Twitter results have been showing up on Bing for some time. But now the search engine is adding tools that will refine that search. And that could be good news, if people happen to be looking for your Twitter handle on Bing.
Bing has now introduced features that allow those using the service to look for a specific hashtag, (say, that really great Twitter chat you had last week, for example.)
They’ll also be able to search for individual Twitter handles and trending topics. In a post about the new service on the official Bing Blogs, the Bing Team explained :
“As you well know, people are generating millions of tweets every minute on every conceivable topic. Through our exclusive partnership with Twitter, we are rolling out a fast and intuitive way to discover tweets directly in our search results. Whether you are interested in looking up trending hashtag, specific Twitter profiles or the latest tweets about your favorite celebrities, we have you covered.”
Developers say several factors will figure into the ranking of a Twitter handle, hashtag or other content on Bing.
Those factors include a tweet’s popularity, what Bing calls its “freshness” (more on this later) and the authority or importance of the person doing the tweeting.
Among the “signals” the Bing team lists as helping to determine each of these factors are quality and again freshness. Here it appears that Bing plans to put more weight on a post with original content than on a retweet — which makes sense.
But then, in terms of discovering “popularity,” it would seem the number of times others retweet your original message is a factor.
Finally, information on your profile coupled with whether or not it is a “verified” account, will factor into the authority, both of your account and of your tweets.
Unfortunately, as implied at the end of the quote above, the focus of the new feature is mainly discussed from the standpoint of searching for celebrity and show biz related gossip. (Both Ashton Kutcher and “The Daily Show,” as seen above, are mentioned in the Bing Team’s post.)
As a result, it’s kind of hard to figure out how this will apply to searching for references to your business or brand on Bing.
Add to this the fact that, despite some interesting features, Bing continues to account for only a fraction of online search.
On the other hand, having handles and hashtags as a preference in a search other than Twitter’s creates more options. It should make small business Twitter users rethink the importance of their accounts and hashtags for marketing and branding.