Webmaster Center FAQ updated

Just a quick note for today. While we’ve been busy working on the new series of web spam blog articles, we were also busy working on updating the recently compiled Webmaster Center FAQ (as described in the blog announcement New Webmaster Center FAQ available) with even more content. While some might call it new and improved, I just claim that it’s bigger with more information (hmmm — I guess it is new and improved!). The...
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Eggs, bacon, spam, spam, and spam (SEM 101)

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 Flying Circus (it...
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New Webmaster Center FAQ available

Everybody loves a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ). They often include tidbits of knowledge that are not easily found elsewhere, or present information in ways that often make it more understandable. The Webmaster Center team has been working hard to present more useful content through the team blog in recent months. We already have a FAQ of sorts through the Webmaster Center Help (see the Help system’s left hand navigation for the...
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IIS SEO Toolkit 1.0 hits the streets! (SEM 101)

In August, we alerted webmasters to the news from the Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) team of the beta 1 release of their excellent new tool, the IIS SEO Toolkit. The public response we received was very enthusiastic and supportive. In response to many requests, we followed that up with a more detailed article explaining how the new tool is installed as an extension of IIS 7. Since that time, the tool was refreshed in a beta 2...
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Webmaster Center blog comments Q&A, Round 2

We still get many questions in our blog comments, even though we try to encourage our readers to post their questions to our Webmaster Center forums (which are actually staffed to answer your questions!). I do look through the blog comments every day and delete those that are junk (those that are empty, duplicated, offensive, and overtly spammy – see our Q&A reply on why blog comments are deleted in the 1st Webmaster Center blog Q&A...
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Link building for smart webmasters (no dummies here) (SEM 101)

In past SEM 101 articles, we’ve talked about the importance of inbound links to successful ranking (see “Links: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” – Part 1 and Part 2). We’ve already discussed many issues surrounding them, but we haven’t done a dedicated post on how to be successful at link building from a search engine’s perspective. Let’s finally address that omission here and now. What is the point...
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Changes to Bing, UI navigation to Webmaster Center

Did you hear the news? Bing was recently upgraded with another set of exciting end-user features. Instead of reciting the long list of changes here, I’ll just point you to the blog post in the Bing Search blog titled, “Bing’s Next Chapter Begins Today.” The Bing engineering team has been focused on improving the already cool features that have made using Bing so much fun. One edit to the Bing home page has changed the way...
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Robots speaking many languages

We’ve already covered in past blog articles some of the basics about how webmasters can use a file called robots.txt to control how search engine crawlers (aka bots) crawl their websites. But there is so much more to talk about with bots. So let’s take a bit of a deeper dive into the subject. Topic 1: Using the proper text file encoding The robots.txt file is used by webmasters to either specifically define which files and directories...
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MSNBot 1.1 is retired

The Bing team has been talking about its new crawler (aka bot), MSNBot 2.0b, in this blog for quite some time now. We have made numerous improvements in its performance, addressed some webmaster concerns, and published detailed information on how to control the bot with a robots.txt file. Today we are announcing that the new bot is fully operational. This development will enable Bing to do a better job at gathering the information we need from the...
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Fixing 404 File Not Found frustrations (SEM 101)

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% of traffic to large websites on...
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