Chapter 2 – Bing Webmaster tool viewing data and using tools Part 1.
As Google Webmaster Tool provides data as well as tools to help site owner improve their presence in search result. Bing Webmaster does the same. If you are familiar with GWT, you will not have any issues in understanding BWT as they have almost everything in common. So lets start with the first menu “Configure My Site” along with its sub-menu.
When you click on “Configure My Site” It will bring up a dashboard which contains some data and tools which are of importance. Dashboard has not got all the tools and data of this section to get access to all tools and data you will have to click on individual links. So let us start with first one first.
1. Sitemaps: This option allows you to submit a sitemap of your website. This option is available on the dashboard as well. Allowed format of sitemaps are .XML, .txt, RSS and Atom feed. A sitemap helps any search engines to crawl your website and find all pages which would be not possible if they crawl it normal way.
2. Submit URLs: This option allows you to submit your newly created content to Bing to get it crawled and indexed faster. You can submit up to 10 URL daily and up to 50 URL in a month. To add URL put one URL per line and submit. It would take some time, but will be indexed much faster than a normal crawl.
3. Ignore URL parameters : This tool is helpful when you have a dynamic website such as shopping website. Here your URL parameter keeps changing for a specific page. So a different visitors may be looking at the same page with different URL depending upon what stage they are in, for a particular page. This is confusing for crawlers and may consider this different URL to be different pages and can consider them as duplicate pages. So using this option you can tell Bing what URL parameter you want them to ignore for crawling.
4. Crawl Control: This option helps you set up timing and rate of crawl of Bing crawlers.This ensures that your website bandwidth is not consumed during hours when visitors visit your website. It is quite simple to set up a time and rate of crawling can be set by just a mouse click on the boxes of the graph.
5. Deep Links: Deep Links in bing are nothing but another term used for what is called Sitelink in Google. These are clusters of link which appears just below the main link in the search result. There could be a situation that you do not want certain links to be present on search result. So you can use this tool to remove the link form the search result.
To do this you need to enter the link which you want to remove then the parent link under which it appears and then choose a country or region from where you want to remove this link from appearing. If you want it to be removed from all region leave it on all. Then finally click on “Block” to block the URL. The blocked link will start appearing in the list below.
As it is with sitelink, deep link are also not removed permanently they may come back after a certain period of time if the search engines think that certain pages are important to be shown on search results. In Google you will have to keep reviewing whether the sitelink is back or not in Bing they have given the extra facility to monitor this that when will the Deeplinks be back and you can extend the time frame of blocking the URL.
6. Block URLs: This tool allows you to block certain individual URL or entire web directory from search result To remove the URL, enter the URL in URL box and then choose whether you want to block entire directory or a single page. Then choose between Block URLS and Cache or Block cache. The block URL will appear in the list below where you can monitor when the block will expire and extend the block if required.
This block URL is different from Deep link block as this option is to remove the URL completely from search result and would not appear anywhere in search result. Where as in the case Deep link you are only blocking the link not to appear under a main link, but this URL can appear in the individual search result.
7. Page Preview: Page preview is the image snippet of your website which Bing captures while crawling the website. They use this snippet to show in the search result, especially in smart search of windows along with a text snippet.
To find out how your page preview looks like you need to enter the URL in Page Preview URL box and click on fetch.
This will bring the image snippet of your website. This tool also provides an option to block your page preview snippet from appearing on search result in case if you don’t want it to appear for any reason.
For this you need to enter the exact URL of the page for which you don’t want the page preview to appear and then click on fetch. Once you have the page preview snippet on screen, then under action choose” Block” and then choose a reason for the block which are:
->Image contains content that needs to be removed.
->Image is of poor quality and is incorrect.
Finally, you can submit your request.
There could be a situation when you want to blocked page preview reappear so in this case you need to repeat the same process again, but here instead block under the action column you need to select “Request Refresh”. Next, you need to select a reason for refresh request which are:
->I have fixed problems on the page
-> Image is outdated.
Finally, click on submit button.
8. Disavow Links: If you are a regular reader of my blog and if you have been through my SEO course. You would find that I talk a lot about Black hat SEO and their negative impact. One such technique is building a huge number of links on low quality websites to increase your page rank. This technique has been identified by search engines and they impose a penalty on a site indulging in such activities by either demoting their site from search result or removing it completely.
This has discouraged honest webmasters not to build such link, but this has given a weapon in the hands of people with malicious intention. There is a possibility that your competitor may build spam backlink to your website and get your site penalized.
Search engines were wise to figure this out so they created a tool where you can inform them that these links does not belong to you and you have not created them and ask them to ignore these links for page ranking.
Disavow tool does exactly the same. Using this tool you can Diavow Link which you think are spam and not created by you. To disavow link you need to enter the link in the box and choose whether the link is from a page directory or domain and click on “Diavow”.
9. Geo-Targeting: This allows you to target audience, according to country or region. You can choose whether you want to target directory, domain, subdomain or page for that location. There is one thing you need to keep in mind that you can do domain lever targeting only if you own country specific domain of the country which you are targeting.
10. Verify Ownership: This option allows you to check verification status and change the verification method in case if you want to do so.
11. Connected Pages: This option allows you to connect your social media fan pages and profiles to your website so that it can appear along with your search results.
12. App Linking: It is an option that allows you to link your windows and windows phone app to your website. If you have already added the links in “Connected Pages” it would appear here. If you have not done it yet, then you need to go back to “Connected Pages” and do it.
13. Users : This option is very helpful in case if you want someone else to manage your BWT account for your website. It is always advisable to add someone as a user on your account and grant them Read Only, Read/Write or Administrator permission, rather than allowing them to add sites directly to their own BWT account.
This would give you control who can see your data and if you want to remove the person looking after your GWT account and hire someone else, then you simply need to remove his account from users and add someone else. In this way you can be sure that your data is in safe hands.
To add a user, you simply need to enter the Microsoft email of the person and choose permission and submit it.
Let me also give a brief information that what permission will give what access.
Read Only: This would allow a user to see all features and reports within an account but no changes can be made by the user.
Read/Write: Thie would allow a user to access and control almost all features within the account but they cannot add users themselves.
Administrator: This would allow users to access all features and functions, including adding and delegating new users.