Bing blogs

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Webmaster Blog — Jun 2009

  • June
    26

    Site architecture and SEO – file/page issues...

    Search engine optimization (SEO) has three fundamental pillars upon which successful optimization campaigns are run. Like a three-legged stool, take one away, and the whole thing fails to work. The SEO pillars include: content (which we initially discussed in Are you content with your content? ), links (which we covered in Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly , Part 1 and Part 2 ), and last but not least, site architecture. You can have great content and a plethora of high quality inbound links from authority sites, but if your site’s structure is flawed or broken, then it will still not achieve the optimal page rank you desire from search engines. The search engine web crawler (also known as a robot or, more simply, a bot) is the key to website architecture issues (Bing uses MSNBot ). Think of the bot as a headless web browser, one that does not display what it sees, but instead interprets the HTML code it finds on a webpage and sends the content it discovers back to the search engine database so that it can be analyzed and indexed. You can even equate the bot to a very simple user. If you target your site’s content to be readable by that simple user (serving as a... Read More Search engine optimization (SEO) has three fundamental pillars upon which successful optimization campaigns are run. Like a three-legged stool, take one away, and the whole thing fails to work. The SEO pillars include: content (which we initially discussed in Are you content with your content? ), links (which we covered in Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly , Part 1 and Part 2 ), and last but not least, site architecture. You can have great content and a plethora of high quality inbound links from authority sites, but if your site’s structure is flawed or broken, then it will still not achieve the optimal page rank you desire from search engines. The search engine web crawler (also known as a robot or, more simply, a bot) is the key to website architecture issues (Bing uses MSNBot ). Think of the bot as a headless web browser, one that does not display what it sees, but instead interprets the HTML code it finds on a webpage and sends the content it discovers back to the search engine database so that it can be analyzed and indexed. You can even equate the bot to a very simple user. If you target your site’s content to be readable by that simple user (serving as a... Read More
  • June
    26

    New tools for webmasters in the Bing Toolbox

    Today we're really excited to announce the arrival of the Bing Toolbox , a new portal for all you Bing webmasters, publishers, developers, and advertisers out there. The Toolbox is an organized set of tools for the entire Bing community, plus links to our Webmaster and Developer community blogs and forums. The Toolbox provides everything you need to work with Bing in one place—as well as the site you’ll want to regularly visit for announcements of cool new features the moment they're ready. This is a first effort and we’ll be building out the site with new content and updated tools as they become available. Please use the forums to give us feedback. Thanks! -- Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center Today we're really excited to announce the arrival of the Bing Toolbox , a new portal for all you Bing webmasters, publishers, developers, and advertisers out there. The Toolbox is an organized set of tools for the entire Bing community, plus links to our Webmaster and Developer community blogs and forums. The Toolbox provides everything you need to work with Bing in one place—as well as the site you’ll want to regularly visit for announcements of cool new features the moment they're ready. This is a first effort and we’ll be building out the site with new content and updated tools as they become available. Please use the forums to give us feedback. Thanks! -- Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center
  • June
    24

    Create custom 404 error webpages for IIS

    I guess you can’t RT useful and interesting blog articles as easily as you can tweets, so I’m writing here today to pass on the latest news from our teammates in the Bing Developer Center. They've just released the updated Bing API Web Page Error Toolkit . I’ll be talking about custom 404 error pages on this blog soon, but for those who want a head-start on the subject, be sure to check out the Developer Center blog post Customize your 404 error pages with the Bing API Web Page Error Toolkit . Look for the next SEM 101 column shortly! -- Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center I guess you can’t RT useful and interesting blog articles as easily as you can tweets, so I’m writing here today to pass on the latest news from our teammates in the Bing Developer Center. They've just released the updated Bing API Web Page Error Toolkit . I’ll be talking about custom 404 error pages on this blog soon, but for those who want a head-start on the subject, be sure to check out the Developer Center blog post Customize your 404 error pages with the Bing API Web Page Error Toolkit . Look for the next SEM 101 column shortly! -- Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center
  • June
    22

    Updating the Webmaster Center RSS feed...

    Another short post today. The Webmaster Center team has updated its RSS feed provider . If you use our RSS feed to keep up with the latest and greatest news from the Bing Webmaster Center team, please update your RSS feed today! Thanks! -- Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center Another short post today. The Webmaster Center team has updated its RSS feed provider . If you use our RSS feed to keep up with the latest and greatest news from the Bing Webmaster Center team, please update your RSS feed today! Thanks! -- Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center
  • June
    19

    Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly...

    In the previous blog post, Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly—Part 1 , I discussed that links are de facto endorsements of the site linked to, that the relevance of the linked to page to the one linking to it is critical for determining the value of the link, and how the quantity vs. quality argument shapes up regarding links. I also defined what is good and bad about each. So let’s pick up where I left off last time in our discussion of the good and bad of linking, and touch on when things can turn ugly. Neighborhoods Search engines do recognize “bad neighborhoods” on the Web. These are places (such as dedicated domains or even IP ranges) that do nothing but set up meaningless link exchanges. Bad neighborhood sites often “sell” you, the webmaster, the opportunity to have them link dozens, hundreds, sometimes even more, of their sites to yours, all based on the assertion that this will boost your page rank in search. However, those referrer sites are usually nothing more than junk pages, consisting of endless lists of outbound links to any subject under the sun, void of any meaningful content. To make matters worse, many of the customers... Read More In the previous blog post, Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly—Part 1 , I discussed that links are de facto endorsements of the site linked to, that the relevance of the linked to page to the one linking to it is critical for determining the value of the link, and how the quantity vs. quality argument shapes up regarding links. I also defined what is good and bad about each. So let’s pick up where I left off last time in our discussion of the good and bad of linking, and touch on when things can turn ugly. Neighborhoods Search engines do recognize “bad neighborhoods” on the Web. These are places (such as dedicated domains or even IP ranges) that do nothing but set up meaningless link exchanges. Bad neighborhood sites often “sell” you, the webmaster, the opportunity to have them link dozens, hundreds, sometimes even more, of their sites to yours, all based on the assertion that this will boost your page rank in search. However, those referrer sites are usually nothing more than junk pages, consisting of endless lists of outbound links to any subject under the sun, void of any meaningful content. To make matters worse, many of the customers... Read More
  • June
    17

    Bing keeps the web safe with malware filter

    We at Bing absolutely believe that security is one of our top priorities. We will keep investing in security, as one of our primary goals is to protect and secure our users and provide them with a safe search experience. What have we noticed in Bing? Over the last year, we have seen an increase in social engineering malware. Malware providers mostly target popular search queries on antivirus products, free software downloads, and related technical queries. Their intent is to game the search engine to show their malware sites as top results for the popular queries. This is done by using various search engine spam techniques (page-level and link-level spam techniques). We have also noticed that the number of searches for the queries the malware providers target (for example, antivirus products in various forms) is significant and that they consistently show up in our list of top queries. Good news for Bing users In response to this growing threat, Bing has invested in ways to identify and filter sites that download malicious software. We call this feature our Malware Filter. This feature complements our existing Drive-By-Download detection by identifying and removing... Read More We at Bing absolutely believe that security is one of our top priorities. We will keep investing in security, as one of our primary goals is to protect and secure our users and provide them with a safe search experience. What have we noticed in Bing? Over the last year, we have seen an increase in social engineering malware. Malware providers mostly target popular search queries on antivirus products, free software downloads, and related technical queries. Their intent is to game the search engine to show their malware sites as top results for the popular queries. This is done by using various search engine spam techniques (page-level and link-level spam techniques). We have also noticed that the number of searches for the queries the malware providers target (for example, antivirus products in various forms) is significant and that they consistently show up in our list of top queries. Good news for Bing users In response to this growing threat, Bing has invested in ways to identify and filter sites that download malicious software. We call this feature our Malware Filter. This feature complements our existing Drive-By-Download detection by identifying and removing... Read More
  • June
    16

    Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly...

    Lord Alfred Douglas once said, “All good poetry is forged slowly and patiently, link by link, with sweat and blood and tears.” He could have just as easily been talking about high-ranking websites (had he known about them — his quote pre-dates the 1920s!). The way to search engine optimization (SEO) success is neither fast nor simple (not that it has to be hard, though). But the accumulation of valuable, relevant, inbound links from authority sites to your site is a sure-fire way to improve your site’s ranking with search engines. Links are an oft-misunderstood commodity in the world of SEO. Do they matter? Sure, if you want to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs). The rank of two sites on the same topic offering equally good, original content will be differentiated in the SERPs by the inbound links they get externally, and to a lesser extent, the outbound links they make to external sites. Just to be clear, we’re talking about external inbound and outbound links to pages on other websites, not intra-site, mailto, or scripting links. Let’s take a look at what makes some links good or bad. Endorsements Think of links as... Read More Lord Alfred Douglas once said, “All good poetry is forged slowly and patiently, link by link, with sweat and blood and tears.” He could have just as easily been talking about high-ranking websites (had he known about them — his quote pre-dates the 1920s!). The way to search engine optimization (SEO) success is neither fast nor simple (not that it has to be hard, though). But the accumulation of valuable, relevant, inbound links from authority sites to your site is a sure-fire way to improve your site’s ranking with search engines. Links are an oft-misunderstood commodity in the world of SEO. Do they matter? Sure, if you want to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs). The rank of two sites on the same topic offering equally good, original content will be differentiated in the SERPs by the inbound links they get externally, and to a lesser extent, the outbound links they make to external sites. Just to be clear, we’re talking about external inbound and outbound links to pages on other websites, not intra-site, mailto, or scripting links. Let’s take a look at what makes some links good or bad. Endorsements Think of links as... Read More
  • June
    12

    Bing enhances support for large Sitemaps

    We have another quick but important announcement today. Bing, along with the other search engines that are a part of Sitemaps.org , has announced support for the following Sitemap enhancements: 1. You can now include up to 50,000 references (either URLs or links to child Sitemaps) in your sitemap.xml index file . Until recently, Sitemap files only supported about 1,000 child references. This enhancement will be very useful to extremely large sites, as now a single, large Sitemap index file, referencing up to 50,000 child Sitemap files, each of which referencing up to 50,000 URLs, can reference up to a total of 2.5 billion URLs. 2. A slight modification of the Sitemaps XSD schemas helps developers and applications to validate Sitemaps content against defined types. For example, the attribute lastmod is now xsd:date instead of xsd:string . We aim to improve Sitemaps quality with this modification. Note that the Sitemap schema version is still identified as version 0.9. Let’s take a look at some sample code from a Sitemap.xml file to see how the schema change affects your work. The lastmod attribute in the new Sitemaps protocol requires a date value rather than a string... Read More We have another quick but important announcement today. Bing, along with the other search engines that are a part of Sitemaps.org , has announced support for the following Sitemap enhancements: 1. You can now include up to 50,000 references (either URLs or links to child Sitemaps) in your sitemap.xml index file . Until recently, Sitemap files only supported about 1,000 child references. This enhancement will be very useful to extremely large sites, as now a single, large Sitemap index file, referencing up to 50,000 child Sitemap files, each of which referencing up to 50,000 URLs, can reference up to a total of 2.5 billion URLs. 2. A slight modification of the Sitemaps XSD schemas helps developers and applications to validate Sitemaps content against defined types. For example, the attribute lastmod is now xsd:date instead of xsd:string . We aim to improve Sitemaps quality with this modification. Note that the Sitemap schema version is still identified as version 0.9. Let’s take a look at some sample code from a Sitemap.xml file to see how the schema change affects your work. The lastmod attribute in the new Sitemaps protocol requires a date value rather than a string... Read More
  • June
    11

    Bing white paper for webmasters & publishers...

    Quick note on this. We have just released a new white paper titled, Bing: New Features Relevant to Webmasters . As you might imagine, it covers the key features of Bing from the perspective of webmasters and web publishers. It also delves into how Bing affects your past and future SEO activities. Be forewarned – it is a bit long (I am a veteran tech writer, after all, and I like details and images to illustrate points). I hope you find it informative and useful. You can download it from the Microsoft Download Center in either PDF or XPS document formats. Please take a look! If you have any questions about the content of the new Bing for webmasters white paper, please feel free to post them in our Webmaster Center forums . Thanks! And as you probably already realized, we didn’t have an SEM 101 blog post last week. I know, I know, what a slacker! But between developing this white paper and attending SMX Advanced last week in Seattle, I got a bit busy! Look for the next installment of SEM 101 very soon! Until then… -- Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center Quick note on this. We have just released a new white paper titled, Bing: New Features Relevant to Webmasters . As you might imagine, it covers the key features of Bing from the perspective of webmasters and web publishers. It also delves into how Bing affects your past and future SEO activities. Be forewarned – it is a bit long (I am a veteran tech writer, after all, and I like details and images to illustrate points). I hope you find it informative and useful. You can download it from the Microsoft Download Center in either PDF or XPS document formats. Please take a look! If you have any questions about the content of the new Bing for webmasters white paper, please feel free to post them in our Webmaster Center forums . Thanks! And as you probably already realized, we didn’t have an SEM 101 blog post last week. I know, I know, what a slacker! But between developing this white paper and attending SMX Advanced last week in Seattle, I got a bit busy! Look for the next installment of SEM 101 very soon! Until then… -- Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center
  • June
    10

    Bing contributes to SIR6

    Here at Microsoft, the fun is not just working on interesting projects but sharing interesting results across groups to help our users. And when this information exchange is in the area of security, you just feel elated that you have done the right thing. Thanks to our friends at Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC), we were able to publish some interesting data analysis for the security community through Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report (SIR). Bing and Search Security We at Bing believe that search security is one of our top priorities. Our search offering to warn users of Drive-By-Download URLs in their search results has received excellent customer feedback. We detect over 1M Drive-By-Download URLs on an average every month. What have we noticed in Bing? We have been closely monitoring and analyzing the data after we shipped the feature to detect Drive-By-Download URLs in Bing index. We have summarized what we think is the most interesting data on Drive-By-Downloads and their effect on Bing. Some key takeaways from our data analysis: Analysis of local and global TLDs of Drive-By-Download URLs: The risk of Drive-By-Downloads... Read More Here at Microsoft, the fun is not just working on interesting projects but sharing interesting results across groups to help our users. And when this information exchange is in the area of security, you just feel elated that you have done the right thing. Thanks to our friends at Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC), we were able to publish some interesting data analysis for the security community through Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report (SIR). Bing and Search Security We at Bing believe that search security is one of our top priorities. Our search offering to warn users of Drive-By-Download URLs in their search results has received excellent customer feedback. We detect over 1M Drive-By-Download URLs on an average every month. What have we noticed in Bing? We have been closely monitoring and analyzing the data after we shipped the feature to detect Drive-By-Download URLs in Bing index. We have summarized what we think is the most interesting data on Drive-By-Downloads and their effect on Bing. Some key takeaways from our data analysis: Analysis of local and global TLDs of Drive-By-Download URLs: The risk of Drive-By-Downloads... Read More
  • June
    09

    Best match, deep links, feature support

    In Bing, certain navigational queries will provide a “Best match” result at the top. This result also provides several deep links and various contact information associated with the site. Currently, we are working to develop a better support experience for this feature. We hope to have it online within the next few weeks and we will make an announcement when the specific support is available. Meanwhile, if you need to make changes, Please do not use the Content Removal Form. Using that form only removes the full URL from our index and it could have a negative impact on your site. Instead, please contact bestmatc@microsoft.com and we will route it to the team. Thank You. Brett Yount, Bing Webmaster Center In Bing, certain navigational queries will provide a “Best match” result at the top. This result also provides several deep links and various contact information associated with the site. Currently, we are working to develop a better support experience for this feature. We hope to have it online within the next few weeks and we will make an announcement when the specific support is available. Meanwhile, if you need to make changes, Please do not use the Content Removal Form. Using that form only removes the full URL from our index and it could have a negative impact on your site. Instead, please contact bestmatc@microsoft.com and we will route it to the team. Thank You. Brett Yount, Bing Webmaster Center
  • June
    08

    How to remove URLs from our index (expanded...

    This has been an excellent week in Webmaster Center. Our new Bing community forums are alive and vibrant with excellent questions and people who are willing to share their knowledge. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated. We look forward to your continued participation going forward! I’ve received a couple great questions on the forums lately and, although we have posted on a few of these topics in the past, I think it is time to expand on one of those topics. Removing URLs from the index In our earlier blog post , we provided instructions on how to request URL removals. The previous post indicated that the page must be rendered unavailable to the crawler by a 404 or to use <meta> robots tags. I want to expand on this. Our current requirements for URL removal are (pick one): 404 the page Use < meta name = "robots" content = "noindex"> with in your page’s <head> tags Block the content in your robots.txt file Follow the remaining directions in the original post linked to above There has been some confusion in the past as to what type of request to use. Remove... Read More This has been an excellent week in Webmaster Center. Our new Bing community forums are alive and vibrant with excellent questions and people who are willing to share their knowledge. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated. We look forward to your continued participation going forward! I’ve received a couple great questions on the forums lately and, although we have posted on a few of these topics in the past, I think it is time to expand on one of those topics. Removing URLs from the index In our earlier blog post , we provided instructions on how to request URL removals. The previous post indicated that the page must be rendered unavailable to the crawler by a 404 or to use <meta> robots tags. I want to expand on this. Our current requirements for URL removal are (pick one): 404 the page Use < meta name = "robots" content = "noindex"> with in your page’s <head> tags Block the content in your robots.txt file Follow the remaining directions in the original post linked to above There has been some confusion in the past as to what type of request to use. Remove... Read More
  • June
    01

    New webmaster community in Bing

    As you may have noticed, Bing is live today as a preview. The site will be fully deployed by Wednesday. Be sure to go to www.bing.com and check out for yourself all of the new features and functionality of the new search engine. It’s pretty cool stuff. We’re also excited to welcome you today to the new home of the Webmaster Center blog and forums , as part of the new Bing Community site. Welcome! The old URLs are now automatically redirecting visitors to this new site, but be sure to update your Favorites listing in your browser to the new site. Also note that we’re working on a series of new blog posts that explains what the release of Bing means to webmasters and publishers, so stay tuned. As you can tell, we’re excited about Bing and ready to talk about it. Keep a look out for plenty of updates to come. Bing! -- Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center As you may have noticed, Bing is live today as a preview. The site will be fully deployed by Wednesday. Be sure to go to www.bing.com and check out for yourself all of the new features and functionality of the new search engine. It’s pretty cool stuff. We’re also excited to welcome you today to the new home of the Webmaster Center blog and forums , as part of the new Bing Community site. Welcome! The old URLs are now automatically redirecting visitors to this new site, but be sure to update your Favorites listing in your browser to the new site. Also note that we’re working on a series of new blog posts that explains what the release of Bing means to webmasters and publishers, so stay tuned. As you can tell, we’re excited about Bing and ready to talk about it. Keep a look out for plenty of updates to come. Bing! -- Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center