Bing Webmaster tools just received an update (termed as biggest since 'Honey Badger') that focuses on three areas: To share more data, to increase transparency and to bring you more useful tools, announced Duane Forrester of Bing team.
Active email alerts
Now, when an alert is placed in Webmaster account for Malware, Bing will send the email as well. "If we would like to access more of your content, more deeply, we may send you an email asking you to review your crawl settings. If you've got them turned down, slowing us down, this is a chance to increase the crawl rate and for us to get more of your content, faster. The setting will remain under your control, but we'll email the suggestions," explains Duane.
"To get the alerts via email, make sure you've enabled your account to receive emails. When you log into your account, look to the left and you'll see the SETTINGS > Preferences option - click this and you'll see the information below. Make sure to fill in an email address you frequently check, otherwise we will email the LiveID associated with your account. These emails do you no good if they go to an account you don't check," explains bing.
"You have to explicitly check the box stating you would like to receive communications from Bing Webmaster tools. Tell us the frequency of emailing you'd like to see, then be sure to select the types of alerts you want to be notified of from the list provided. Finally, hit the Save button at the bottom. You can change these settings at any time," said bing.
Bing explains, "The answer for flagging fro malware might seem obvious, but the reason we scan sites for malware is to protect searchers. It won't do us any good to send searchers to a formerly trustworthy site to have the searcher's computer infected with malware. That is very bad for business. In fact, we'll even go so far as to remove a listing from the index if that's what it takes.
Some instances of being flagged for malware aren't so clear cut, however. From time to time we encounter scenarios where the site itself is trustworthy, but something the site is associated with, such as an advertising network, may have been flagged for malware. If your "partner" still has the issue, we'll flag your listing to ensure searchers remain protected. If the ad network, in this example, has cleaned up the issue, the flag may still trigger (and thus an alert appears), but we'll leave the result in the index as we know the threat is passed and the alert from an older instance."
Expanded Crawl Details information will now show all inbound links to a given URL regardless of the heading. "So anything listed under the 300, 400 & 500 codes will, by URL, display inbound links to the URL. As well, any URLs listed under the Robots.txt and Malware headings will also share data the same way. You're now no longer limited to just seeing inbound links which point only to pages returning a 400 header response code," revealed Duane.
URL Normalization suggestions will now also placed inside Webmaster account too, and will be disabled by default, allowing you to choose which, if any, elements you want to incorporate into the controls.
Duane notes, "We realize that with this increase in information, some sites may hit limits and be forced to choose which elements to include for normalization while leaving others out, so we're also increasing the number of query string parameters that can be normalized per site from 25 items to 50 items. This doubling means you can place many more items in the system for normalization. As always, though, we encourage websites to find ways to fix any canonicalization issues at the source."
Index Explorer tool is now being populated with deeper data about a website. "As we continue to expand our depth and share, we'll continue to update data for domains. Your most visual clue to this change will be in the Traffic Data appearing within the Index Explorer tool," said Duane.
DNS verification for domains in your account, will now allow you to place a discrete CNAME record to your DNS to validate a domain as well. This feature is added to Webmaster with exisiting choices included: adding a snippet to your <head> code or uploading a dedicated XML file to the root of your site, and both options remain as valid ways to verify your domains.
Finally, Bing announced of integrating data from adCenter inside webmaster tools accounts. "Specifically, when viewing Traffic data and looking at the keywords which drove traffic to your site, you'll notice an Avg CPC column on the left now, with more details in a floating pane to the left of that.
The normal traffic data remains as usual to the right, across the page, and you can sort as before. This new feature allows you to quickly see keywords, and associated CPCs, helping you plan your marketing efforts more effectively. Clicking on "Buy this keyword" takes you towards your adCenter account, where you can login and complete the process," said Bing.