Search engines are an odd field. Fifteen years ago, there wasn’t a unified term when you needed to search the internet for something. Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Google, and many other sites acted as a way to bring order to the internet by placing it into meaningful categories. Google won the battle by a landslide. It’s name even became a verb meaning to search the internet for something. Bing popped up a few years ago, and it is slowly adding features that allow it to do things that Google cannot. A few years ago, Bing started to integrate with Facebook to help users get their friends suggestions when going to a restaurant. Now Bing is fusing with Twitter to create a very different searching experience.

As of today, Bing has expanded it’s functionality to add Twitter searching to its growing list of tools. Anyone can search a Twitter handle or a hashtag to see what is all trending in Bing. You may be wondering why this could be even remotely useful, since Twitter already has its own searching system. This is speculation, but I can see this being useful in SEO, especially businesses that have an active social presence.

Let us say that someone starts tweeting at a business, and the business responds. Instead of that interaction being left only inside of Twitter, that now brings the company higher in search engine rankings. Because of the new search algorithm, the time a business now spends talking with their consumers online has a direct impact on how they will appear when people try to search them. This could be monumental in showing the impact of social media on a larger scale. This is bringing a way to categorize and display how a business interacts and helps its consumers, as well as bringing a documentation on how past problems were handled. However, this could be a double edged sword as well. If a business doesn’t have a strong following online, there is less a reason for consumers to interact with them, lowering their SEO rankings.

Overall, I’m curious to see what this new functionality will bring. It’s hard to take on the biggest search engine in the world, but given enough reason, there is a possibility that Bing could catch up, update by update.