Bing is second most popular search engine trailing behind Google.As a website owner you should not ignore any possible traffic generator.Bing Webmaster is just like Google Webmasters.Both are communication platform between search engines and Website Owners.Bing Webmaster is free of cost.It provides detailed insight about your website.I have seen Bloggers not using Bing Webmasters.But I would recommend using it.I am using it for this website.
This post will cover features provided by Bing Webmasters.It will also cover application of these features for generating traffic and making your website more search engine friendly.In case you are not using Google Webmasters then read this tutorial on Google Webmasters.
Bing Webmasters Getting Started
Bing Webmasters Add Website
The first step is to create your Bing Webmasters account.Creating Bing Webmasters account is very easy.You can sign up with your Microsoft account.After creating account first step is to add your website.Click on the option Add a website.You will see below screen
You need to Enter URL of your website and location of sitemap.In case you are using WordPress then you can use my sitemap plugin for mobile and Images.After entering these information Click Add to add your website.
Bing Webmasters Configure My Site option
This is the first step after adding your website.So I am covering it before other sub options under Configure My Site option.There are three ways to verify your website
- Place an XML file on your web server
- Copy and paste a tag in your default webpage
- Add CNAME record to DNS
The first option is easy to implement.You need to download the file and upload the same in your web server.After that you need to verify your website.
While adding website you added sitemap.But there was option to add one website.Using this option you can add more than one sitemap.Sitemaps inform Bing about structure of your website.It helps search engines crawl and index your website.
After submitting sitemap crawl rate might be slow for new website.To speed up crawl rate and index rate you can use this option.You can submit pages on your website.Bing has imposed limit of
- 10 URLs in a day
- 10 URLs in a day
This option can also be used to inform search engine about newly added content.
Crawl control helps you decide Bing Crawl time and rate.Normally on this screen you should mention the time your website receives maximum traffic.This helps you tell Bing that Crawl my site when traffic is not much.This helps you distribute load of your website across the day.This website receives maximum traffic from 5PM to 11PM.So I have selected this as shown in below image.
Bing automatically adjusts its crawl rate based on my above setting.
This option helps you to block URLs of your website from appearing in Bing.You can mention pages as well as directory.If you are mentioning directory then it will block all pages under that directory.The pages will not appear in Bing for 90 days.After that you can block them again.For example you have some downloadable PDF which you do not want to appear in Bing directly.You want the post in which it is linked to appear in Bing.Then you can either block the URL of PDf or block the whole directory in which PDF files are.Bing also notifies if your blocked URLs are going to expire.So you can block them again.
This is one feature which sets Bing Webmasters apart from Google Webmasters.Google Webmasters allow you to Geo target a particular country for entire website.But BIng Webmasters allow you to geo target a page or directory or sub domain as well as entire domain.So you can geo targeting on page level.This granular level of geo targeting is not possible in Google.You just need to enter URL of a website and select a country from drop down.This is it.
This is yet another feature which sets Bing Webmasters apart from Google Webmasters.It lets you mention social media profile of yours related to the website here.You can mention you Facebook page or your Twitter profile here.As shown in below image I have added my Facebook Page,Twitter Profile,Google Plus profile or page,Pinterest Profile,YouTube profile and Linkedin Profile.Apart from this you can also add your Instagram profile,MySpace profile,Microsoft Windows profile,Apple AppStore profile and Google Play Store profile.
Disavow links allow you to tell search engine to ignore external link pointing to your website or page.You should do this for bad external links.Bad external links are links from spam websites,content farms and other dangerous website out there.Links from these websites are not good for your website.Your competitors might use these websites to harm your website.So it is better to notify Bing about these links.This helps Bing ignore these links.
Later in the tutorial we wil cover option which help you identity external links.
Bing Webmasters Reports & Data option
This page shows you below details
- Clicks from Search – Number of times searchers clicked on your website on Bing Search Results page
- Appeared in Search – Number of times this page appeared in Bing Search
- Click Through Rate – Clicks from search / appeared in search.A high value is good for your website
- Average Search Click Position – Position of your website in SERP when searcher clicked on your website link
- Average Search Appearance Position – Average position of your website in Bing search page
- Search Keywords – Keywords for which your website appeared in search.
The information on this page helps you optimize your website for better ranking.This statistics along with Google Webmasters statistics give you excellent information to optimize your content for keywords.It also gives you idea about pages performing bad in search results with time.If some pages are decreasing in search ranking then you need to optimize them to perform better in search results.
Index Explorer gives you information about
- 301 redirects
- 404 Errors – You should try to minimize number of 404 errors on your website.
- Malware Infected – If your website or pages are infected by Malware then that is reported here.It is good to fix the issue as soon as possible.
- Excluded by robots.txt – Your robots.txt file should not block important sections of your website.If Bing is not able to crawl some pages on your website due to robots.txt then those URLs are listed here.
This option shows you below details
- Clicks from Search – Same as above
- Appeared in Search – Same as above
- Click Through Rate – Same as above
- Average Search Click Position – Same as above
- Average Search Appearance Position – Same as above
- Served Pages – Pages of your website which appeared on SERP for these keywords
This option along with Page Traffic option gives you great amount of insight about your traffic from incoming search from Bing.
This option displays SEO suggestions for your pages.You can click on the error messages reports and get list of all pages which have those violations.This section helps you improve on page features of search engine optimization.You should try to keep this section blank.Bing updates this section every week.So after taking corrective actions you can revisit this report to see if the problem still persists.Bing also provides SEO Analyser.We will discuss this tool later in the tutorial.You can use it to analyse the pages after taking corrective actions.
Inbound links lists pages on your website and number of external links pointing to them.You can click the page links on your website to get list of external links pointing to the page.External links are beneficial for search engine ranking.But links from bad website might be dangerous.So you should take note of bad websites pointing to your page.After making list of such website you should remove links from them using the Disavow Links option mentioned above.
Crawl information reports
- Pages not found on your website – You should try to minimize them
- Pages giving Internal Server Error – This is worst error if happening often then you should check configuration of yor website
- Pages Moved Permanently – No need to worry about them
- Pages Moved temporarily – Instead of using 302 it is better to use 301 (moved permanently)
- robots.txt exclusion Important sections of your website should not be excluded by robots.txt
- DNS failures – This should not be present if it is present then you should consult with your web hosting company
- Connection Timeouts – This is also server hosting issue and should be dealt with web hosting company.You should also make your website fast
- Ignore URL Parameters
- Deep Links
- Page Preview
- App Linking
- Verify Bingbot
If Bing finds any malware on your website then that is reported here.It is better to take down the site and fix the problem.Malware is worst problem your website can have.In other cases you get time to correct the issue and there is no penalty to your domain.Only the pages get punished in search ranking.But in case of malware entire website can be punished.So it is better to act as soon as possible on these issues and fix them.
Bing Webmaster Diagnostics & Tools option
Keyword research gives yo idea about number of times the keyword was used as query in Bing.You can narrow the criteria by selecting country,duration and language.For example I want to know number of times Esha Upadhyay was searched in Bing.Then I will enter the keyword to get the idea.I can now narrow the result based on country say India.I can also filter on duration say last 30 days.Thus it gives yo idea about search volume of a query in Bing.
You can use this data for writing new content.This also gives search volume of related keywords as well.
Link Explorer is excellent tool.It gives you Internal Links as well as External links pointing to your website.The options are shown in below image.You can select Source as Internal (to display only internal links),External (to display only external links) and All (to display both internal and external links).You can change Scope to URL or domain as well.
You can enter URL of any content on your website to find out links to it.
This option lets you verify Schema.org tags,Microformats,Open graph tags.Going forward Schema.org tags will be the standard.In case you are not aware of Schema.org and want to use it on your website then read this tutorial.After implementing these tags you can validate the same using Markup Validator.You need to enter URL of your page.
SEO Analysis is very important for each and every webmaster.There are many SEO Analyzer available in market but most of them are paid ones.Bing has come up with SEO Analyzer of it’s own.The most important point is that it is totally free and you can analyze as many pages you want.There is no limit on usage (I have not seen any such clause). Moreover it comes from Bing so there is no question about the report it is generating.
The tool is very simple to use.All you have to do is paste the URL you want to test and click on Analyze button.The report will show if there is any non compliance with Search engine optimization rules.I really had tough time finding the information it displays as all the URL analyzed showed No SEO violations were found for this page message.
It also shows Analyzed,Page Source and original tabs.Analyzed tab will show the webpage analyzed and Page source page will show the source of the page analyzed and original tab shows the original page analyzed.This tool is still in beta stage so more improvements can be expected in near future.
Site Move is very handy tool.There are times you delete old posts and write new posts.I myself have deleted some old posts and created new posts.The problem is you need to redirect your old URL to new URL.After doing 301 redirect from old URL to new URL you can notify Bing about the change using Site Move option.You can also use this option if you are moving URL from one site to other site.You just need to enter source URL and destination URL.Bing will take care of the rest.Google Webmasters does not have this option.
There are other options available in Bing Webmasters which are not covered here.The options not covered are
These options are not used too often so I did not covered them here.In case you want to know about these options of read more about them then you can share your queries below.
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