With the Yahoo-Bing transition around the corner, Yahoo officials have predicted the two search engines will account for nearly 30 percent of U.S. searches. Marketers looking to get the most out of search campaigns for the combined portal can take advantage of Microsoft’s new Bing Webmaster Tools released this week.
Microsoft announced it has rebuilt “from the ground up.” According to the Bing Community blog, the new tools focus on crawl, index and traffic to make each of these areas more intuitive to webmasters. Microsoft says its new tools give marketers unprecedented access to browse through the Bing index in order to understand how their sites are included and give them control over the process.
The Webmaster Tools also offers details on redirects, malware and exclusions encountered by web crawlers as well as the ability to remove URLs from search engine results. Additionally, they run on Microsoft’s Silverlight, which the company says will create a smooth experience for understanding visual trends about sites.
Bing’s senior product manager, Anthony M. Garcia, says “this is just the beginning” of the features the portal will be offering marketers who advertise on Bing. Garcia encourages webmasters to offer their feedback on how Bing should evolve its tools to best help them.
So far users’ feedback is positive and it seems the tools really offer insight into Bing’s indexing system. But some webmasters can’t get Google out of their minds. Several reference how Caffeine indexes faster than Bingbot, and one indicates the tools are still subpar, saying “I want to love [Bing] as much as I love Google, but you’re making it hard.”
It remains to be seen whether Yahoo-Bing and the new Webmaster Tools can win the affections – and dollars – of marketers in the long run, but recent ad spend data bodes well for the two search engines as they prepare for their alliance. WebVisible’s State of Small Business Online Advertising Q2 2010 showed SMBs shifted their search marketing dollars toward Yahoo, which gained 4 percentage points last quarter. At the same time, Bing remained consistent in Q2 2010 and Google lost 2 percentage points in small business ad spend.