Anatomy of a Bing caption

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A caption (also known as a summary) is the area of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) devoted to a particular result. Captions help users to decide which result to click on and help site owners to communicate to users what to expect on their page. Captions are an oft-forgotten tool of the SEO toolkit. Ranking is certainly the most important factor in determining user clicks, but captions are also…

Looking for Input on Crawl Delay

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In keeping with our themes of rapid change and responding to input and feedback from the webmaster community, we are working on future feature planning for the Bing webmaster tools and we would like to hear your thoughts in a few areas.  The first area is Crawl-Delay:   Today, we fully support crawl delay which is specified in robots.txt.  We are considering creating a tool which allows you to directly…

Bingbot, the Sequel

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Early this month, in the Bingbot is Coming to Town blog post, we provided details about the impending change from msnbot to bingbot.  It’s almost October 1st, so we thought we’d send out a quick reminder that this change is still in the works. Taking into account webmaster feedback, we have modified our rollout schedule a bit. Instead of doing an 100% switch on day one, we will do a…

Is your site ranking rank? Do a site review – Part 4 (SEM 101)

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This is the fourth of five posts on the topic of conducting your own site reviews. In the previous posts, we discussed why you’d want to perform a site review (Part 1), then took an initial look at page-level issues (Part 2), followed by a discussion of site-wide issues (Part 3), that can affect site performance for users and search engine ranking. In this post, we continue our look at…

Is your site ranking rank? Do a site review – Part 2 (SEM 101)

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In Part 1 of this series of blog posts on site reviews, we covered the whats and whys of conducting a site review of your website to see if you are ranking where you want to be. If you have compelling content to share with your users, you want them to find your site! After installing and registering to use the many webmaster tools available on the Web (such as…

How to optimize image content (From the Forums)

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Today’s forum thread of note is a discussion around what can be done to optimize image content for SEO. Several members of the Bing Webmaster Center forum community have chimed in with helpful advice. What do you do on your site to optimize images? What have you found to be most important when adding images to a website? Join in the conversation! To see this forum conversation thread from the…

The pernicious perfidy of page-level web spam (SEM 101)

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In the exciting world of today’s Internet, where the world’s information is literally at your fingertips, where you can endlessly communicate, shop, research, and be entertained, spam is a big downer. The unwanted email spam that fills our inboxes also consumes huge portions of the available bandwidth of our routers and trunk lines. But email is not the only spam game in town. Web spam is the bane (well, one…

Eggs, bacon, spam, spam, and spam (SEM 101)

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What is spam? One could argue that spam is a multi-faceted thing. The word itself has many definitions. For example, it can be defined as a processed spiced ham and pork slathered with a gelatinous glaze food product found in a tin (it’s apparently very popular in Hawai’i, don’t you know?). However, spam is also often used to reference a very popular comedy sketch written and performed on Monty Python’s…

Fixing 404 File Not Found frustrations (SEM 101)

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You’ve seen it. So have I. Nearly every person who has actively browsed the Web for more than 15 minutes has seen it. I’m talking about the dreaded 404 File Not Found error. When it occurs, users simply abandon their search on that site and go elsewhere. That’s a potential lost sale, subscription, or download opportunity (aka conversion) for the affected site! It has been estimated that up to 10%…

Images and Flash and script, oh my! (SEM 101)

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The old adage that was once attributed to a Chinese proverb tells us, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But John McCarthy, a noted mathematician and computer science pioneer, stated conversely, “As the Chinese say, 1001 words is worth more than a picture.” Perhaps McCarthy was also a pioneer of search engine optimization (SEO)! The use of interesting and relevant images and animations on a website can certainly elevate…