In the last few weeks Bing has upgraded its webmaster control panel from insignificant to significant. In fact, in many ways Bing Webmaster Tools make Google Webmaster Tools appear superfluous.
In the new Bing interface here are some new things you can now do:
- Link Explorer. You can now review backlinks for your own Bing verified site or for pages on a competing website.
- SEO Analyzer. Get real page specific help highlighted for you with recommendations.
- SEO Report. Bing will even create a report for you of which pages in your site need code help for better optimization.
- Canonical Alerts. Bing will let you know if it finds a problem in your message box.
- URL Removal tool. Don’t like a URL? Get rid of it from the Bing index tied to your site.
- Keyword Research. Bing integrates a keyword search tool in their site helping you to focus on optimizing your website for better search terms.
Personally I find many of the tools very user friendly and helpful. I think Bing has done a wonderful job at integrating these new tools into their webmaster control panel and making them highly understandable and helpful for website owners and site webmasters.
So many business owners are focused on Google+ Local, (previously called Google Places) that they forget that Bing has a great local program too. In fact, in this recent study consumers chose Bing Local over Google Maps for local searches.
“Bing tied for the top spot with both Superpages and Yellowbook, both of which belong to the Yellow Pages collection of directories. Google Maps wasn’t far behind at fourth and Yellowpages rounded out the top five.” Read the full article.
Bing has a very nice local portal and like Google has created a page for your business already, you just have to claim it and update it. Just this past month Bing teamed up with Yelp to create even more relevant results for it’s local search engine which will simply improve its future results.
For now, I recommend claiming your Bing Local listing by going to the free Bing Business Portal. The service is free and allows you to add pertinent business information, special promotions and even create a free mobile website. It offers more options and features than the stripped down Google+ Local page now offers.
Bing is also focusing on localized searches in their search engine just like Google. With a small effort on your part, you can grab your Bing Local page and potentially reap some very nice top local placement exposure that can drive desktop and mobile traffic your way.
The Bing Local Business Portal may not have gotten your attention, but I am here to say that you really need to check out this very smart and innovative new tool.
- Create your local listing on Bing.com. You create a business page just like you do in Google Places. The listing will be shown in Bing local searches on Bing.com typically above the organic searches.
- Create your own unique mobile site right in the portal. Mine is http://bbp.ms/vawigk. Make sure you grab your own link when you create yours as it is hard to find in the control panel after it has been made.
- Create deals, events, and promotions and even unique QR codes for your deals online.
- When you create a deal, Bing will post the deal right on to your Facebook page when you select to do so.
You can set up your own page here: http://www.bingbusinessportal.com to find out all that this new Bing Business Portal can do visit their FAQ page. It all starts with claiming your listing and then updating your business information as appropriate. You will need to verify yourself as the business owner once by phone PIN or regular mail, but once set up you have full access to all the tools.
With localized searches and a mobile presence an important tool to being found online today, this application is free to use and really worth a careful look. Bing has done a very nice job making this local site a valid business tool, not just a placeholder page.
This was announced recently: “…Our small and medium business brand is changing from “Microsoft Advertising” to “Bing.”” Although it appears that the advertising product will still be called adCenter, it appears that Microsoft is working to brand itself more consistently with the Bing brand. There may be additional strategies at play such as differentiating Microsoft’s online presence from its software presence. As to that, only time will tell.
In the meantime understand that Bing is much more than advertising on the Bing.com search engine. Bing results and Bing advertising is shown on the Yahoo, Bing, and even the Facebook platform. Of additional importance just this past week was Bing’s announcement that throughout the summer they will be rolling out a very tight search integration with Facebook.
From the images released, it appears that when you will search on Bing in the future, Facebook friends faces and comments about a product or place will appear on the left sidebar of your Bing search results page.
All in all, both statements are big news and let us know that in the bigger schemes of search there is some serious consolidation happening behind the scenes between the key social players like Facebook and Microsoft now known as Bing.
Bing announced this past week that they are implementing a new search results formula called adaptive search. In layman’s terms this means personalized search results. We’ve been seeing these type of results on Google.com for a while, but now Bing has publicly announced that it is going via the way of personalized results as well.
This is great news for searchers as it means that Bing watches what you search for over time and works to provide the most relevant results when you use Bing.com.
“The more you search, the more Bing can learn,” said the Bing team in a blog. “And (Bing can) use that information to adapt the experience so you can spend less time searching and accomplish what you set out to do.”
For website owners this means more difficulty in placing organically and pushes more businesses into paid search advertising for placement on Bing.com. With Bing.com results now being delivered with a tight integration with Facebook, it is important to keep an eye on what Bing.com is doing.
You may want to consider paid search advertising on Bing at this point or at a point in the future as it becomes more difficult for searchers to find you or to get top placement. As a Microsoft adCenter Accredited Professional, we can help you get started on Bing when you are ready.
If you haven’t noticed, let me bring your attention to this point, Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, and Facebook are growing closer together every day. First, Bing powered the web searches on Facebook. Now Bing has a social component that is accessing activity on yours and your friends Facebook accounts.
The most recent integration is found at this link on Bing. When you activate the service you will allow Bing to show friends’ interests and links as a social component on Bing.com right in the search results. Watch the video here and you’ll get the low down on what Bing is pulling from Facebook. In essence, once you allow the sharing of information, you will see your Facebook friends’ faces in Bing search results. You will see local reviews and pages that your friends have liked all at Bing.com. One of the best parts on sharing is that you are in control and can turn this feature on and off.
With Facebook hating on Google right now, this is a very important alliance both for Bing and for Facebook. I expect more integration further down the road. Who knows, Bing and Facebook may end up sharing advertising and tracking as well in the future, but for now, they are both working to actively lock Google out of the potentially lucrative social component of search and sharing.