Webmaster Tools updates: expanded sitemap files types, new language coverage and more

While Bing Webmaster Tool users have been enjoying the latest features such as crawl control and user management announced in early June at SMX Advanced as part of the Honey Badger update, behind the scenes we’ve been working on the next round of improvements for the tools.

The focus of the improvements released late last week are across a few main areas:

  • Sitemaps
  • Communication
  • Internationalization
  • Expanded navigation

Sitemap file type expansion

To improve the toolset for users wanting to upload sitemap types other than .xml files, we’ve enabled the ability for our system to consume TXT, Atom and RSS types.  Currently the list is as seen in the image below: RSS 2.0, Atom 0.3, Atom 1.0, .txt files.  Still included are standard .xml files.  Watch for further expansion of this list of files types in the future.


Staying current just got easier

To help facilitate communication between webmasters and Bing, we’ve added the ability to opt in for notices from us.  If we’re seeing malware issues on your site, these alerts can help notify you quickly.  If there are crawl errors happening when we try to find your content, these alerts will help you understand what we encountered.  The alerts and updates are being designed to help you maintain a clear understanding of any issues Bing has when viewing your website.  Beyond that, these alerts will share the latest updates with you, direct to your inbox, so you’ll know of the latest functionality improvements, shortly after they go live.

To set your choice to recieve these communications, you first must log into your Bing Webmaster Account.  From the “Home” tab inside your account, you can click on the “Preferences” setting to the left.  Inside the pop up that appears you will see a check box you can select or deselect to receive or not receives messages from Bing Webmaster at the email address you log into your webmaster account with.


Hola, Ciao, Привет, Γεια σου, Salut: Now serving Webmaster Tools data in 40+ languages

For our international users hoping to see data in more languages than English, we’re pleased to announce the roll out of all features supported in Bing Webmaster Tools in the following 42 languages:

Arabic Estonian  Japanese  Serbian 
Basque Finnish  Korean  Slovak 
Bulgarian French  Latvian  Slovenian 
Catalan Galician  Lithuanian  Spanish 
Chinese – Simplifed German  Malay  Swedish
Chinese – Traditional Greek  Norwegian Thai
Croatian Hebrew  Polish  Turkish
Czech Hindi  Portuguese – Brazil Ukrainian
Danish Hungarian  Portuguese – Portugal Vietnamese
Dutch Icelandic  Romanian 
English Italian  Russian 

Essentially this means that all of the features current as of this blog post are now available in the languages above.

Expanded Navigation

In an effort to make navigating around inside your webmaster account simpler, we’ve expanded navigation under each tab, where appropriate.  Highlighted in red in the image below is the expanded navigation within the “Crawl” tab.  This should make it easier for users to find more data within their accounts.

These new improvements cap a very busy month for the Bing Webmaster Tools team who’ve been busy expanding and improving our tools to meet user needs.  Watch for further investments in the coming months, and thanks for using Bing Webmaster Tools.