What I Found Using Bing’s Webmaster Tools

BingOkay, so Bing doesn’t have the best webmaster tools available, but they are worth noting.

You can access Bing’s tools here; and you’ll need a Live.com or Hotmail account.

Similar to Google’s and Yahoo!’s webmaster tools you’ll need to submit and verify your account with a verification file or meta tag. Once you have your account verified you’ll see many of the same tools available as with the other search engines.

Some of those tools are:

  • Summary of the indexed pages (page score, language, region, last crawled, blocked)
  • Profile Information (sitemap url, email address, verification method)
  • Crawl Issues
  • Backlink checker and brief information regarding the pages linking to yours
  • Outbound Links and brief information regarding the pages you’re linking to
  • Keywords Tool which is supposed to show your ranking for a particular keyword but doesn’t
  • Sitemaps to submit your sitemap

Okay that’s great Wes; there’s a lot of same tools available from each of the the major search engines, but what was it you found? What I found interesting was that Bing thinks many of the US targeted websites I submitted are targeting the United Kingdom (GB). Hmmm that’s a little disturbing, don’t you think?

So why does Bing think this?

Apparently its because of this tag here:(hard-coded on Joomla websites)

html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml” xml:lang=”en-gb” lang=”en-gb”

Notice: lang=”en-gb”?

Bing shows these sites’ region as GB, and here is their description:

“Shows a two-digit code that represents the region your website’s content is targeted at, based on the ISO 3166 country code standard.”

So the question is:

  • Have some of these sites’ organic ranking been less than they could have been?
  • What about Bing, Google, and Yahoo! local rankings?
  • Do any of the other organic search engines use this tag to help determine the region you are targeting?

Well I’m not sure yet, but I’ll definitely do some testing. I’m not too worried because these site are ranking fine in their local markets, but really, what website couldn’t be doing a little bit better.

Does Bing think you’re targeting the wrong region? What are your thoughts on this tag in regards to SEO?

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  • September 25th, 2009 at 6:16 am DazzlinDonna said:

    Good find! That could very well have an impact on some people’s rankings. I wonder which other apps besides Joomla do the same kind of thing. Worth checking into.

  • September 25th, 2009 at 10:47 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Thanks Donna! Most of my clients use WordPress or Joomla, so that is what I have checked so far. I didn’t find that declaration on any of the WordPress websites, however it was on “all” of the Joomla websites. If find any other apps I’ll be sure to post them here.

  • September 26th, 2009 at 1:04 am mike - J8 website optimalisatie said:

    Interesting. Never used Bing’s webmaster tools, but reading this it’s worth doing that.

  • September 26th, 2009 at 4:09 am Frank said:

    Bit of a pain really, but I read this on the Bing forums a few months ago and added the following to my web pages :

    However, at the moment, Bing is a *tiny* percentage of searches/hits for me

  • September 26th, 2009 at 4:12 am Frank said:

    Oops – regarding the last comment, looks like comments remove any tags :

    here are the tags without brackets :

    meta http-equiv=”content-language” content=”en-IE”
    meta name=”language” content=”en-IE”

  • September 26th, 2009 at 10:17 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Bing is only a small percentage of traffic for me too. They seem to be gaining momentum though; especially in the SEO community.

  • May 30th, 2010 at 1:58 am ThatGuy said:

    I am having the same issue and wondering if i should remove the gb or does it matter?

  • June 1st, 2010 at 11:14 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    That’s what I did and then it was fixed within webmasters tools the next time Bing crawled my sites.

  • November 20th, 2010 at 11:08 pm Salem Real Estate said:

    Great info. We always trying to improve our website as far as user experience so I appreciate the tips.

  • October 25th, 2011 at 9:17 pm emile said:

    Bing webmaster tool has some good features. Just one additional tools to use. And it’s a good idea to submit your site to bing using the bing webmaster tool.

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