Bing Webmaster Tools Fall Updates

We’ve spent the better part of a year now hitting the shows, running surveys and holding focus groups.  Along with the information we captured direct from the webmaster community through those sources, there is the daily flow of inbound suggestions and, yes, items needing to be fixed, that we can draw insights from.  Today we’re rolling out the latest features and updates, most of which come directly from user feedback.  You spoke, we listened, worked and are now delivering.

Continuing our commitment to help publishers do more on Bing, today we’re announcing  our biggest updates since Honey Badger, by focusing on three areas: To share more data, to increase transparency and to bring you more useful tools.

To start with, we’re expanding Crawl Details information.  This means we will be showing you all inbound links to a given URL regardless of the heading.  So anything listed under the 300, 400 & 500 codes will, by URL, display inbound links to the URL.  As well, any URLs listed under the Robots.txt and Malware headings will also share data the same way.  You are now no longer limited to just seeing inbound links which point only to pages returning a 400 header response code.

Active email alerts will be expanding.  If we place an alert in your account for Malware, you’ll get an email.  If we would like to access more of your content, more deeply, we may send you an email asking you to review your crawl settings.  If you’ve got them turned down, slowing us down, this is a chance to increase the crawl rate and for us to get more of your content, faster.  The setting will remain under your control, but we’ll email the suggestions.

We’re going to be placing URL Normalization suggestions inside your Webmaster account now, too.  They will all be disabled by default, allowing you to choose which, if any, elements you want to incorporate into the controls.  We realize that with this increase in information, some sites may hit limits and be forced to choose which elements to include for normalization while leaving others out, so we’re also increasing the number of query string parameters that can be normalized per site from 25 items to 50 items.  This doubling means you can place many more items in the system for normalization.  As always, though, we encourage websites to find ways to fix any canonicalization issues at the source.

Our Index Explorer tool is now being populated with deeper data about your website.  As we continue to expand our depth and share, we will continue to update data for domains.  Your most visual clue to this change will be in the Traffic Data appearing within the Index Explorer tool.

With this round of updates, we’re also enabling DNS verification for domains in your account.  Past choices included adding a snippet to your <head> code or uploading a dedicated XML file to the root of your site, and both options remain as valid ways to verify your domains.  This third option will now allow you to place a discrete CNAME record to your DNS to validate a domain as well.

For the final enhancement, we’re integrating data from adCenter inside your webmaster tools accounts.  Specifically, when viewing Traffic data and looking at the keywords which drove traffic to your site, you’ll notice an Avg CPC column on the left now, with more details in a floating pane to the left of that.

The normal traffic data remains as usual to the right, across the page, and you can sort as before.  This new feature allows you to quickly see keywords, and associated CPCs, helping you plan your marketing efforts more effectively.   Clicking on “Buy this keyword” takes you towards your adCenter account, where you can login and complete the process.

These features are available now in your Bing Webmaster tools.