Getting the IIS SEO Toolkit up and running

We recently published a popular blog post called Get detailed site analysis to solve problems that highlights the function and capabilities of the new, beta search engine optimization (SEO) Toolkit from the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) team. The tool works as an extension to the latest version of IIS, version 7. We’ve received some webmaster feedback with specific questions on how to set up IIS 7 before installing the IIS SEO...
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Uncovering web-based treasure with Sitemaps (SEM 101)

Have you ever noticed how pirate treasure maps are like Sitemaps? While your website may not contain a treasure of gold and silver (unless it’s a metals commodities trading site!), if you have good content, that is certainly treasure to someone who is looking for it. Unfortunately, it’s buried on your website and no one knows what’s there except you! But since you want to share your site’s treasure with others, you need to...
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Crawl delay and the Bing crawler, MSNBot

Search engines, such as Bing, need to regularly crawl websites not only  to  index new content, but also to check for content changes and removed content. Bing offers webmasters the ability to slow down the crawl rate to accommodate web server load issues. The use of such a setting is not always needed nor is it generally recommended, but it is available for use by webmasters should the need arise. Websites that are small (page-wise) and...
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Get detailed site analysis to solve problems (SEM 101)

Last week I discussed common site errors that can inhibit the search engine crawler (aka bot). I pointed out common areas of concern and recommended a few tools to help diagnose such issues on your site’s pages. This week, I wanted to introduce a new tool for your collection that will be of great service to you in checking and maintaining your site. The tool, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Toolkit from the Microsoft Internet Information...
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Common errors that can tank a site (SEM 101)

Imagine being a content developer for a website. You write a bunch of clever and informative articles, which should deliver a good dose of new visitors and ranking potential to the site. You submit them to the IT department for publishing online, and wait for good things to happen. But instead, it all falls flat. A look at your web analytics tools reveals that the number of site visitors has not increased over the time your new material was...
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Bing and Yahoo! team up on search

We hope Wednesday’s announcement of the new search and advertising partnership with Yahoo! is just the first step in a journey that will provide more choice to consumers, better value to our customers, and more innovation by enabling efficiencies and integration within our Search and Search Advertising businesses. As of now, things here will remain status quo. There will be no immediate changes to our ongoing work because of this...
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Images and Flash and script, oh my! (SEM 101)

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...
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Heads up on tag optimization (SEM 101)

Much of what constitutes a well-architected webpage is never displayed in the page itself. The contents of the <body> tag are what you see in a browser. But a webpage consists of two major elements, the <body> tag only being one. The content of the <head> tag (and for that matter, the document type declaration (DTD), which precedes the <head> tag in the page’s code, is just as important for search engine optimization ...
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New bot work continues at Bing

Back in December of 2008, we alerted you to the possibility that you might start seeing our new web crawler in your referrer logs. Given the recent excitement around the arrival of Bing, we wanted to take a moment to update you on the latest bot news. As we said earlier, you will see the new Bing crawler user agent string listed as: msnbot/2.0b (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm). Note that we didn’t change the bot’s name for Bing...
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Architecting content for SEO (SEM 101)

It wasn’t that long ago that I discussed in this blog how to create good content that will get your site noticed, by both end users and search engines. But to be clear, just writing some slick text is not the whole story. The previous blog articles in the Site Architecture and SEO series (files/pages and link/URLs) made reference to doing what you can to help the search engine web crawler (also known as a robot or, more simply, a bot) crawl...
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