This is a guest post by Matt Beswick. Share your Blogging Stories and Experiences by following our guest blogging guidelines.
If you want to maintain consistently high rankings in the organic SERPs, quality content alone isn’t enough nowadays. Yahoo and Google have historically offered excellent advice when it comes to optimizing web pages. The newest kid on the block as far as SEO guidance is concerned is Bing Webmaster Central, which has been delivering exemplary optimization tips for the past year or so. Microsoft upped the ante on June 6th with the announcement of some new features that’ll go a long way in establishing Bing Webmaster Tools as an authority on SEO tactics and techniques.
Bing Webmaster Tools: A Brief Refresher
If you’re not already familiar with the platform, a quick overview is in order. Much like its competitors, Bing Webmaster Tools provides a multitude of stellar utilities to assist you in boosting the rankings of your web properties in the organic search results. From SEO reports and summaries to keyword tools and link quality analyzers, it includes nearly every feature you’d expect from a Search Engine Optimization suite. Whether you need HTTP and robots.txt verification or just sitemap generation, it’s the complete SEO package.
Appealing Upgrades & New Features
The latest update to Bing Webmaster Tools, codenamed “Phoenix”, delivers a number of notable enhancements to existing features. The most obvious change is the new user interface, which simplifies interaction between webmasters and their data. In addition, the URL Removal Tool now lets webmasters keep unwanted content out of Bing’s SERPs. Summary Graphs are significantly more detailed, and the Keyword Research Tool features support for multiple simultaneous entries. Lastly, the URL Normalization feature improves the manner in which the Bingbot web crawler indexes content for easier discovery.
Alongside those substantial Bing Webmaster Central upgrades, the Redmond posse also rolled out a few completely new features that are worth a look. The SEO Reports and SEO Analyzer features in particular are a major step forward. SEO Reports are based on 15 metrics of generally accepted best practices when it comes to optimization and are scheduled to run every two weeks for all sites added to a user’s personal Dashboard. Another unique new feature is Fetch as Bingbot, which actually shows you how Bing’s web crawler views and indexes your content. On top of that, Canonical Alert lets webmasters keep an eye on their
rel=canonical tags to avoid posting duplicate content.
Yahoo Site Explorer Rides Again
One of the best things that Yahoo has ever produced was the old Yahoo Site Explorer, which sadly closed up shop on November 21st, 2011. It’s finally returned to the web in the form of Bing Link Explorer, which manages to replicate much of the old functionality of Yahoo Site Explorer and throw some nifty new capabilities into the mix. In a nutshell, Link Explorer allows you to enter any URL and instantly see which sites are linking to it as well as an almost unbelievable amount of information on both inbound and outbound traffic.
The Bing Webmaster Tools Edge
While Google has received a lot of well-deserved praise for their own free web development and optimization tools, Bing is certainly no slouch in the SEO department. In some ways, it’s actually superior. The latest updates greatly increase the amount of information that webmasters can compile and analyze. Furthermore, Bing’s intelligent SEO tools make optimizing your content for the best results in all search engines a whole lot easier. Thanks to the Bing Keyword Tool’s reliance on organic search queries rather than PPC data, users can form a more accurate picture of overall demand for any given keyword phrase.
Though many scoffed at Bing when it first hit the scene, the early detractors aren’t laughing now. The search engine game is no longer a unipolar ecosystem dominated by Google. Ignore Bing at your own risk, because achieving high rankings within its SERPs can yield impressive dividends. The smart way to do that is by using Bing’s new and improved webmaster tools to zero in on the best SEO configuration possible for your websites. As such, it makes sense to dig deeply into the details of the latest Bing Webmaster Tools updates to get the full scoop on their most recent advances.