May 8, 2012 – The much anticipated Members Appreciation Night took place this week with Bing’s Duane Forrester sharing his insights on how search engines work – specifically Bing – and how we can apply that knowledge to successful search results.

Duane began by calling out a mistake that too many search professionals make.  We often get caught up with details such as site index and meta tag updates.  In reality, though, content is still king.  Consider, for example, that MSN’s website contains roughly 140 billion pages globally.  The person performing a search online wants content; therefore the search engine wants content, too.  Make this your number one focus, followed by social, user experience, link building and SEO.

Much of Duane’s presentation was about social and its effect on overall search.  Social brings emotion to the mix, which has impacted search engines in big ways.  With the changing “web of objects”, is an increasingly important resource.  Similarly, social graphs and patterns are helpful visualization tools.

Throughout his presentation, Duane related everything back to four filters.  When building and optimizing a website, he emphasized the four major areas to invest in: quality, trust, popularity and timeliness.  Follow this and you’ll be well on your way to successful search results.

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