Bing Webmaster Tools Tutorial
Add Your Website To Bing Webmaster Tools
In this Bing Webmaster Tools Tutorial, we will explain how to verify and set up your website Microsoft’s Bing Webmaster Tools.
Bing Webmaster Tools is the official webmaster tools provided by the Microsoft.
Webmasters and/or website owners can make use of the free Bing Webmaster Tools to improve their websites for Bing SEO ranking.
Below are the topics that we will go through in this Bing Webmaster Tools Tutorial:
- Why Improving Bing SEO Ranking of Your Website?
- Sign Up Bing Webmaster Tools Account
- Add Website to Bing Webmaster Tools
- Verify Website with Bing Webmaster Tools
- Tools Available with Bing Webmaster Tools
- Search Performance
- URL Inspection
- Site Explorer
- URL Submission
- Keyword Research
- SEO Reports
- Site Scan
- Crawl Control
- Block URLs
- Robots.txt Tester
- Verify Bingbot
- Copyright Removal Services
- User Management
Why Improving Bing SEO Ranking of Your Website?
Should you focus your website SEO on Bing?
If your customers are mainly from the USA, it will benefit your business to improve your website’s Bing SEO ranking.
If your main market is Hong Kong, the search market share Hong Kong search engines:
In Hong Kong, consumers are still searching through Yahoo. Yahoo’s organic search results are powered by Bing.
i.e. Bing SEO = Yahoo SEO.
The above statistics are provided by Statcounter Global.
Sign Up Bing Webmaster Tools Account
Option 1: Sign in with Gmail or Facebook account
To sign up with Bing Webmaster Tools, go to the official site’s web address URL below.
You can log in to Bing Webmaster Tools account with your Google account (or Gmail account), or Facebook account.
Option 2: Sign up Outlook Mail, and Sign in
Or go to Microsoft Outlook Mail’s official site, with the web address URL below. Register a new Outlook account.
Sign in to Bing Webmaster Tools account with your newly created Outlook account.
Add Website to Bing Webmaster Tools
You must add your website URL to Bing Webmaster Tools.
Select Add a site (from the left side menu), after you have logged on to your Bing Webmaster Tools account.
Bing Webmaster Tools offers two methods to add a new site:
- Import your website from Google Search Console.
- Add your website directly to Bing Webmaster Tools.
Method 1: Import your website from Google Search Console
If you have previously added your site to Google Search Console, and have verified the ownership of your site, then you can import your site to Bing Webmaster Tools from Google Search Console.
- This method does not require you to verify your site’s ownership with Bing Webmaster Tools.
- This method is convenient if you have multiple websites that are already added to Google Search Console, but are also required to have them added to Bing Webmaster Tools.
Refer to this Google Search Console Tutorial which explains how to add a site to Google Search Console, and verify your site.
Method 2: Add your website directly to Bing Webmaster Tools
If you have not added your site to Google Search Console, you can add your site directly to Bing Webmaster Tools.
Verify Website with Bing Webmaster Tools
When adding your website URL to Bing Webmaster Tools, it requires you to verify the ownership of your site.
Verify the ownership of your website with one of the methods below:
- Method 1: Add XML file
- Method 2: Add HTML meta tag
- Method 3: Add CNAME record to DNS
Add XML file
Click the BingSiteAuth.xml link, and the BingSiteAuth.xml file will be downloaded to your computer.
Upload the BingSiteAuth.xml file to the root directory of your website that requires ownership verification in your Bing Webmaster Tools account.
Click the Verify button.
Add HTML meta tag
Copy the HTML meta tag, and add the HTML meta tag to the head section of your website’s homepage.
Click the Verify button.
Add CNAME record to DNS
You can log in to the admin area of your website. Usually it is a cPanel admin area.
While logged in to your website’s cPanel, manually add the CNAME record to the domain name server (DNS).
Click the Verify button.
Tools Available with Bing Webmaster Tools
The main tools in your Bing Webmaster Tools account include:
Tools under SEO:
Tools under Configuration:
Tools & Enhancements:
Security & Privacy:
The Search Performance report (in Bing Webmaster Tools) provides information about your website’s performance on Microsoft Bing search engine.
- Find out which pages on your site are getting most clicked.
- Find out for what keywords (i.e. queries) your web pages appear in Bing’s search engine results pages (SERP).
- Find out which keywords (i.e. queries) are driving Bing SEO traffic to specific pages.
You can then:
- Analyze the data (e.g. keywords, pages, etc) to get useful insights. Based on the insights, make changes to drive more users to your website.
- Analyze the data for up to the past six months to see what has worked well, and what has not worked well.
The Search Performance report makes the data available under two tabs:
Under the Keywords tab (by default):
- Impressions: The number of times your web pages have appeared in Bing’s SERP when people searched a specific keyword. If multiple pages of your website appear in one organic search results page, each page counts as an impression.
- Clicks: The number of times your web pages were clicked when people searched a specific keyword
- Clickthrough Rate (CTR): Clicks divided impressions, multiplied by 100% for a specific keyword
- Average Position: The average Bing organic search ranking of a specific keyword
Under the Pages tab:
- Impressions: The number of times one of your web pages has appeared in Bing’s SERP when people entered keyword searches
- Clicks: The number of times one of your web pages has received clicks when people entered keyword searches
- Clickthrough Rate (CTR): Clicks divided impressions, multiplied by 100% for one of your web pages
- Average Position: The average Bing organic search ranking of one of your web pages
The URL Inspection tool (in Bing Webmaster Tools) consists of two parts:
- Bing Index: Displays the results when the last time Bing crawled your web page.
- Live URL: Instantly checks a web page URL.
Enter a web page URL in the URL Inspection tool under Bing Index, you may get some of the results (below) in return:
- Indexed successfully
- No SEO issues found
- XX Markup types found
With the URL Inspection tool, webmasters can:
- Check and take actions on web page URLs for crawling, indexing, SEO and markup details and errors.
- Get messages if a web page URL is not shown in Bing’s SERP, and get suggested actions that must be taken to resolve the issues.
If the entered URL is indexed in Bing, you can view details of the HTTP response and HTML code of the page.
The HTTP status codes consist of 5 types:
- 1xx informational response: The request was received, continuing process.
- 2xx successful: The request was successfully received, understood, and accepted.
- 3xx redirection: Further action needs to be taken to complete the request.
- 4xx client-side error: The request contains bad syntax or cannot be fulfilled.
- 5xx server-side error: The web server failed to fulfil a valid request.
Site Explorer (in Bing Webmaster Tools) provides high-level data about your website, including:
- Crawl information
- Indexed: Number of URLs which have been successfully indexed inside that folder
- Error: Critical crawl errors which have led to not indexing of URLs
- Warning: These may include URLs with guidelines issues, temporary crawl issues or robots.txt disallowed etc. Webmasters should periodically check for an increase/decrease in these numbers
- Excluded: URLs with spam violations, low rank etc.
Folder based information:
- Number of URLs inside that folder, this includes all types which Bing has discovered about the site.
- Cumulative number of Clicks on the URLs inside that folder.
- Cumulative number of Impressions of the URLs specific to that folder.
- Cumulative number of Backlinks count of the URLs specific to the folder.
URL based information and actions:
- Last crawled date of the URL, this frequency depends on multiple factors including the rank and relevance of the URL. Webmasters can request for indexing of any URL from here as well.
- Discovered date for the URL
- HTTP code : For specific information on individual HTTP status codes, see World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Status Code Definitions. Webmasters can inspect the URLs via our URL inspection tool from the inspect URL option.
- Backlinks specific to the URL
- If the URL is HTTPs or not
- Test URL in robots.txt tester tool
In Site Explorer, you can use filters below:
- Indexed URLs: List of all currently indexed URLs on the site
- URLs with crawling Issues (deadlinks) – Includes HTTP 404-410.
- URLs with crawling Issues (server errors) – Includes HTTP 403, 5xx
- URLs robots.txt disallowed – Disallowed from inside robots.txt.
- URLs with NOINDEX tag
- URLs redirecting
- URLs canonical source
- URLs with guidelines issues – This includes URLs violating spam rules, suspended in latest crawl or low ranked due to issues.
- URLs selected not yet crawled – This could include URLs skipped due to temporary reasons from Bing’s side. Webmasters can request for indexing of URLs from the feature itself.
- URLs with malware
- URLs with other Issues
A sitemap enables the search engine bots (e.g. Bingbot, Googlebot, etc) to find and crawl your site’s web pages easier.
You should first create a XML sitemap of your site, and have the XML sitemap file uploaded to the root directory of your website, such as:
In the Sitemaps section in the Bing Webmaster Tool account, you can submit the location of this XML sitemap file.
The Sitemaps section in your Bing Webmaster Tools account displays the following data:
- Known sitemaps
- Sitemaps with errors
- Sitemaps with warnings
- Total URLs discovered
Through the URL Submission tool, you can submit your website’s page URLs to Bing.
The URL Submission tool is useful when:
- You have published a new web page on your site.
- You have made some major content changes on one of your most important web pages.
In either case, you can submit your web page URL through the URL Submission tool in your Bing Webmaster Tools account.
The URL Submission has restrictions on the number of URLs that you can submit. For example, you may submit up to 100 web page URLs per day.
The Backlinks report (in Bing Webmaster Tools) provides information about your website’s backlink profile, including the aggregated count of the following for the full backlink profile detected by Bing for your site:
- Referring domains
- Referring pages
- Anchor texts
- The report shows you the list of unique domains which are linking to your website, and the number of backlinks from each domain.
- You can drill down any domain to find detailed information about which referring page in the selected domain (Source URL) is linking to which page on your website (Target URL), and the anchor text being used for that link.
- The table shows detailed data for up to 1500 domains.
- Within each domain, you can find details of up to 10,000 backlinks.
- You can export this data to a file in CSV format with the Download all button.
- The report shows the list of pages on the Internet that are linking to your website.
- You can view which page of your website is being referred, and what is the anchor text being used for linking.
- The table shows detailed data for up to 100,000 URLs.
- You can export up to 250,000 backlinks with the Download all button.
- The report shows which anchor texts are being used on the Internet to link to your website, and corresponding backlinks count.
- You can view and export data for up to 1,500 anchor texts.
- You can click on any anchor text to view the detailed list of which referring pages are using the selected anchor text to link to your website.
- You can view maximum of 10,000 referring pages in the table.
Other tools include:
- Similar Sites
- Disavow Links
- You can enter 2 other sites for analysis of backlinks.
- The tool may suggest several sites as similar sites for comparison/analysis.
- You can use the Disavow Links tool to notify Bing for links that are pointing to your website but you do not trust.
Under Keyword Research, it is a free SEO keyword suggestion tool that is provided by Bing Webmaster Tools.
You can enter your main keyword (i.e. a root keyword), and the Keyword Research tool will return the suggested matching and other keywords that are relevant to your main keyword.
Bing’s Keyword Research tool:
- Gives you keyword ideas.
- Provides the stats (i.e. impressions) of how frequently the suggested keywords are searched for.
- Displays the trend of how search volumes (i.e. impressions) of the suggested keywords have changed over time.
- Segregates the suggested keywords to show the ones which have recently become relevant, if any.
- Lists the questions that the suggested keywords have appeared in, if any.
The SEO Reports in Bing Webmaster Tools offer page-level suggestions to improve your website’s Bing SEO ranking.
The SEO Reports display the aggregated counts of all the errors found across your entire website that was scanned, and total pages containing errors.
Examples of some of the errors:
The description is too long or too short.
The img tag does not have an ALT attribute defined.
Evaluated size of HTML is estimated to be over 125 KB and risks not being fully cached.
Refer to Mobile SEO Best Practices for optimizing your web pages for SEO ranking.
Site Scan is site audit tool that crawls your website and checks for technical SEO issues.
The Site Scan tool lets you select to scan different scopes of your site:
- URL list
You can select to crawl all sub-domains of your site, if you have set up multiple sub-domains.
You can also limit the number of web pages to scan with Bing’s Site Scan tool.
Try fixing the technical issues of your site (according to Site Scan’s results). This will make your website more search engine friendly for Bing SEO and all other search engines.
The Crawl Control settings allow you to make suggestions to Bingbot for the speed at which Bingbot makes requests to your web pages.
You can specify which are the busiest hours of your website during the day (when many visitors are on your site), such as:
The settings can limit Bingbot’s crawl activities on your site when there are more visitors on your site, and allow Bingbot to crawl more often during quieter hours.
The Block URL tool enables webmasters to temporarily block URLs from appearing in Bing’s search engine results pages (SERP).
- The block of any URL will remain in place for maximum of 90 days.
- If the URL still returns a 200 OK code when visited by Bingbot after 90 days, it will reappear in Bing’s SERP.
- There are no limits on the number of consecutive blocks you can apply to a URL.
- You will be alerted 8 days in advance of the block being removed, allowing you to renew the block.
robots.txt is a file that needs to be read by search engine spiders including Bingbot, Googlebot, etc.
You should place the robots.txt file at the root directory of your site.
The robots.txt Tester in your Bing Webmaster Tools account offers two parts.
- You can enter a page URL of your site.
- Bingbot will test if this entered URL can be crawled.
- In the editing area, enter the content of your robots.txt file.
- Download this robots.txt file on to your computer, and upload it to the root directory of your website.
The Verify Bingbot tool lets you to check if an IP address belongs to Bingbot.
With Verify Bingbot, you can:
- Check if any web traffic in your server logs with requests using a “Bingbot” or “MSNBOT” user agent string are real Bingbot IP addresses.
Under the Verify Bingbot tool, you can enter an IP address that requires its identity verified.
Copyright Removal Services
Under the Copyright Removal Services, it may display copyright takedown notices.
This happens when one or some of your web page URLs have been flagged due to a copyright takedown request.
When your have received a copyright takedown notice, you are liable to remove the specific content (or the entire page) from your website.
- You can click Submit a Counter Notice to file a counter notice if you believe the copyright takedown notice of your page URL is a mistake.
- Your counter-notice will be sent to the individual or organisation who filed the original copyright takedown request.
The Bing Webmaster Tools account offers 3 levels of access rights:
- Administrator: The Administrator role has all the access rights, including adding new users / removing existing users.
- Read-Write: Users can edit, and can view reports.
- Read-only: Users can only view reports.
I have written a Chinese version of this Bing Webmaster Tools tutorial.
When increasing SEO traffic for your site, Google SEO should be the main focus.
Your secondary focus should be Bing SEO, if you are targeting users/customers of a market/country where people contribute towards not a small search engine market share.
With Bing Webmaster Tools, you can get SEO reports and feedback about your site from Bing.