Klout Gains Influence: Will it become a Factor in SEO?

Klout

+K if you like this?

Bing, who already has a partnership with Facebook, and earlier this year announced new partnerships with Foursquare and Quora,  yesterday (9/27/12) announced a new partnership with Klout.com.

If you’re not familiar with Klout, it is a site designed to measure an individual’s social influence.

Klout claims to examine more than 400 variables across multiple social networks in calculating each users social influence score. A number between 0-100 (a higher number represents more influence) is assigned and updated regularly based on the data collected.

Klout Controversy

The idea of tracking and assigning a social influencer score has come under attack from some “very influential” social media users  (Marcus Sheridan, Danny Brown, among others), and yet adjustments to Klout’s algorithm this past year, which resulted in many Klout scores dropping, resulted in a cry of alarm and outrage from many social media users.

Bing will display Klout users and their score in the “People Who Know” section of their search sidebar.

Klout on Bing's sidebar

Klout will begin displaying “Bing highlights” on some of Klout’s users new “Your Moments” feature.

Klout Moments

In the announcement, Bing states that “Our engineering teams will work together to expand the scope of social search and influence” and also notes that “for the 1st time Bing is an outbound signal for influence. Search as an outbound signal is an interesting new development in the way we think about big data and how it can add value to lots of the other services we use each day.”

What it means for Marketing

Right now, a higher Klout score may result in showing up on the sidebar for Bing searches relevant to your industry – it becomes another way of being found or noticed online.

The Big Take-a-Way

How long will it be until your Klout score is actually influencing Search Engine Results (much like Facebook “likes” & “shares” and “Google +1s” do now)? You can currently go to a Klout User’s profile page and give them a +K score (or vote) for specific subject areas of “expertise”. How long will it before the +K button becomes ubiquitous across the web, much as the Google +1 has?

It may be time to re-consider you Klout score?

What are your thoughts on the subject? Are you a Klout fan? Could Klout become that influential? If so, will it change how much attention you give to your Klout score?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the space below!

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Brent is a nationally recognized SEO expert and works with small businesses and Financial Advisors across the country. In addition to this blog, he is a regular contributor to Steamfeed, is syndicated through Social Media Today and B2C, and has written for Search Engine Journal, Spinsucks, and other marketing blogs.
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