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Bing has finally rolled out its much anticipated Webmaster Tools update, although new features have a distinctly recognisable feel to them.
Better laid out, more informative and easier to use are just a few of the ways in which the Bing Webmaster Tools update could be described. Another though might be ‘familiar’.
Statistically the interface has developed significantly. You can now find data on daily impressions and clicks received through the Bing search engine. Details on the number of pages being indexed and the crawl errors encountered are also available. Thus achieving their target to focus on three areas, ‘Crawl, Index, and Traffic’ [see: An SMX sneak-peek at the new Bing Webmaster Tools | Bing Community]
This makes charting the progress of your site on Microsoft’s search engine far easier. However, for those who are regular users of Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics this might all appear a little familiar.
The integration of analytics statistics with Webmaster Tools adds real value to this platform. Where once it was useful for a quick reference to see how Bing’s cralwers view your site, now you can dig much further. This all helps in the reporting of SEO effectiveness, giving agencies and webmasters a clearer indication of a site’s performance within Bing.
Clarity of results is improved too. Index Explorer enables you to see an overview of all statistics before diving in and finding out about particular crawl errors, traffic streams or page indexing. This gives it a very clean layout and makes Bing Webmaster Tools easy to navigate through.
The integration of graphs also helps to highlight the trends across all of the aforementioned data sources. This provides a visual fluency and promotes straightforward analysis.
Again, this is all well and good, but you can understand why Google might be slightly peeved at the update. It almost appears like a Microsoft reimagining of their current software, just integrated into one, far more compact bundle. You won’t get the in-depth statistics of Analytics, or even the more technical side of reporting that Webmaster Tools provides. However, when it comes to precise Bing data, it is in a league of its own.
So if you want to delve deeper into your website’s performance and haven’t already installed the code for Bing Webmaster Tools, now might not be a bad time to do so. Used in association with the Google products already mentioned, you can get a more rounded understanding of where your site is succeeding and where changes may be required.
All-in-all first impressions are positive. It’s certainly a major step forward from Microsoft for a product that will become increasingly important when Bing is integrated into Yahoo. Google might not be quite so happy; however their search rivals might see it is as payback for the Bingification of their SERPs – left-hand navigation et al [see: The Changing Anatomy of a Google Search Page].
Search engine technology is evolving, and so is the digital marketing industry. The more experienced professionals amongst you may remember the days of gleefully stuffing keywords into your copy to boost your rankings, blindly spamming strangers to join your email lists and easily securing media coverage for your thinly veiled advertisements.
Site speed is an important area of website optimisation that people working in the world of Search Engine Optimisation are becoming increasingly concerned about.