If you’re new to this, Klout is a system that assigns a numeric value (I am not a number!!) to folks with a social media presence. It’s supposed to represent your influence in your areas of expertise. I am a 43. Frank is a 54. Film critic Roger Ebert is a 92 and that’s one whopper of a score.
Bing wants you to know the score, so they’ve added Klout scores to their “People Who Know” bar.
When you search a topic, you get the traditional results, followed by a column of paid results, followed by the Know bar. If you’re logged in through Facebook, the top of the bar are people you follow who “might” know something about what you’re looking for. I found this angle to be fun but not all that helpful.
Below that is a list called “People Who Know” — these are experts in the field. Roll over one and you get the side pop you see above. That’s where you’ll find the Klout score if it’s available.
At first, I thought this was just more clutter for the page. Then I started trying other search terms and found myself intrigued. I discovered a few people I’d like to follow on Twitter and Bing makes it easy – just one click and I’m there.
Now, if I’m looking for a specific piece of information, like the date a movie opens in the theater, I don’t need an expert with a high Klout score. For those kinds of searches, Google wins every time. If I’m in discovery mode, looking for new blogs to read and new people to follow on Twitter, Bing wins that war.
For marketers, this new Bing Klout combo could be a new way to find influencers. The downside is a lack of consistency in the results. Movies worked well, but when I searched parents and parenting, all I got were people who answered parenting questions on Quora. No Klout scores, no real experts. Let’s hope this will improve with time.
Bing and Klout — another fun tool but Google remains as my default search engine.