We’re excited to announce a major change to the types of data and depth of guidance found in webmaster tools with our Phoenix update to Bing Webmaster Tools. This update includes a new, fresh user experience, a range of new tools including Link Explorer (beta) and SEO Analyzer/SEO Reports (beta), and updates to current tools such as our Keyword Research Tool (beta), and our URL Removal Tool, among others.
Read more below to get some details about our update and sign into your Bing Webmaster Tools account today to explore on your own! We’ll be back in the coming weeks with detailed looks at each feature and tool, but let’s take a quick walk through the system now.
New User Experience
Bing Webmaster has introduced an entirely new look and feel designed to be fresh and simple, allowing for easier access to data, enhanced discoverability of information and improved account management. Right away you’ll note the cleaner header and improved left-side navigation across the suite. Your profile is easily managed from any page in the space from a link at the top of the page.
In the image below you can see the central My Sites area in the new interface which will include top-line data for your verified sites. For each, you will immediately see key statistics and you can customize the date range with the handy date drop downs.
If you only have a single domain in your account, you will not see the page above as we will direct you straight to your dashboard page, saving you a click. Here’s a view of the dashboard page for a website.
A useful date range selector allows you to quickly change your view of data to any of the presets, or to a custom range you select. Below each dataset on the page is a link to more data of that type. In the Sitemap area, you can easily submit a sitemap by simply clicking the button and filling in the URL.
Viewing your site’s activity data just got a whole lot easier as well. As you will see below, today’s new user experience enables a single graph with user-selectable data displayed. You can drag your mouse over any point on the graph to see the hover pop with information from the date you are hovering over.
New: Link Explorer (beta)
The ability to explore link information for any domain is here! Dive deep with this beta tool which allows you to explore links associated with any domain. Simply enter a URL and the tool will supply a list of known links pointing to the specified destination. The default setting will be to display external links pointed at the specified URL, though this can be switched to show internal links as well.
Users can also change the scope to show links pointed to either a domain, as shown below, or an individual URL. Other refinements can help you search by anchor text and by keywords found on a page pointing to you.
New: SEO Reports (beta)
Get SEO analysis direct from Bing! The SEO Reports (beta) will run an SEO report every other week for any domains verified in your account. Using approximately 15 SEO best practices to scan against, it prepares a report to tell you if you are in or out of compliance with the noted best practices. These reports provide aggregated counts of all the issues found, across each of the websites scanned.
You can find these reports by periodically logging into your webmaster account. Please make sure your domains are verified, though, as we can only provide data on Bing Webmaster verified domains.
By clicking any link in the list shown in the image above, you see a deeper view of the details for that individual page.
New: SEO Analyzer (beta)
Using the same SEO best practices as the new SEO Reports (beta) feature, this tool goes well beyond what you’re used to from webmaster tools. It will scan any URL you enter from one of your verified domains and build a report to let you know if the page scanned is in or out of compliance with each best practice.
This is an on-demand tool which can scan a single page at a time – making it great for checking new pages to understand where more work may be required. Using this tool is simple: enter the URL you want scanned and hit the Analyze button. In a moment, you’ll see the results of the scan appear on the left hand side of the screen, noting compliance issues and their severity. ON the right, you’ll see the webpage appear with icons hovering over the problem spots. Click on a hover button and it will expand to explain the issue. Click Expand and it will open to fully explain the issue and why it’s an issue. The hover buttons are color coded to match the compliance issues seen on the left.
You can also toggle the view of the page through the Page Source and the Original page view, without the compliance issue hover buttons.
New: Fetch as Bingbot (beta)
See your page as Bingbot does! This will allow a webmaster to request Bingbot to crawl a specified page and display the page as the crawler sees it. This could help a webmaster to understand if Bing is actually reaching a page and, since we supply the code we see when we retrieve it, the tool makes troubleshooting easier.
To use this feature, you enter the URL you want crawled, and click the Fetch button. In just few seconds, the crawl will complete and you will see Completed to the right of the URL you requested the crawl for. Clicking on Completed will open a code view lower on the page showing the code we found when we crawled the URL.
New: Canonical Alerts
Canonical Alerts have been enabled because we see a lot of misuse of the rel=canonical tags. Consequentially, this new alert can help protect you should you make a mistake implementing your canonicals.
An example would be a situation where all canonicals point to your home page, essentially telling us your entire website is now a single page. In such a case, we’ll send you an alert in your Bing Webmaster account, and email it to you if your Bing Webmaster Tools communication preferences are set to receive alerts. Because we’re pretty sure you didn’t mean to suggest to us you now only have a single page on your site.
Updated: URL Removal Tool
The updated URL Removal Tool allows webmasters to quickly block a page from appearing in a Bing SERP and will work much the same way as before. The main change involving this tool is that the block applied will now expire in 90 days. Within that 90 days, we’ll have recrawled the website several times, seen the 404 code on the old URL and naturally let it fall from the index. Eight days prior to the block expiring, we will email the webmaster (at the email provided in their account) to alert them and give them the option to renew the block for another 90 days.
Updated: Keyword Research Tool (beta)
Back in March we launched our organic Keyword Research Tool (beta). We’ve heard the feedback and were able to squeeze a couple refinements into this update. Before, you were limited to a single keyword or phrase per request. We’ve expanded this to allow multiple entries which will all run at the same time, helping to speed up your keyword research projects
We’ve also made updates so that the tool will now allow the selection of multiple countries under a common language – this means you can now perform research for the US, Canada and the UK under, for example, English.
A quick hover over the currency symbol brings up cost per click data from adCenter, as before, allowing you to understand costs associated with purchasing paid ads on the phrase.
Updated: URL Normalization
We’ve heard from folks that they wanted a simplified interface, and we noted some confusion from people when using the old tool, so our new version was built to address those concerns. It might have a new name, but it does the same great work as before.
A quick hover over the +More in the Suggested space will show you a drop down with even more URL parameters we’re suggesting for your site.
As we noted at the beginning of this post, we’ll take a deeper look at how to use each tool and feature in upcoming blog posts.
The update is global and you can start using the news features today by signing into your webmaster account. If you don’t have a webmaster account, sign up today.
Let us know what you think of the new tools and redesigned user experience.
The Bing Webmaster Team