Bing is Microsoft’s solution to performing web searches on the Internet and, while relatively new, it holds promise as a major challenger to Google’s share of the market. This is especially the case since Microsoft joined in an agreement with Yahoo! Search to combine resources starting in 2010. The first question that those doing site search engine optimization (SEO) will ask is how to optimize for Bing. Optimizing for Bing is not drastically different than it is for the other major search engines but what makes it even easier is the rich set of tools provided for doing this task. Here are some of the tools provided for Bing SEO and how they facilitate the task of getting a site ranked in Bing.

Bing provides a site submission page similar to the other major search engines. Using the submission tool is free but you should not attempt to submit your site if it is already listed in Bing’s index. Plus, the site submission page requires to you enter a graphically presented code so as to discourage the use of automated submission scripts.

A user’s search experience can be enhanced with the Bing Web Page Error Toolkit. By default, when a web site cannot be found, a user receives a 404 redirect error page and nothing more. At this point, the user can either give up on the search or try to think of other search keywords that will be possibly able to locate the desired information. Microsoft provides a tool that allows developers to use the Bing search application programming interface (API) to return a page that gives helpful information to give the user other search options. The results are presented in the form of a related searches page and the API does the work of finding alternate keywords that could possibly be used to pinpoint the desired information. The results page can also be customized by the developer.

Side-by-side comparison tools are popular for checking SEO progress. If your site gets ranked at the top of a Google SERP, you will no doubt want to see how it is doing in Bing. There are several websites with side-by-side tools that allow you to enter a search phrase once and do a comparison of what both search engines return concurrently. It allows the SEO analyst to see what is working and make adjustments to what is not for a particular website.

The IIS SEO Toolkit from Microsoft provides a robust set of modules to make optimization tasks much easier. The modules provided are the Site Analysis Module, Sitemap Module, Site Index Module, and Robots Exclusion Module. Using all these modules, an SEO specialist can get an analysis of the current site they are optimizing, recommendations for improving ranking strategies, lists of site violations, and facilities for managing the robots.txt file and sitemaps.

Using the IIS SEO Toolkit Site Analysis tool, you can get comprehensive identification of common problems that work against optimization efforts. These are problems such as poor performance, broken links, and markup that is not valid. They are also referred to as violations. Analysis includes the detection duplicate content within the context of the analyzed website. Analysis results are also coupled with recommendations of how to correct any problems detected. There is also a query facility provided so that you have flexibility in providing a variety of comprehensive reports.

The IIS SEO Toolkit makes management of the robots.txt, sitemap, sitemap indexes easier. It is easier to manage the robots.txt file because you can get a logical view of your website in a graphical user interface and can make selections as to where a crawler is allowed and disallowed. Within the robots exclusion module, you can also add the sitemap location in order to specify how a crawler should access your URLs. Likewise, the sitemap and sitemap index modules allow easy editing and maintenance of these two objects that are critical effective SEO of a website.

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