Bing Now Handpicks News Writers For Its Social Sidebar

bing-logo-200Bing is dipping its toes into a form of what Google calls “authorship” with today’s announcement that news writers are now being featured in Bing’s Social Sidebar.

U.S.-based searchers can now see journalists appearing in the “People Who Know” section of the Bing sidebar. These authors are often mixed in with those who appeared in “People Who Know” before — people who’ve answered questions on Quora or who tweet regularly about the search topic.

Here’s a search I just did for “seattle mariners,” which shows two authors in “People Who Know” along with several others.

bing-authors

Those who are appearing as “authors” can be distinguished from others in the “People Who Know” section because they’ll have the words “writes for” after their names and hovering over their profiles brings up a list of articles, rather than a list of tweets or other social media links.

It’s possible that someone can be determined relevant for the People Who Know section both from being handpicked as an author (see further below) and because of their social media sharing on sites like Twitter, Quora, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Google+ and Blogger. Those who fall into both categories are likely to have the hover display show links from their social profiles, rather than an author display, Bing told us.

Bing Is Handpicking Authors

In its blog post, Bing describes the authors that might show up in the sidebar as “experts in their fields, sharing the latest news, developing events and information out with the greater world.”

The blog post is coy about who’s considered an author and how Bing identified publications and authors to include, but a spokesperson explained to us via e-mail that Bing is currently handpicking who to include:

Currently our roster of experts is created and managed by the Bing team which we update regularly….

We have selected an initial list of news experts and authors and constantly update the list and trigger terms.

We were also told there are about 45,000 authors in the group, and that Bing plans to add more to this initial set each day.

The blog post goes on to say that Bing is “hard at work to grow our coverage,” but Bing declined to answer our questions about whether authors would eventually have a way to apply for or request consideration for author status.

Google’s authorship feature has been showing author images in search results since the summer of 2011. But rather than handpick who’s included, Google has setup an authorship process that’s evolved over time to allow online authors to try to get Google to show their picture in its search results.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Features: Analysis | Microsoft: Bing | Microsoft: Bing Social Search | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Chris Crum

    Bing told us, “People Who Know are experts and enthusiasts from leading sites and social networks like Twitter, foursquare, Quora, LinkedIn, Google+ and Blogger.”

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Yes, but that’s not the same as People Who Know who are considered news authors. News authors are a new group of people who may show there. Some of them may overlap with the other ways people might appear, but those people don’t get what news authors have — a hover that shows actual news articles they’ve written (rather than tweets and so on)

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Yes, but that’s not the same as People Who Know who are considered news authors. News authors are a new group of people who may show there. Some of them may overlap with the other ways people might appear, but those people don’t get what news authors have — a hover that shows actual news articles they’ve written (rather than tweets and so on)

  • ZewMang

    that makes a lot of sene dude.

    GetPrivacy.tk

  • Chris Crum

    Hi Danny,

    I was under the impression that this group was the starting point for their handpicking of the new “authors” – its pool of “experts” from the sites mentioned, and from there the ones they handpick would include “information” from Twitter (bios, as far as I can tell), and news articles they have written.

    Anyway, here’s the full statement Bing gave us yesterday:

    “People Who Know are experts and enthusiasts from leading sites and social networks like Twitter, foursquare, Quora, LinkedIn, Google+ and Blogger. Bing identifies ‘People Who Know’ based on what they’ve written or tweeted about. Author pages surface information from our experts/enthusiasts Twitter profiles, and recent and relevant articles they have written.”

    “Some experts and enthusiasts may be influential in a number of areas including Twitter, Quora and foursquare. When an expert qualifies in more than one category, in most cases we will surface their results from Twitter and Quora in sidebar. As when we introduce any new feature, we’ll continue to look closely at the right way to surface experts related to the query, and may make adjustments as we learn more about the feature.”

    “We’re just beginning to surface news experts and their author pages in sidebar, so while we won’t have author pages for everyone, we’re hard at work to grow our coverage.”

    I don’t know if that helps anybody, but that’s the most I’ve seen about it (outside of their blog post) so far. Did Bing talk about the feature at SMX? I’d love to hear any additional info on the subject.

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