Bing's New Webmaster Tools
Bing has updated their webmaster tools, based on suggestions from users. Those suggestions - more transparency about crawling and indexing, more control over content in the Bing index and more optimization help - were consdiered and implemented, along with other improvements. Senior Product Manager Anthony Garcia posted this on the Bing blog:
"The redesigned Bing Webmaster Tools provide you a simplified, more intuitive experience focused on three key areas: crawl, index and traffic. New features, such as Index Explorer and Submit URLs, provide a more comprehensive view as well as better control over how Bing crawls and indexes your sites. Index Explorer gives you unprecedented access to browse through the Bing index in order to verify which of your directories and pages have been included. Submit URLs gives you the ability to signal which URLs Bing should add to the index. Other new features include: Crawl Issues to view details on redirects, malware, and exclusions encountered while crawling sites; and Block URLs to prevent specific URLs from appearing in Bing search engine results pages. In addition, the new tools take advantage of Microsoft Silverlight 4 to deliver rich charting functionality that will help you quickly analyze up to six months of crawling, indexing, and traffic data. That means more transparency and more control to help you make decisions, which optimize your sites for Bing."
Those with existing Bing Webmaster Tools accounts have been automatically upgraded. Those who do not have an account should get started. As Bing and Yahoo! get closer to full integration, a clear window into Bing's indexing practices and increased control over your pages will be extremely valuable. What's more, Bing promises "many more features planned for release in the coming months."