Bing Updates Webmaster Tools for the Worse

On 7/2 I posted about some fixes Bing needed to make before they start showing results for Yahoo. While I can't take any credit for the update (nor would I want any), Bing webmaster tools was updated last night...for the worse.

The old webmaster tools lacked in link data, error reporting, & really letting you know the valuable pages on your site/those linking to your site. The new Bing webmaster tools are lacking. Below is a hot list of changes:

1. You have to install Microsoft Silverlight or you can't view the data.

When your webmaster tools are bad to begin with, why make everyone download Silverlight & create another hassle for users? Below is the data you'll see if you don't download Silverlight:

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You can add urls you want Bing to crawl, add a sitemap, view pages in Bing's index, & alerts if you've received a message from Bing.

So to see your actual data, you've now downloaded Silverlight. What next?

2. Reporting % Changes Day to Day

Priority can be set to your websites through alerting you of daily changes in % of clicks, % of impressions, pages indexed, pages crawled. This is one semi-useful change I'm seeing so far. When we log into our account and see dozens of clients, we're able to quickly see which ones Bing hated or showed the love. This defaults to day vs previous day rating, so it's not going to be helpful when comparing low volume days like weekends vs weekdays depending on the industry.

3. History of Crawled Pages

You're now able to see 6 months worth of data for pages crawled & pages indexed. While they are only showing back to June 3 right now, if it's rolled out this data will be useful in troubleshooting or helpful when launching a site.

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Fingers crossed we'll be able to view more than one month at a time, something you're not able to do right now.

4. History of Pages Indexed

Slightly different from crawled pages, where the bots could visit a single page numerous times during the day, indexed pages refers to the number of unique pages Bing has indexed. Unlike the history of crawled pages, indexed pages does not state that a certain time period will be available. Current history goes as far back as June 3.


Biggest shocker is the lack of any backlink data WHATSOEVER.

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Dashboard, Crawl, Index, & Traffic show ZERO backlink data points. I thought I had gone through it too fast & missed the backlink tab. Nope, there's nothing about the number of links, trending number of links over time (more important to me than number of pages crawled daily), quality of sites linking to your site, quality of sites your site is linking to, etc.

Forget my complaints about the vagueness of the green bars in my previous post. I'd take the green bars back compared to no data at all.

While Yahoo has a better backlink analysis, Bing needs to use that or come up with a 2.0 release of their webmaster tools with link data. Without it, Bing Webmaster Tools remains obsolete compared to GA.

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Adam Melson
Adam Melson
Assoc. Director, Business Strategy