Bing it On! Influencers,Search, and Klout

A few weeks ago I shared my thoughts about “The Dance Between Search and Social”  in a Friday #opensm Hangout. In addition to the obvious subjects of Google+, Google Authorship, and Author Rank, I thought it was important to talk about social scorecards such as Klout.

There are other social scorecard/networks like Kred, TrustCloud, and Empire Avenue, but I focused on Klout because it’s the only one that I have seen clear evidence that there is a concerted effort to marry search with influence.  One of the major (and deserved) criticisms of  Klout is that there is no correlation between someone’s score and their claimed area of expertise. Someone could claim to be an expert in search engine marketing but have a high Klout score because they post a lot of pictures on Facebook that people interact with.

I don’t remember when I set up my Klout profile and I’m fairly certain I did it on a whim because it looked interesting and it seemed logical to me that somehow, someway someone was going to come up with a method of measuring social influence and incorporating it somehow into SEO and search results.

Earlier this year, Bing partnered with Klout which indicated a clear move toward marrying search and influence, specifically related to Klout influence.  However it wasn’t clear how they were going to overcome the lack of confidence most people have when it comes to the correlation between someone’s Klout score and their knowledge. On May 8, 2013 they revealed Klout Experts.

Joe Fernandez, CEO and Founder of Klout explained, “Klout Experts will create a path to not only increasing your Klout Score, but also to helping others by sharing your insights and opinions.

I’d begun to suspect something like this was in the works wen I started getting prompted to answer questions associated with the topics  I included in my Klout Profile.

Klout Expert Question Prompts

 

 

 

 

 

 

After you write a response, you have the opportunity to share it on Facebook or Twitter where people can like and share it.

Klout Expert Answer Shared on Facebook

After the question has been answered it’s available for others to read, endorse, and share.

Klout Expert Answer Shared on Klout

 

The interesting thing is that these answers are now being displayed in Bing search results that are related to the topic.  The answers are from an initial set of Experts selected by Klout.  I’m sure they are rolling it out slowly to gauge reaction and so they can make appropriate adjustments before making a big splash.

As people, we go to trusted resources, usually our friends when we have questions or need information.  Klout Experts is founded on this concept and the goal is to create a group of on-line experts that can help us find those answers when someone searches for something on Bing.

Many people think it’s not worth the time to answer the questions because Google has the majority of  search traffic.  According to the April 2013 comScore search engine rankings: Google continues to capture between 66.5 and 67.5% of search traffic.  The rest of the searches are split up among Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and AOL.  It’s interesting to note that both Bing and Yahoo have experienced slight increases in search traffic month over month for January through April 2013 and Google has an overall slight decrease.

Is it enough to tip the scales in favor of Bing over Google? Not by a long shot and probably not for a while.  Do I think it’s worth taking a few minutes a day to answer a handful of questions?  I do, but I’m selective and I only answer the questions that I am qualified to answer and are relevant to the services I provide. Bing may have a smaller amount of traffic, but traffic is traffic. These questions are highly targeted and I believe they could result in great connections.

What are your thoughts on the roll-out of Klout Experts?