A new beginning: Bing Webmaster Tools

Today, we’re announcing the release of the updated Bing Webmaster Tools. After the Bing launch, we reached out to the webmaster and SEO communities to see how we could improve the webmaster tools. Your feedback was very consistent: you wanted more transparency to see how Bing crawls and indexes your sites, more control over your content in the Bing Index, and more information to help you optimize your sites for Bing.

So what’s new in the updated Bing Webmaster Tools? Everything. With your feedback in mind, the Bing Webmaster Team decided to hit the reset button and rebuild the tools from the ground up.

The redesigned Bing Webmaster Tools provide you a simplified, more intuitive experience focused on three key areas: crawl, index and traffic. New features, such as Index Explorer and Submit URLs, provide a more comprehensive view as well as better control over how Bing crawls and indexes your sites. Index Explorer gives you unprecedented access to browse through the Bing index in order to verify which of your directories and pages have been included. Submit URLs gives you the ability to signal which URLs Bing should add to the index. Other new features include: Crawl Issues to view details on redirects, malware, and exclusions encountered while crawling sites; and Block URLs to prevent specific URLs from appearing in Bing search engine results pages. In addition, the new tools take advantage of Microsoft Silverlight 4 to deliver rich charting functionality that will help you quickly analyze up to six months of crawling, indexing, and traffic data. That means more transparency and more control to help you make decisions, which optimize your sites for Bing.

We have good news for all the veteran users of the Bing Webmaster Tools. Your existing Webmaster Center accounts have been automatically upgraded to the new tools. This means that starting today, you’re already a registered user of the new Bing Webmaster Tools. There’s no need to create a new account, change ownership verification codes, or re-enter site data. If you don’t have a current account, you can easily sign-up and register your sites to begin using the new tools.

This is only the beginning; we have many more features planned for release in the coming months. These are your tools, so send us your feedback, suggestions, and questions to help guide how the tools evolve. As always, you are encouraged to comment here in the blog or post your feedback and questions to the Bing Webmaster Tools & Feature Requests forum.

– Anthony M Garcia, Senior Product Manager, Bing Webmaster Tools

 

Join the conversation

97 comments
  1. darrenmc

    This is a good update…still some way to go to catch up Google but this is a very very good step in the right direction.

  2. jkwilson78

    Pretty charts and all but where is the backlink information?  Seems to have been removed.  A step back in my opinion.

  3. wasaweb

    I think it's a great improvement! However, I agree with jkwilson78 – perhaps something that could be added to the Index Explorer?

  4. DisgruntledGoat

    It would be nice if I could use the tools without Silverlight. When I log in all I see is the list of sites, with various links to add sitemaps etc.

    I don't see a way to list current sitemaps or get ANY of the information you mention in the post above. Why do I need Silverlight to read some messages or see what pages are indexed?

  5. mongedmonge

    It is good update and the new interface is simple

  6. bestsku1

    thanks for the update guys. Cant wait to check it out

  7. Quality Directory

    I love this enhancement and have already written about it on my blog, but more needs to be done. We need a function that allows us to set the correct geo-location in Webmaster Tools, as Google does in its Webmaster Tools.

  8. toscho

    I cannot see anything. There is just a popup telling me I have to install silverlight (for the webmaster tools? really?). Clicking Yes leads to a dead page: http://www.microsoft.com/…/default.aspx

    Well done. Is there a way to access the old working webmaster tools?

  9. stephan.walcher

    Hi,

    I really like the new look, but where is the list with the backlinks?

  10. juliew8

    Apparently every site I added yesterday has been deleted from my account and now I get to start all over on what was a couple hours' worth of work. Not pleased about this to say the least.

  11. rYnoweb

    Well it looks cooler… I'd say like 10% of my sites are actually in there, and none of the tabs are working and it's REALLY slow in chrome… FIrefox little better but still no tabs are clickable and most of my sites aren't in there.

    I'm assuming it's still being worked on?

  12. aldo

    Very nice. But I still have a question.

    When is BingBot going to work faster? Google indexes websites quickly, and Bing still does it very very slowly. That is a MAJOR issue, as if you can't get the latest content, how can we find the latest relevant content?

    Yes, news sites will always be indexed sooner and much more quickly, and I understand that, but that doesn't mean regular websites don't have a plethora of useful information being constantly added and updated. They need love too!

  13. ajwatt92

    Hi

    It would be good if either SilverLight was not necessary or if there was an option to use the tools without – SilverLight doesn't get on with my Linux system.  I was able to have a quick look at the tools this morning but I don't use Windows most of the time.  Also as QD mentioned, an option is needed to be able to determine geo-location – that is one of the most common issues that is reported in the forums and currently there is no "official" way to resolve it.  Also, what's happened to the backlinks reporting feature?

    Cheers

    Archie

  14. lakesentrance

    I thought i'd been re-directed to some other web developer section of Bing.

    All my links, backlinks, traffic counters, crawl rates etc have all disappeared. "no data available".

    Come on Bing, i want to love u as much as i love google (sic), but you're making it hard

  15. seobots

    Great Ahead….please provide the download option in excel & alos provide the keyword positions & the URLs in the block "Queries"

  16. dusza

    Well, first impressions are that it looks lovely. That said, graphs are all very well to give you an overall impression of trends, but what we really need is tabulated data, too. And as the chaps above have suggested, within this tabulated data, we too would like to see the inbound and outbound link data as before. That was handy, and we're going to have missing data in our reports now this information is no longer available. Sigh :/

  17. Igor64

    As far as I'm concerned you need to give us more functionality and not beautification… and don't force us to use silverlight.

  18. sean.carlos

    As has already been noted in the above comments, and comments on other posts, Micorosoft's own Silverlight lacks cross platform support.

    By insisting on Silverlight, Microsoft sends a mixed message, again, regarding their commitment to the web.  Neither you nor your partner Novell support "current" Silverlight releases on Linux, effectively breaking websites, including your own, and excluding those users.  

    If bing webmaster tools are suppose to help ALL webmasters, you've committed a major oversight which I hope you'll rectify soon.  Unfortunately, given Microsoft's track record, I'm inclined to think the ulterior motive, push Silverlight, Linux users be dammed, won out, but so do I want to be wrong.

  19. DisgruntledGoat

    One more thing – when you click on a tab, you need to make the left hand menu more prominent, or put it under the tab instead. I only just noticed this morning that there was more to the tools than some line graphs. :/

    (Also, why are all the comments here converted to lowercase?)

  20. michael.harris

    Well, it's a nice improvement but there's some real shortcomings.

    Firstly, the new tools require silverlight to work. This is bad from a usability perspective (not everyone who manages a website has the gift of sight) and in corporate environments where web staff lack administrative rights to install the latest version of Silverlight.

    And what about being able to force an index of a site… not there. So when one of your staff somehow manages to upload a robots.txt file which denies access to all crawlers, there's no way (like Google Webmaster tools) to force a crawl or download of the sitemap.xml file.

    Basically, its a start but there's still a long way to go.

  21. clemensmaxt

    No data available?

  22. wyspa03

    I've check accounts for a few sites and it looks like that sitemaps need to be re-submitted, is this correct?

  23. Chris Adams

    It looks like the data loading is broken – any site I add simply has "Not available".

    This also has the usual Flash/Silverlight problems: the UI is slow and behaves oddly – non-standard widgets are a usability loss (e.g. the scrollbars ignore mouse wheel events, don't follow platform-specific behaviours like option-click on OS X) –  and don't fit the window properly) and basic functionality like the links to Blogs, Forums, Support, or Help is broken. It's also a pretty chunky download for a UI which doesn't do anything which couldn't be done with a modern JavaScript toolkit.

  24. SoccerGuy3

    I can't get it to work at all. I fill in the add site field, click submit and nothing. No new screen, no list of sites, just a cleared field staring at me…. Not a good start.

  25. koconnor

    All of our sitemap submissions have been deleted – thanks.  I guess it doesn't matter much though since you don't seem to actually crawl sites.

  26. rerock4ever

    I'm terribly missing backlink info

  27. ivanov.nick

    It would've been nice if there was an option to transfer links from one domain to another, just like Google has it.

  28. macgizmoguy

    Not much room on my laptop screen to see what's going on. Scrolling INSIDE of Silverlight needed, my browser's right scroll-bar is completely absent. I'm sure many more refinements are to come – but for know seeing keywords with impressions vs clicks is already going to be tremendously helpful for optimization.

  29. interactive10.com

    I have used the webmaster tool in the past and I like the idea because bing organically not listing all the web pages (not to my experience). but forgot about it cuz bing is not bringing many searchers to our websites.

    today I tried adding a website and firstly I got forced to install Silver light (I dont might installing but the server is not responding!!! (no I have no problem with my PC or internet) ) after that whenever I tried adding a website it

    keep showing "The page you want isn't available".

    In conclusion I think this sort of stuff damage the bing, MSN & Microsoft brand; and I really cant justify it for myself because Microsoft is a big company with right people to get the job done.

  30. AdrianEden

    I wasn't too impressed with getting prompted to download something in order to use the Webmaster tools, what's with that? Way too confusing and I do not need any more installs on my browser or desktop. I guess third party software will always be best for analyzing and tracking SEO initiatives.

  31. shendison

    I was a bit taken aback by the installation of Silverlight, but decided to try it anyway… What are "impressions"? The number of times you appear in the serps? If so, then for what phrases?  Not much in here, is there?  No backlinks? What's the point?  Pages indexed and pages crawled both have a 0% – So… what's that mean?  This seems pretty premature…

  32. prabhakar.seo

    Great Bing You are on the right direction, I can say my students to concentrate on bing too..

  33. prabhakar.seo

    Hey,

    I have added my sitemap.xml file in my bing webmaster account and it is showing an ERROR, The same sitemap is approved by google.  

    Great Going Bing…..

  34. thoms.alice

    This is much better than previous tool. But some more options need to be added in this.

    There must be download option to download index pages in index explorer, crawl errors in crawl error section and backlinks.

    Also in add sitemap is it sufficient to add sitemap-index.xml if it contains reference to all other xml sitemaps of site or all other should also be submitted separately. As in Google webmaster tools, we submit all sitemaps along with index sitemap.

  35. cellhub

    Well i Think that update make the webmaster tool very useful. thanks for the information.

  36. scriptster

    Well… "Other people" ( you know who) deliver charting functionality using Flash and everything works just fine. Ever since this change I'm basically locked out of Bing Webmaster Tools. Silverlight does not work in Linux (which I'm sure is what Microsoft wants) and the Moonlight for Firefox cannot render your code. I'm no big user/fan of either "Silver-" or "Moonlight" and so I cannot comment on why Moonlight renders just a blank page (not even the textual information on it) but, considering that many webmasters use Linux because their server platform is Linux, you are going to disappoint a lot of fellow webmasters very quickly.  

  37. countryclub.dubai1

    Same for me………

    I thought i'd been re-directed to some other web developer section of Bing.

    All my links, backlinks, traffic counters, crawl rates etc have all disappeared. "no data available".

    waht to do….

  38. July7

    Well looks impressive, but I can't get my sitemap to upload.  Error message says site being upgraded, try back in a few minutes, which I has done many times.

  39. pow

    OK very nice now let's test it and see..

  40. fama71

    Anthony M Garcia, Senior Product Manager, Bing Webmaster Tools…ok..this what you offer is a new car with new and better look but without rearview mirrors?!

    What's going on with Backlinks…you even didn't mention them ??!!…Suppose you know what baclinks are..no?

  41. swrightboucher

    Great upgrade.  Very easy to use with WordPress.  Thanks

  42. sabre-blade

    All of my blogs except two vanished and there is no backlink info.

    What happened?

    I was starting to like this better than Google's version.

  43. sabre-blade

    And I have to validate all of my sites again?

    And copy and paste doesn't work?

    You have to write in everything?

  44. mike_p_spencer

    Great improvement.

    Features I would like to see is the ability to export search query, impression and click data for a specific time frame to csv or excel file.

  45. fama71

    sabre-blade

    i'm sure that you know how to paste urls with ctrl + v

  46. krishnan.bass

    Bing is now improving more than the google it is crystal clear of that blog analysis I like bing webmaster tool….

  47. hmcnally

    Get rid of the Silverlight implementation.

  48. naja2183

    "There's no need to…change ownership verification codes" For the XML verification method, does that mean that the old XML files that are LiveSearchSiteAuth.xml are still accepted, but all new XML files must be BingSiteAuth.xml?

  49. tommyfun

    Silverlight is still too immature for production use.

    There are plenty of great javascript libraries for charting, just pick one and ditch Silverlight.

  50. cwcimring

    Very cool. I'll try out the tools on my personal site. let's see what happens. The Google PR is  0.

  51. Baicai WA

    Ths, cnnt submit sitemap.xml ?

  52. bstoys

    Great Improvement.

    It seems back link info are missing.

  53. ompink

    poor crawl

  54. case master

    Very cool. I'll try out the new Bing Webmaster tool on my new site.

    let's see what happens.

  55. rac75

    the data that is displayed in the webmaster is not what i see in realty. Webmaster states my sites are not blocked, indexed, crawled and even got impression , but when i visit bing.com i don't see none of my sites are indexed even when i search with "mywebsite.com" as a query. please refer to the last post in this thread http://www.bing.com/…/658625.aspx

  56. george12345

    Why have you launched this new bing webmaster tools site when it is clearly not ready. I've no interest in being microsoft's software tester (unless you pay me thousands of dollars).

    Apart from a few graphs that don't really tell you anything useful there does not seem to be any information. Where is a list of pages that have been indexed and crawled? A number is not much use to me and your ability to calculate a percentage leaves a lot to be desired. Where is the list of back links? Keywords? Help setting up 301 redirects might be useful too.

    Instead of improving on the previous bing webmaster tools you've made it a lot lot worse; prettier but a lot worse. I hope updated versions are in the pipeline soon because this is a mess at the moment.

  57. george12345

    Prabhakar wrote…

    "I have added my sitemap.xml file in my bing webmaster account and it is showing an ERROR, The same sitemap is approved by google."

    I had the same problem but it was resolved by checking my sitemap.xml file. It turns out that the program I used to generate the sitemap wrote some parts with capital letters at the beginning of the word. You can't use capital letters except in the name of the URL.

    Using a replace function to change the errors to lowercase fixed the problem for me.

    Hope that helps.

  58. RaptorQueen

    Charts ? Features? ah yes maybe because SILVERLIGHT is not installed… but in fact I see virtually NOTHING.

    Okay I'm in the Netherlands, and all I get to see is an "add sites" and "remove sites" option.

    From what I see… it really sucks (sorry but I see NO improvements, besides the pastel datagrid colours on my side!) Maybe it's just and American thing?

  59. vkorpan

    out of 7000 pages on my site (PR3), bing has indexed 123? don't get that?

  60. rio_dnp

    Cool. Will try out the new Bing Webmaster tool on my new site.

  61. philippineoutsourcing

    having problems with meta verification had to upload the .xml file … This is a good idea … I'm trying to give bing a chance to my heart I really hope you'll increase your marketshare to take away the "big daddy" powers of Google.

  62. ChrisD24

    If this is what Silverlight is capable of – it's needs to go. There is no need to use Silverlight. It's dumb that you are required to use a plugin to use something like Webmaster Tools and you can't even scroll with the scroll wheel on your mouse. Dump Silverlight!

  63. alanjhd

    I don't have silverlight, so unfortunately looks like I can't use much of this. I don't get much traffic from Bing anyway, so probably not a problem.

  64. AG Property Cyprus

    Some nice fancy graphs, but appears to be lacking in actual data and content that us webmasters need.

    Also the use of silverlight is a bit of a kick in the teeth for openness

  65. kiwi_clinton

    This is horribly over-due but well done look forward to being able to improve our sites and customers sites working with Bing.

    :)

    Looking forward to see even better tools here than Google Webmaster!

    Thank you!

  66. ompink

    waiting fo crawler :D

  67. opcode

    What about supporting Linux/Mac OS?

  68. thuff

    I just started using Bing Webmaster Tools, I look forward to the improvements.

  69. balboos

    Forcing Silverlight on users is an admission of some degree of the failure of Silverlight.  

    I generally resent any attempt at forcing me to install any software. At this time, this will be no different – maybe that's why google's the No. 1 search engine.

    I put my sites on Bing in a symbiotic experience:  they get to grow and compete more effectively with google and I get exposure.

  70. bhagenow

    I am a Linux user and I do not see much because of the SilverLight requirement. I have MoonLight installed but that doesn't seem to be sufficient in this case.

    I do all my development in Linux so it is a pain to have to switch over to Windows just to use this tool.

    When I am in Windows it is to play, not to work on my web sites.

  71. RoadTrucker

    So far I have not found it to be very valuable. Unless I am missing something, it is relatively worthless, including the support I have seen so far. I do not expect them to match Google, but you would think they would at least try to close the gap. Lets see what is offered in 6 months or a year from now.

  72. david.forsandy

    agree with seobot, please add sitemap information too

  73. developr

    Using sliverlight for webmaster tools is a real blocker. I am in Linux & moonlight doesnt work  both in chrome & firefox. For first time in 10 years, I registered for a live id just to have a look at webmaster tools. Looks like I made a bad decision..

  74. Walter Schaerer

    The interface looks nice and is easy to use. But… where's the functionality and where's the search performance? Why are only a few pages indexed as opposed to hundreds of them with Google?

    I hope you will keep the Yahoo Site Explorer functionality when they merge over to Bing. But the standard is set by Google Webmaster Tools, it is way more usable.

  75. ShaanRulz

    Nice feature but very much similar to Google WMT. I submitted my website homepage and even site map to Bing, But haven't seen any improvement in the website traffic from Bing.

  76. Sorcix

    Am I not allowed to use bing webmaster tools because I use linux?

  77. uozkan

    Good feature :)

  78. mike_farrel_tomatala

    Nice topic to share, thank you.

  79. thoms.alice

    Bing is now providing the option to export the error reports (400-499 etc) which is quite fine but there is no option to export indexed pages.

    Also, more information should be provided i.e. where from the '404 page' is linked so that appropriate action can be taken.

    Also, there should be option to copy the URLs (as now URLs cant be copied) and these can also be anchors so that page can be opened directly from webmaster tools instead of exporting the specific URL.

    Thanks

    Alice

  80. PieterK

    It seems the option for adding sitemap files has vanished as well…

  81. rickdej

    PieterK,

    I'm glad to report that there is definitely a Sitemap submission tool in the new Bing Webmaster Tools. To submit a Sitemap, log in to the tools, click the registered site, click the Crawl tab, and then in the left nav pane, click Sitemaps.

    Thanks for writing!

    Rick DeJarnette

    Bing Webmaster Center team

  82. simonbunting

    Thanks great update I love it :)

  83. eosweb

    it is good update and the new interface is simple

  84. markdavis

    Is this possible to add users in BWMT?

    for example I have all different sites under one account and I want to give access to different managers or one manager or 2 per site?

    like GWMT tool..

    Please comment ..

  85. rickdej

    markdavis,

    Our current implementation does not allow one registered site owner to register other owners. Instead, each person who needs access to a site through the tools will need to sign in to the Bing Webmaster Tools and verify their ownership by using the site registration process available in the tool. They can either add their custom <meta> tag into the <head> section of their registered home page or add the new <user> tag from the custom XML verification file provided into the existing one on the site.

    Note: Be sure all users employ the same verification method for the site (in other words, they shouldn't use the <meta> tag method when you use the XML file method). Bing Webmaster Tools does not check the second verification method when the first one checked is valid.

    Thanks for writing!

    Rick DeJarnette

    Bing Webmaster Center team

  86. markdavis

    Thank you Rick DeJarnette.

    We respect Bing as a strong candidate in the list of search engines.

    We have been using Bing for few months now and happy on the announcement

    of new bot. The only concern regarding the Bingbot is will it effect the previous data gathered in webmastertool? Or we should setup a new strategy? we are for sure replacing msnbot with bingbot in robots. I want to kow whats new in bingbot? can you share the comparison?  

    Please write back soon.

  87. eraledit

    learn!!

  88. Freemusicmasti

    Great it realy help me out lot..sitemap and other search keyword for bing

  89. tvganesh.85

    I have installed Silverlight 4.0.50826 and I get an error when I go to Webmaster tools. This happens for IE, Firefox and Chrome. I just get a blank page. This is most frustrating. When I disable Silverlight I see at least my site listed. Can anybody help?

    Thanks

    Ganesh

  90. ramji.mishra

    It is very good tools. this webmaster must be portable and robust.  is there ant features other than google webmaster.

  91. Tankwan

    I really like the new look, but where is the list with the backlinks?

  92. GregBo

    Please for the love of god and all that is holy get rid of silverlight, it's unusable…and to be honest it looks like another one of Microsoft's "Me too" products. You should not need to use silverlight to look at basic information.

  93. search engine expert

    I do not understand "the new tools take advantage of Microsoft Silverlight 4 to deliver rich"?? This is just wrong or not? Without silverlight no information alltogether?? Is the the usual Microsoft strategy to force user to their products?

  94. sohel

    Thank you for such a fantastic blog. Where else could anyone get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a presentation that I am presently working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

    http://bobevanscoupon.net

  95. sohel

    Thank you for such a fantastic blog. Where else could anyone get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a presentation that I am presently working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

    http://bobevanscoupon.net

Comments are closed.