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Bing has officially completed the launch of its new Bing Webmaster Tools, which streamlines the old tool suite while offering a number of new features. 

According to the announcement, the process managed to condense the old version’s 47 unique links to just 17 different links without losing any of the functionality previously available. This was done by bundling redundant or related functions into more powerful tools.

At the same time, Bing announced it had introduced a new URL inspection tool, a Robots.txt testing feature, a site scan tool, and revamped webmaster guidelines. 

Choose Your Bing Webmaster Tools

For now, webmasters can choose to use the new or old version of Bing Webmaster Tools. The old suite is available at https://www.bing.com/webmaster/. The new version can be found at https://www.bing.com/webmasters/

However, the old version won’t be sticking around for too long. The announcement says it will be disabled sometime next month. 

Enhanced Tools

While streamlining the platform, Bing expanded the functionality of several tools. These updates include:

  • Backlinks lists backlinks for any site, including similar websites.
  • Keyword Research lets you filter data by countries, languages, and devices. 
  • URL Submission is better streamlined for easier navigation. This includes simplifying URL submission via the Bing WordPress plugin for faster indexing. 
  • SEO Reports provides improved classification of errors or issues. 

New Tools

Along with the consolidated and enhanced tools from the old version of Bing Webmaster Tools, the company revealed several new tools. These include:

  • URL Inspection: A beta feature that allows Bing to inspect crawled versions of your site for potential indexing issues.
  • Site Scan: A site audit tool that crawls and checks your site for common SEO issues which may affect your search ranking. 
  • Robots.txt Tester: Check your robots.txt file using the same inspection tools Bing uses to verify your URLs.

Bing revealed major overhauls to its Webmaster Tools suite this week. The new layout and features aim to make the tools available to SEOs and webmasters faster, easier to use, and more actionable.

As SMX West, the company said the first phase of the overhaul would be coming the first week of March, with a sleeker interface and three primary new features:

  • Backlinks Portal: The current inbound links report will be merged with a disavow links tool to become part of the backlinks report portal.
  • Search Performance: Similarly, the company is combining its page traffic and search keywords reports into a unified search performance report.
  • Sitemaps: Bing is giving its current sitemaps page a general overhaul to make it more valuable to online marketers and webmasters.

When It’s Coming

As the company said in its announcement:

“We are delighted to announce the first iteration of the refreshed Bing Webmaster Tools portal. We are releasing the new portal to a select set of users this week and will be rolling out to all users by the 1st week of March.”

What It Looks Like

Search Engine Land provided several screenshots of what the new portal will look like once it goes live:

Search Performance Report

Backlink Report

Disavow Link Tool

Sitemaps

Once they go live, anyone with a Bing Webmaster Tools account can access the new features by navigating to the Sitemaps, Inbound Links, Page Traffic, or Search Keywords reports.

Why It Matters

Despite being frequently overlooked by brands and marketers, Bing has been quietly cementing its grasp on a significant percentage of the search market. The new tools will make it easier for those taking advantage of this opportunity to better understand their website’s performance and refine their efforts for even better performance in the future.

BingLogo

On October 1st, Bing is shutting down Link Explorer, a link analysis tool that has been available from the company since June 2012, according to a new announcement. This is likely bad news for the many webmasters who used the tool to gain a deeper understanding of their own inbound links or to get a look at the links pointing to competitors’ sites.

According to the announcement, Bing isn’t shutting down the tool due to lack of popularity or demand, but because they had simply outgrown it. The size and architecture of Bing’s index have reached the point where there is just no way for Link Explorer to prove effective.

“We will no longer be able to power Link Explorer inside Webmaster Tools,” the company says — while suggesting its own Inbound Links tool as an alternative. Bing’s Duane Forrester explains the Inbound Links tool is more efficient for assessing your own links.

Link Explorer’s powers were limited since its inception as it only gave a view of a limited sample of your backlinks, meanwhile the Inbound Links tool you can view and export up to a million inbound links in just a few clicks.

Forrester also encourages those who used the tool to evaluate their competition to look for one of the many third-party alternatives available, saying the third party tools “provide even more comprehensive link analysis” than provided by Link Explorer.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Big may not get all the praise and attention of Google, but they have been steadily growing their audience for years. They still have a ways to go in search traffic to be realistic competition for Google, but Bing has expanded their search abilities and community to the point where it is a mistake to completely neglect the search engine.

If you are a webmaster, chances are you already use Google’s Webmaster Tools, but it is shocking how many don’t bother to signup for a Bing’s Webmaster Tools at the same time. Just like Google’s tools, Bing’s Webmaster Tools make a huge variety of data available to you to help inform your SEO practices and identify any potential issues.

Most importantly, Bing’s Webmaster Tools are the primary line the search engine uses to communicate about issues with site owners.

If you’ve used Google Webmaster Tools, you probably already have a good idea of what you can accomplish with Bing’s and you can probably make your way around the tools on your own. But, if you’re new to webmaster tools or want to know all the cool things Bing’s Webmaster Tools can do, Simon Heseltine has shared a guide to the tools at Search Engine Watch. Get yourself familiar with the tool, then make sure you sign up. There is no reason you should be missing out on such a free, versatile and important set of tools for your website.

Bing published their first set of webmaster guidelines in the Help section of Bing’s Webmaster Tools to offer guidance on the best SEO practices for their search engine.

While not nearly as detailed as Google’s webmaster guidelines, hat is seemingly on purpose. According to Matt McGee at Search Engine Land, Bing aims these guidelines at “business owners” to help them “understand the broad strokes of search marketing.”

For more detailed information, look into Bing’s Webmaster FAQ’s.