At SMX Seattle, Bing's Duane Forrester told marketers to think of the crawler as a site user, and remember: Content is king when it comes to SEO.

Social is increasingly proving its SEO impact, as evidenced by buzz at SMX Seattle, but marketers must remember that content is core to social, and it's still king when it comes to SEO. Bing's Duane Forrester reminded SMX attendees of the value of content.

Forrester (pictured speaking) runs Bing's webmaster program and acts as a senior product manager for the company. (He used to be the SEO product manager for Microsoft, so it's safe to say he's of an SEO mindset.) One of the topics of discussion at his SMX session was Facebook shares' SEO impact, which naturally brings Bing to mind because of the company's recent Facebook friend effect integration. Bing's Duane Forrester at SMX Seattle.

Amidst the social-focused chatter, Forrester reminded attendees,”Never lose sight of the fact that all SEO ranking signals revolve around content of some kind.” Whether it is the content you publish on your site or the tweets you share with followers, high-quality content is king.

Google's SEO tip to focus on unique, valuable content came up during the session, and Forrester seemed to confirm that Bing advises marketers to apply similar content checks to increase rankings on Microsoft's search engine.

Google had encouraged marketers trying to get in the mindset of the algorithm to ask themselves questions including, “Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research or original analysis?” and Forrester told marketers to consider Bing's search crawler another visitor. The content and organization of websites trying to be SEO-friendly should focus on user experience and value, he suggested.

The takeaway is that content marketing is essential to SEO across all major search engines, but the fact that this tip is coming from a Bing executive should catch marketers' interest; as Brafton has reported, Microsoft's search share is showing steady gains. Plus, the company is getting some attention from socially enthusiastic Google users thanks to its latest Facebook integration.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.