Microsoft Preparing Next Version of Bing Webmaster Tools

Posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, News, SEO

Bing celebrated its first birthday earlier this month.

Since launch, Microsoft has built awareness of its “decision engine” through a massive television and radio advertising campaign, leading to an almost 10 percent “share of search” in the consumer search market. Although it may seem like a small slice of the pie in comparison to Google, Bing’s share represents over 1.5 billion US searches per month, a number that can’t (and shouldn’t) be ignored.

So how can a webmaster leverage this search volume for additional insight and opportunity?

At the recent SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle, Microsoft presented a preview of the next version of Bing Webmaster Tools (BWT) with a feature Microsoft dubs the “Index Explorer” which provides webmasters with a tree-like view of the crawling and index data for their website. Within the tree view, webmasters can access specific data management controls—URL blocking, cache blocking, and recrawl requests—at each level, something Google may want to emulate in their own Google Webmaster Tools interface.

For those less familiar with the Bing webmaster offering, now is a great time to revisit and recommend implementation and verification of sites under their control.

Bing’s current Webmaster Center Tools offers tools sectioned into seven parts:

  • Summary tool: webmasters can check the status of their website, see data about the last crawl, check the domain score and page score, and the estimated number of indexed pages.
  • Profile tool: webmasters can add information about their site profile and their contact information.
  • Crawl Issues tool: provides an overview of issues identified by Bing during the crawling and indexing process.
  • Backlinks tool: this tool generates a list of inbound links, which can be downloaded for offline viewing and editing.
  • Outbound Links tool: similar to the Backlinks tool, the Outbound Links tool provides a list of URLs leading to other websites.
  • Keywords tool: this tool allows webmasters to see how their website will perform against searches for a specific keyword or key phrase in the form of a webpage score.
  • Sitemaps tool: enables webmasters to provide Bing with a comprehensive list of content to crawl.
  • Robots.txt validation tool: this tool checks your robots.txt file for any incompatibilities with MSNBot that may affect how the site is indexed on Bing.

So why now?

Back in February, Microsoft and Yahoo won approval from U.S. antitrust regulators to embark on their search partnership, where Microsoft will be powering search results and paid search listings on Yahoo pages. Though Google remains the dominate global search with almost 72% percent, this Binghoo partnership will result in a worthy and “not to be ignored” competitor.

Now is the perfect time for webmasters to verify their (and their client’s) websites with Bing Webmaster Tools as well as make certain websites are optimized for Bing’s algorithm.

What are your thoughts on the Bing vs. Google competition?

What has your experience been with Bing Webmaster Tools?

What features of the next version of BWT are you most looking forward to?

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7 Responses to “Microsoft Preparing Next Version of Bing Webmaster Tools”

  1. Dave Counts says:

    Good article.

    An interesting site to check out is http://www.bing-vs-google.com

    If you search on “is bing any good?” the results popup at relatively similar time with almost the same results until right towards the end of the first page in spot 7. On Bing you get “Apparently Bing Is Something Of A Hit” and on Google you get “Microsoft Bing is Not Good Enough to Beat Google | Weakonomi¢s”

  2. When I think of Microsoft as a company, there is one thing that comes to mind…… never say never. This company will not quit until they are number 1 in everything they do. Take Lotus and Novell for instance, Microsoft would not quit until they passed those companies up and left them in the dust. They will do the same thing against Google. Yes it is a tall order, but nothing is too challenging with Microsoft.

    Optimizing for Bing and utilizing their webmaster tools suite is important and should be done by all webmasters. I would also imagine that their tools for webmasters will just keep getting better over time.

  3. Colin Hart says:

    I laughed at this comment

    “I would also imagine that their tools for webmasters will just keep getting better over time.”

    Would be a good start if they actually worked. I cannot get the site validation to work, tried the meta tag and an XML file, both failed, when I look in my server logs Bing has not even looked.

    Validated on Google and Yahoo no problem, failed miserably on Bing.
    Oh well.

  4. Colin Hart says:

    Further investigation may have revealed the problem.

    I have website with a url of the format
    http://something.domain.tld
    Bing could not verify that
    I have a website of the format
    http://www.domain.tld
    Bing could verify that.

    Looks like maybe Bing webmaster tools can only verify http://www.domain.tld websites, bit of a shortcoming, both Google and Yahoo happily verified both websites.

    Have fun

  5. @Colin

    One year on, Bing still isn’t on par with GWT, but it’s getting there. Wouldn’t be something I leave out of an SEO tracking plan

    Cheers

    Grant

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