The issue of ‘influence’ has been hotly debated ever since Klout arrived, claiming to provide a score-based assessment of an individual’s online influence.
Klout has, until recently, been concerned solely with influence on social networks – including the big ones like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
But what about people who have a high degree of online influence, despite not using social networks especially often?
Now you can connect Bing to your Klout profile, allowing your score to rise if a large number of people search for your name online.
In a post on the Bing Search Blog, Bing program manager Aaron Yuen explains: “The more times a friend, acquaintance or even you (admit it, you’ve done it) searches your name on Bing, the more influence you will rack up on Klout.”
This has potential for online marketing where your name is synonymous with your brand – but it has a few clear pitfalls, too.
First of all, authorisation for Bing to connect with Klout is managed via your Facebook account, which you might not want to be among the details you provide to Klout.
Secondly, it’s Bing, not Google, which is likely to leave many online marketers dissatisfied.
Finally, the fact that the results can be so easily ‘gamed’ could ultimately make a mockery of Klout scores completely – as simply ‘Binging’ yourself a large number of times is now enough to drive your score higher.