out and allow users to vote for their preferred set of results based purely on merit.As far as I’m concerned however, this challenge doesn’t fully paint the picture of Bing’s growing strengths in the search realm (and may not depending on your search preferences), so before we get into that I want to point out a couple of the major moves that Bing’s making that may have passed unnoticed by many (for now) because it’s … well … Bing.

Universal & Social Positioning Preferences

Regular readers of Search Engine Watch may recall Nathan Safran’s article from last month titled, “Searchers Don’t Want Social in the SERPs, Prefer Bing’s layout to Google’s”. This article discussed the difference in the current layout of a SERP page after stripping out the brand and with the universal and social results areas clearly indicated.I highly recommend reading the article for the full picture, but the basic consensus was that 63 percent of those tested preferred Bing’s layout related to social search (though not universal). Those stats broke down as:

  • 36 percent strongly preferred Bing
  • 27 percent somewhat preferred Bing
  • 19 percent strongly preferred Google
  • 18 percent somewhat preferred Google

The breakdown on universal search was a bit different, with Google taking 53 percent, Bing 31 percent, and 16 percent of those tested having no preference.If we look at this data alone one can infer (or at least I did) that if a user has no opinion on a search engine going in, they are likely not to be heavily swayed by universal search presentation but may be swayed by social presentation due to the stronger preference recorded in the study. This all depends on how you’re searching and why but overall – I’d chalk this down as win for Bing. If only they had the chance to get in front of users. Further, if one believes as I do that users can be taught to appreciate having their social experience integrated into their search results (more on that later), then a case could be made for the fact that more than integrated images and products, users will gravitate to results that include information on what their friends think and like.

Facebook Integration

It’s important again to point out my bias. When Bing started integrating Facebook data in their search results back in May I got excited (and after 12 years of doing this … that takes a lot). The reason I got excited by this move was that they were doing what Google couldn’t and that’s integrate a large-scale “Friends” association into the results users are getting in their search results.We all know about Google+ and we have likely all noticed the +1 button and how it can influence the way Google displays sites with the “x people +1’d this” below the result. The problem is, the people whose opinions I trust the most over a wide array of topics don’t spend a lot of time on Google+ or +1’ing things.I live in Victoria, BC and when I enter “restaurants victoria bc” not one of the results has any type of indication as to whether people I know like any restaurants there. Perform the same search on Bing and because they use Facebook to pull such data, I get two listings with a little “Thumbs Up” to the left of the result which, if I hover over it, will show me which Facebook friends liked it. I did the same for “las vegas hotels”. Google gave me zero personal recommendations, Bing again gave me two sites with recommendations from people I know.This may seem simple, but it could well be one of the most powerful features of all the engines. Consider again my search for a hotel. I can go to Expedia or the such and get their reviews, I can also get the reviews of a bunch of people I don’t know who may have different needs that I do … or I can go to Bing and see which hotels people like me prefer.

Why Bing taking large scale risk 

I trust my friend Jim Hedger because I know him and I also know that he likes to stay in nice hotels but is as budget conscious as I am. I know that if he likes a hotel, it’s very likely to be close to something I would like at a price I’m willing to pay. At the very least I know it’s worth clicking through to for more information.Similarly, I know that my friend David Kong here in Victoria is health conscious but in what I’d deem to be a “normal” way. I know that when he gives a Like to a health site, I can trust his opinion and am likely to click through based on this recommendation.Essentially, Bing has done what Google has (thus far) been unable to do: provide a social integration based on a large-scale network of interconnected people.I know that this is a huge point in their favor and I expect to see more and more Facebook integration into Bing results. And until Google can convince my grandmother, my dad and the next door neighbor to get a Google+ profile and start +1ing things, Bing will have a large advantage on this playing field.

Better  Bing It On Running

But all of this is irrelevant if either of two conditions exist:

  • Bing’s search results are poor
  • Bing can’t pick up some additional market share

After all, what good are recommendations if I don’t search on an engine or worse, if I do and get poor results and leave frustrated.Enter Bing’s Bing It On challenge. Bing has created a page that allows the user to search and then displays, side-by-side, the results from both Bing and Google with all the branding stripped out and asks you to vote as to which you prefer (or a Draw if you consider them equal). After five queries they show you the results.I should note before you give it a try, the results don’t include the above-mentioned social integrations, it’s just a test of the pure results.When I tested it personally I got the following results from a purposely varied query set:

  • hotels las vegas (selected result based on the display of rating) – Bing
  • digital projector (selected results based on quick jump to shopping and review sites near the top) – Bing
  • buy organic coffee (selected result based on ease of accessing shopping on a buy phrase) – Bing
  • define quizzical (selected result based on layout of definition) – Google
  • leonardo da vinci (selected result based on image with the Wikipedia listing and layout of page) – Bing

This was the second time I’d done a search on the Bing It On system but I didn’t record the “why” the first time. In the first test I ended up with 2 Bing, 2 draws and 1 Google. When I was recording my reasons the second time I made myself select a preference and thus there were no draws.As someone who uses search engines all day I couldn’t help but worry that I’d skewed the results by simply knowing the layouts. I tried not to but some things one can’t help.So for the purpose of this article I decided to grab my laptop and head outside into the real world and watched others search and asked why they made the selections they did. The sample set was admittedly small (seven people) but their experience seems to match Bing’s claims.Of the seven people I watched searching, five selected Bing as their search engine of preference based purely on the results. Not bad, Bing.

The most common reasons for the preference based on my asking during each query were:

  • Not sure, just liked it.
  • Preferred location of shopping results (on 1440 x 900 resolution)
  • Better images
  • Better results

After that the reasons were pretty scattered, including one person who preferred the inclusion of video when searching “porn” on Bing. Personally and as a parent I have a word of advice for Bing … it’s easy enough to get access to the stuff – you might want to address that.

Bing: The Choice of a New (Search) Generation?

Bing has a huge problem. I’ve never heard anyone say they’re going to “Bing something” when they need information. You get into an argument in a pub, you’ll “Google it” to settle the debate.While people may prefer Bing results in a blind test, will those five people who preferred Bing in my sample now head home and start using it? Probably not – old patterns are hard to break. Ask Google, they developed a great social network but people kept using Facebook because old habits die hard. What this does mean, however, is that Google needs to tread very carefully. The biggest threat to Google right now is that if they come up with either a format people don’t like or a results set that is completely unsatisfactory – even for a short while –users may jump to Bing as a backup. If they do, and Bing keeps up a results set people seem to prefer, Google could very well lose users.In addition, the potential for further integration of Facebook data into Bing and additional integration of Bing results/advertising into Facebook (I have no reason to know this will happen but it wouldn’t surprise me at all with some of the possible moves that could be made by Microsoft later this year) they could grab both market share and (more importantly) advertising revenue from Google.

Reference / Source  articles :-