SMX Live: Getting Personal, Part 1: How Google & Bing Personalize With Social Connections

Feb 28, 2012 - 11:55 am 0 by
Filed Under SMX West 2012

Live Blogging Coverage SMXBelow is live coverage of the Getting Personal, Part 1: How Google & Bing Personalize With Social Connections panel from the SMX West conference. This coverage is provided by Barry Schwartz of RustyBrick & Keri Morgret of Strike Models.

Disclaimer: The coverage is brought to you in real time, using a custom live blogging tool. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments for inclusion into the live coverage. During the live event, live notes will auto-scroll with newest entries at top. After the session is complete the archive version will have the oldest entries at the top. We ask you to please excuse any typos, as these are live notes.

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Barry Schwartz: 8:59:26 am
Hey there!
Barry Schwartz: 9:00:50 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:01:59 am
Starting up now...
Barry Schwartz: 9:03:57 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:04:08 am
That is not Rangan, it is Paul from Microsoft.
Barry Schwartz: 9:05:27 am
Up first with Jack Menzel from Google
Keri Morgret: 9:06:10 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:06:46 am
Language is very ambiguous
Barry Schwartz: 9:06:59 am
For example, the query [smx] what does it mean
Barry Schwartz: 9:07:18 am
Santa Maria Airport, Search Marketing Expo, Samsung SMX, Honda SMX, etc etc
Barry Schwartz: 9:07:54 am
Language is imprecise - so personalization can help fill those gaps to get you what you want
Barry Schwartz: 9:08:30 am
Personalization include:
- Geography
- Language
- Context from previous queries
- Topicality
- Preference
- Pattern
- Social
Barry Schwartz: 9:09:13 am
Real personalization is the last three, preference, pattern and social
Barry Schwartz: 9:09:28 am
But this all needs to be done in a privacy sensitive way through transparency and control
Barry Schwartz: 9:09:59 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:11:05 am
Search originally was a beautiful word counting machine
Barry Schwartz: 9:11:55 am
Examples: A Lonely type of result... Query is [rome]
Keri Morgret: 9:11:58 am
He's showing us two versions of a query. First one is unpersonalized.
Barry Schwartz: 9:12:17 am
With personalization, it shows blog posts from friends, pictures from friends, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 9:12:42 am
The web to me is not just all the public content on the web but also content privately shared specifically with me
Keri Morgret: 9:13:13 am
He wants to see stuff that is relevant to him, and sometimes that's not necessarily just the public information.
Barry Schwartz: 9:13:41 am
It is not just the content... It is also about seeing what my friends endorse on the web (i.e. comment or like or +1 content on the web)
Keri Morgret: 9:14:01 am
We're not just bringing up the information, we're trying to encourage an interaction between people.
Keri Morgret: 9:15:18 am
If you understand relationships between people, it can help with the results. He's giving the example of a Google engineer named Ben Smith.
Barry Schwartz: 9:15:48 am
If Google could understand I have a friend named Ben Smith, then it can show you your friend
Barry Schwartz: 9:16:20 am
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Keri Morgret: 9:16:26 am
Identity allows for interactivity. Connecting to people so you can have a conversation.
Barry Schwartz: 9:17:31 am
They tie in Google+ pages into search results and show them when they find it relevant
Keri Morgret: 9:18:30 am
There are no canonical search results. Even with personalization off, results will be a little bit different for everyone.
Barry Schwartz: 9:18:39 am
You can turn on and off personalization but at the same time, turning off personalization doesnt mean you see exactly the same as someone else who turned it off.
Barry Schwartz: 9:19:07 am
As SEOs, what can you do? The main thing is just engage in Facebook, Twitter and Google+/+1
Barry Schwartz: 9:19:24 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:19:33 am
Specifically with Google you can:
Keri Morgret: 9:19:41 am
Create a plus page, link it to your web page.
Barry Schwartz: 9:19:47 am
(1) Create a Google+ page and link it to your web page (rel=publisher)
Barry Schwartz: 9:20:13 am
Do the authorship rich snippet
Keri Morgret: 9:20:49 am
Want to allow people to interact with content, but also authors of content.
Barry Schwartz: 9:21:20 am
Add +1 button on your content
Barry Schwartz: 9:21:34 am
That is all!
Barry Schwartz: 9:21:49 am
Jack is done and now up is Paul Yiu of Bing
Keri Morgret: 9:22:22 am
Paul Yiu from Bing is up now.
Barry Schwartz: 9:22:37 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:22:58 am
Will show examples of how Bing "takes advantage" of social signals
Keri Morgret: 9:23:10 am
How bing takes advantage of social info:
- Aggregate and real-time information
- Personally relevant results
Barry Schwartz: 9:23:40 am
With Bing, People can influence search results
Keri Morgret: 9:23:45 am
Bing is doing stuff to make them seem like a big water cooler.
Barry Schwartz: 9:23:56 am
Even if they don;t know who you are, they still will do it.
Barry Schwartz: 9:24:12 am
Example query he shows:
Barry Schwartz: 9:24:36 am
They merge social content into the search results, from Twitter and Facebook
Keri Morgret: 9:24:39 am
Trying to merge publishers' social media presence into the search engines.
Barry Schwartz: 9:25:35 am
When Angelina Jolie flashed her leg, it caused a major spike (trending) on twitter and facebook and this had a direct result on Bing
Barry Schwartz: 9:25:55 am
Any search results for her name were about her leg, when normally it is other stuff
Keri Morgret: 9:26:07 am
If you have a good piece of content, it doesn't have to have all of the traditional signals in order to become important.
Barry Schwartz: 9:26:29 am
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Keri Morgret: 9:27:03 am
Using Facebook and Twitter can help your content appear fresher.
Barry Schwartz: 9:27:13 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:27:33 am
When you update with a tweet or Facebook post, make sure to include a URL because it is "super helpful" he said.
Barry Schwartz: 9:28:03 am
Things like "lol" are low quality but things with pics and so on are higher quality
Keri Morgret: 9:28:16 am
Links (in Tweets) are a good quality indicator.
Barry Schwartz: 9:28:25 am
The same thing with links, social shares with links tend to have a higher quality, as Keri noted
Barry Schwartz: 9:28:43 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:28:48 am
Your connections are important
Keri Morgret: 9:28:52 am
Avoid spammy clumps of sharing, look natural with your shares.
Keri Morgret: 9:29:48 am
On Twitter, be careful of who you follow. Could get you into a situation where Bing misunderstands your relationship with the rest of the world.
Barry Schwartz: 9:30:26 am
Make it easy for people to share your content - like we do here on the left hand side (or top right, depending on resolution) on this page.
Keri Morgret: 9:31:04 am
Concept of bringing your friends with you when you search.
Barry Schwartz: 9:31:13 am
He shows examples of how your friends (connections) make your search results more personal
Barry Schwartz: 9:31:49 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:32:04 am
Friends can also "decorate results"
Barry Schwartz: 9:32:22 am
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Keri Morgret: 9:32:36 am
As a searcher, you don't have to think. You search like usual, then you see what your friends like.
Barry Schwartz: 9:33:14 am
Friends can also be a result, when you search for anything
Barry Schwartz: 9:33:28 am
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Keri Morgret: 9:33:37 am
Friends can be a result in Bing. Shows a query for san francisco restaurants, and there's "Friends who know about san francisco restaurants"
Keri Morgret: 9:34:00 am
People can curate results for themselves.
Keri Morgret: 9:35:01 am
Helps if you have a real common name or are someone like Jennifer Lopez from SEOmoz who has a hard time showing up in results.
Barry Schwartz: 9:36:08 am
Bing Linked Pages see
Keri Morgret: 9:36:32 am
"Gratuitous" likes end up being filtered out. Those like farms aren't going to help, don't bother.
Barry Schwartz: 9:37:20 am
Q&A time...
Barry Schwartz: 9:37:58 am
Danny asking first Q:
Barry Schwartz: 9:38:23 am
Is social the new link building?
Barry Schwartz: 9:38:29 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:38:51 am
Jack: Links are not going away, but social is an important signal. And it will become more and more important. I wouldn't say links are out and +1s are in.
Barry Schwartz: 9:39:46 am
Paul from Microsoft, links are a super important signal for us.
Barry Schwartz: 9:40:21 am
Social signals are important, for example, the legs example changes the SERPs drastically change - i.e. trending stuff and they do look at the link data in tweets, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 9:41:52 am
Q: Google, you are clearly seeing all Google+ data, but you don't see Facebook and Twitter (everything)...
Barry Schwartz: 9:42:05 am
A: Jack at Google, they only see what is public from Twitter and Facebook
Keri Morgret: 9:42:06 am
Google doesn't have access to all of the FB data. For all of those interactions that are going on, but we can't use all of it, we can only use what is public on the web.
Keri Morgret: 9:42:40 am
The content that people enjoy consuming and end up spreading across the web are when you are saying more than a single sentence.
Barry Schwartz: 9:42:48 am
Google also adds links within tweets do help, yea.
Keri Morgret: 9:43:04 am
Do say more than just "angelina's legs"
Barry Schwartz: 9:44:30 am
Microsoft: For a given page, we look at tweets and shares that are public. They really only look at public stuff.
Keri Morgret: 9:47:32 am
Social can help you see cooler content that traditional methods might have missed.
Keri Morgret: 9:48:37 am
Bing has a sense of "authority score" behind the scenes.
Keri Morgret: 9:49:50 am
Google also tries to discern authority on a subject that a person has.
Keri Morgret: 9:51:13 am
Web search itself at Google is smart enough to usually do its best to forward on the information with a URL redirect. Social networks don't do this quite as well yet.
Keri Morgret: 9:51:41 am
In other words, you still have problems changing your URLs and getting social karma to transfer like you wish it would.
Barry Schwartz: 9:52:17 am
Paul calls me out as a friend with Danny
Barry Schwartz: 9:52:45 am
Danny is grilling him on who sees the stuff when you do the Bing Linked pages thing, cause Bing is posting stuff to your Facebook page.
Keri Morgret: 9:54:36 am
Danny asks about the influence of social signals in general even if you're logged out.
Keri Morgret: 9:55:54 am
To the extent that Google can aggregate information and use that for general ranking / as a general signal, it's similar to looking at links on the internet. It's a signal.
Barry Schwartz: 10:00:01 am
Sorry, had to blog about Bing Webmaster Tools new API Now I am back
Keri Morgret: 10:01:35 am
The overall mission of the adding identity and authority to the web (in Google's eyes) is to help you get the expert information. It is just the beginning of this.
Barry Schwartz: 10:02:15 am
--- wonders if Danny will ask Microsoft my sarcastic question...
Keri Morgret: 10:06:25 am
If you have a valid session on Facebook, Bing will prompt you the first five times to try to personalize your results.
Barry Schwartz: 10:09:14 am
Bing's Facebook personalization is just US only. Google is more worldwide.
Keri Morgret: 10:09:49 am
Danny asks about Pintrest with a big sigh.
Keri Morgret: 10:11:19 am
Google says they try to minimize doing anything custom for special websites. Will wait for Pinterest to get a little bigger before they start (trails off).
Keri Morgret: 10:12:12 am
Send Jack examples of personalized results that you don't like. Take a screenshot of stuff that's not working.
Keri Morgret: 10:12:32 am
jackm at google dot com. Send him the examples of social results gone bad.
Barry Schwartz: 10:13:03 am
We are done here in 3 minutes...
Barry Schwartz: 10:13:09 am
Next sessions in about 30 minutes:
Barry Schwartz: 10:13:09 am
Next sessions in about 30 minutes:
Barry Schwartz: 10:13:11 am
Creating Conversion Friendly Mobile Landing Pages by Barry Schwartz
Getting Personal, Part 2: How Google & Bing Personalize With Search History & Geography by Avi Wilensky
Barry Schwartz: 10:16:26 am
Thanks and see you soon

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