In August, we shipped the largest update to Live Search Webmaster Center tools since we launched the site over a year ago. In that update, we committed that we would continue to bring you important updates and resources designed to make your life as a site owner easier. Today, we are happy to announce that we have shipped several new features, which continue to build on the work we have done.
Fix issues on your site
In our August release, we shipped our Crawl Issues tool, which allows you to see any issues that Live Search found on your site. In this release, we have updated this tool to include any malware that we have found associated with your site.
Malware (short for malicious software) is those nasty bits of code downloaded to a computer without the consent of the user. Some malware is just intrusive, but most is very harmful. As Live Search crawls the Web, it finds many pages infected with malware. We flag all pages containing or linking to detected malware with a "Malware" warning message in the search engine results page and disable the link to the page to protect customers.
As a site owner, having malware on your site, or even just linking to other sites whose pages contain malware, can harm your customers. At a minimum, this may prevent your customers from being able to access the content on your site from search results pages.
With the updated Crawl Issues tool in Webmaster Center, you will be able to:
- Determine whether any malware has been detected on any of your webpages.
- Download offline-accessible reports detailing which webpages on your website are affected by the detected malware.
Protect your customers
One of the biggest dangers to searchers on the Web today is a maliciously hijacked website that injects malware onto a user’s computer. Oftentimes, this happens when the site with the malware download is a trusted site. When you link out to other sites you trust, you typically have no way of knowing if those site owners are actually keeping their sites secured and free of malware. As the owner of a site, you want to protect your customers from this kind of malware.
Since our first launch, we have offered you the ability review your site’s outbound links. Now we offer you the ability to filter those outbound links to those that specifically link to pages infected with malware. By reviewing this list and removing the bad links, you can prevent the users of your site from accidentally installing software that is harmful to their computers.
With the updated Outbound Links tool in Webmaster Center, you will be able to:
- Determine whether any malware has been detected on any of your outbound links.
- Download offline-accessible reports detailing which webpages on your website contain links to external pages containing detected malware.
With the updated tools in Webmaster Center, if you have any malware issues on either your own pages or on outbound links, you will be able to:
- Identify the affected pages quickly and easily.
- Read helpful advice in Help on how to fix the problem.
- Submit a request, once you have cleaned up the malware, asking the Live Search support team to re-scan your website and remove the malware warning flags from any affected webpages in the Live Search results webpage. Instead of waiting for the next search engine cycle of re-crawling your website, this new, user-requested re-inclusion process should take days, not weeks, to resolve.
For the past year, we have heard from webmasters that authenticating their sites was a difficult and sometimes limiting process. For large site owners or those with many domains, it can be hard to manage all the authorization codes for your sites. In this update, we have simplified the authentication process by allowing you to use one authentication code for all your sites. In addition, you no longer need to specify between XML or HTML authentication methods for each registered site. You need only to add an authentication code to the site and we will check for both methods automatically.
During the process of adding a new site, you will be able to download your custom XML authentication file or just print off the page with the code on it and hand it off to your development team for implementation.
If you previously had an account with the Webmaster Center and used unique authentication codes for each site, we will continue to support your current authentication codes and methods.
Here to lend a helping hand
When we launched our Webmaster Center, we also launched a few resources to help you engage with us. With every release, we want to encourage you to participate in the Live Search Webmaster Center community to get help. Our Forum and Webmaster Center blog are there to provide support for web publishers like you, across a broad range of issues, focused on helping you be successful. We are always listening for your feedback.
So sign in today and let us know what you think!
-Jeremiah Andrick, Program Manager, Live Search Webmaster Center