Hands up those of you who have verified your sites with Google Webmaster Tools? Ok, good. Now keep your hands up if you’ve done the same for Yahoo Site Explorer? Hmmm a few hands dropped then.
Now keep your hands up if you’ve verified your site with Bing Webmaster Center? Oh dear.
Seems quite a few webmasters are concentrating on Google and forgetting about the other major search engines. If you want to understand how search engines interact with your site and find potential issues before they impact your traffic, you really need to verify your site and sitemaps with the big 3 and monitor your stats regularly.
Most people are familiar with Google Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Site Explorer, but today I want to give you a brief overview of Bing Webmaster Center.
To add a site to Bing Webmaster Center, simply login to your Bing account (or create a new one) and then type in a URL and a sitemap if you have one. You will be prompted to verify your site via either a meta verification tag you place in your home page header, or an XML file that you upload to your server.
Once you’ve verified your first site, you’ll see a dashboard that looks quite similar to Google Webmaster Tools, with the following tabs:
- Summary - lists the date Bing last crawled your site, the number of indexed pages, your domain score and the top 5 pages of your site.
- Profile - lists your URL, the verification process you used and the email address associated with your site.
- Crawl Issues - lists any issues Bing discovered while crawling and indexing your site, such as 404 errors, malware infections and long dynamic URLs.
- Backlinks - lists which webpages (including your own) are linking to your site.
- Outbound Links - lists the web pages your site is linking to.
- Keywords - allows you to see how your pages are performing in search results for specific keywords.
- Sitemaps - provides various ways for you to notify MSNBot of new sitemaps or when you change an existing sitemap.
The following additional tools are available when you’re logged into Webmaster Center:
- Robots.txt validator
- HTTP verifier
- Keyword research tool
So don’t ignore Bing Webmaster Center. Remember that Google is NOT the Internet.