- 6 Hours of SEO, Social, Crawling and Authority Webinars in 1 Post
We’ve had thousands of people view these webinars, but if you haven’t seen them yet, here they are again. During the fall and winter, we put together a series of 6 webinars. Each is about an hour long, and captures the webinar presentation, as well as the live Q&A we did during each session.
Each webinar was free and open to anyone to join, which is a format we’ll obviously keep in the future. If there are topics you’d like covered in future webinars, let me know and we’ll see what can be done to get them produced. Drop your ideas in the comments below.
We covered a wide range of topics in over 6 hours of programming:
Started here with an overview of what to focus on, what to invest and why it matters. For most folks, its standard stuff, but for those new to the space, it’s a useful review.
In this session we talked more in depth about how we crawl, why we crawl and what we’re looking for. We gave tips on creating a site that search engines want to crawl, too.
Bing Webmaster Tools Overview
This webinar was designed to help folks learn more about the tools, how to use them and uncover useful data. We walked through all of the then-current tools and covered tips and tricks for finding and interpreting data. SEO Reports, Link Explorer, everything was covered, though we’ll need to provide some updates after our latest tools which were recently released (Site Move & Geo Targeting).
This webinar covered the topic of Authority. What it means to an engine, why we seek it in sites we index and what you can do to build your own authority, with an eye towards ranking better.
Search & Social
Here we looked into the merging of search and social signals, why social plays a role in search, what you can do to leverage social and how things are evolving.
This webinar wrapped up our series with a two-level view across this topic. First we explored the slow evolution of changing SEO tactics and pointed to ways to spot trends and be ready for change. The second portion dealt with managing your career as an SEO, listing out what skills you’ll need to be successful in the future and explaining why.
We had a lot of fun connecting with folks through our webinars, and we’re hoping to plan more in the future. It’s always great to make connections with folks running businesses today, and hearing directly from them what they’re working on and what type of help and support they need.
Sr. Product Manager
Bing Webmaster Tools
- The Power of Bing Ads Infographic
The Bing Ads team has been hard at work. From launching Sitelinks that allows deeper engagement, more messaging, and improve CTR to the continued global expansion, the Bing Ads team is certainly riding the momentum to deliver a new improvements and functionality.
To show some of the recent progress, the team created this nifty infographic on the Power of Bing Ads. If you’re not a Bing Ads customer, you can sign up here.
If you've got a microscope handy, enjoy the info right here. Otherwise, click the image to see the full size version.
- Query v. Session: Expanding Your Keyword Research Envelope
If you’re into search engine optimization at any level, you know that keyword research is the beginning of the journey. It’s your best bet to understanding what people are searching for and what content should be most popular on your site.
And, we’re all used to using the standard tools to perform the research. Enter a keyword, related keywords are returned along with the query volumes over a selected date range. To be fair, one engine’s tools limits this to the past 30 days or so, while one engine lets you see organic data with a selectable date range of up to 6 months. Differences aside, the work you’re doing remains the same: looking for query volume data.
Query v. Session
Maybe it’s time to start a new practice in your keyword research process. Try linking like-queries together over time to gain a sense of what the searcher is trying to accomplish. One query (and the data behind it) while providing pinpoint accuracy, may not tell the entire story. Developing a view of that searcher’s session, however, can be very revealing.
Here’s an example of the query v. session approach:
adopt a dog
cavalier king charles spaniel
vet near me
dog friendly hotels
organic dog food
doggy day care
housebreaking a puppy
bringing a puppy home
pictures of ckcs
Beyond the obvious, if you look closely, you’ll see a pattern in the session data. With the query dog, while it has a lot of volume, you can’t understand the searcher’s intent. With the session data, however, a picture emerges that points to someone looking to get a new dog, adopt a dog, and maybe even a clue as to the actual breed the searcher is seeking.
If you can construct this session view of the keywords your visitors search on, it can help unlock a view into what they are trying to accomplish, making it easier for you to know what of your products, content and services should be shown and where.
If you have products that help with everything needed when a person brings a new puppy home, clearly the searcher in our example wants to know about them. And even if they show up after searching for breeds of dogs, or dog breeds, having built a session view around what entry keywords people find you on can help you know what content to link off to on the page they land on.
Getting the work done
While the traditional keyword research tools available today are great at helping with query-related research, building this session view is considerably more work. No tool exists right now that can tell you what a session looks like. In fact, for every website, those sessions could easily be highly individual. But where to start…?
Start with keyword research as usual. Then start looking at your analytics and building a view of the pathways people take through your site based on keywords they click to visit you. It’s worth taking the time to at least try to build this view out simply because of the insights about your visitors it can showcase. Look through your server logs if needed, just try your hardest to figure out what keywords people are coming to you through, and start working to understand what else interests them.
Now, just because no defacto tools exist to easily supply this view for you, doesn’t mean some smart folks out there can’t figure out a way. This industry is loaded with smart people doing clever things, after all.
If you’d like us to build such a tool, hit the comments below and get chatty. We can’t read minds, and the more people who speak up saying they need/want a particular feature, the better.
Sr. Product Manager
- Announcing Malware Re-Evaluation and Geo-Targeting in Webmaster Tools
Today, we are releasing two new features in Bing Webmaster Tools. The first feature — the new Malware tool — helps you understand whether or not you site contains malware and also allows you to submit and track a “Malware Re-Evaluation” request. You can find the new Malware tool in the Reports & Data section. The second feature — Geo-Targeting — helps you provide Bing with information about the audience you are targeting with your site or a section of your site. You can find the Geo-Targeting feature under the Configure my Site section. Let’s look at both these features a bit more closely.
A New Malware Re-Evaluation Workflow
Every day, thousands and thousands of sites on the web — many of them owned by webmasters like yourself — are unknowingly infected by malware. Often, this happens because of some vulnerability that allowed a malware distributor or hacker to take control of the site. As a result, the security of unsuspecting visitors is at risk, too. Therefore, to protect our Bing users, we scan the web to look for web pages that have been infected. If Bing detects that a site is willingly or unwillingly serving malware, or contains harmful elements that put our searchers at risk, we will tell our users that the page they are about to visit from our results could be dangerous. In addition, the webmaster of the site receives a notification in the form of a Malware Alert in their Bing Webmaster Tools Message Center.
The new Malware tool provides information about the malware we detected on the site. Previously some of this information was encompassed in the Crawl Information tool, but with the new Malware tool you not only get access to more details that help you understand the nature of the issue, it also allows webmasters to submit and track a malware re-evaluation request once they have cleaned their site.
What happens when I submit the request?
Once you submit a request, you immediately can track the status and progress inside the Malware tool. During the review period, we will perform several deep re-scans to establish if the site is truly free of malware. It is therefore important that affected site owners take the utmost care to ensure that all harmful elements – not just those listed in the list of sample URLs – have been addressed. Also, any vulnerabilities and security holes that allowed the infection to occur should be plugged. It is important not to request a re-evaluation unless you have done this work first and established that you’re good to go: if the malware is found during the review period, the re-evaluation will fail and you will not be able to submit another re-evaluation request for some time. However, if we register several clean scans, you will get the “all clear” and the malware warning for your site will be removed from our search results pages.
For more information about the Malware tool, see the help Malware help topic in our Bing Webmaster Help Center.
Geo-Targeting Your Pages to Specific Country Audiences
In addition to the new Malware tool we are launching a new feature called Geo-Targeting. This tool allows you to provide Bing with information about the intended audience for your site or a section of your site. Whereas other Webmaster Tools let you geo-target sites only at the site level, Bing Geo-Targeting provides you with a more flexibility: multinational sites do not need to verify each section they want to geo-target separately. Instead, Bing allows you to define a country affinity for your entire website or for sections of your website from within a single view and from within a single site account. On top of that, you can geo-target your site on multiple levels:
- At the domain level: this option allows you to geo-target an entire domain to a specific country. This option is available to sites that are on so called “geo-targetable top-level domains”, such as .com, .org, .net. With a few exceptions, sites with country-code TLDs (ccTLD) will not be able to set a country-affinity at the domain level, as the ccTLD continues to provide the stronger hint. However, they will be able to use all of the following options as well.
- At the subdomain level: this option allows you to set a country affinity for an entire subdomain on your site. This is great option if you are using sub-domains on your site to segment your content by country, say http://nl.example.comfor the Netherlands.
- At the directory level: this option allows you to set a country affinity for a specific folder on your site. A great option if you are using country-specific directories or folders on your site, say http://www.example.com/italy/for Italy. All pages within the folder will be considered to be for your Italian audience.
- At the page level: for even more flexibility, you can define country affinity at the page level. This is a great option if you have a single landing page dedicated to visitors from a specific country. For example, a site in the Netherlands — hosted on the a .nl ccTLD — can designate a single page, say http://www.example.nl/willkommen-deutsche-gaeste.html to be targeted at a German audience .
(Note that when multiple geo-targeting rules apply to a page, we will use the most specific. In other words, the order of precedence is: page > folder > subdomain > domain)
When should I use Geo-Targeting?
You should use the Geo-Targeting feature for sites or sections of a site that have been created for an audience in a specific country. You generally don’t need to geo-target sites (or site sections) that are aimed at a global audience or that apply to multiple countries. If, for example, you have a multilingual site that has a German (language) section, you needn’t geo-target it specifically to Germany if you also are targeting other German-speaking audiences such as from Switzerland and Austria with the same content.
Once you have geo-targeted a site or site section, your input will be seen as a strong signal that adds to other signals we are already using one that gets stronger as we see more data. You should therefore start today and make sure to use the Geo-Targeting tool as an integral part of your long-term global SEO strategy.
Senior Program Manager
Bing Webmaster Tools
- Bing Business Portal is Now Bing Places for Business
Your customers are online – are you?
We know time is in short supply when you are busy running your business. That’s why at Bing we are always looking for ways to simplify your experience of getting your business online and managing your business reputation on the web. The launch of Bing Places for business is the first of many steps in our effort to provide you with all the tools you need to easily and quickly find local customers online.
Whether you are new to Bing Places for Business or if you had already claimed your listing on BBP, please review the scenarios below for applicability to your business.
1.) If you’re new to Bing Places for Business, e.g. your business was never claimed, go and claim your listing now.
2.) If you already have a business listing verified, rest assured that your data will be migrated from Bing Business Portal to the new web experience under Bing Places for Business over the next 3-4 days.
a. Note: where you used to have to email in a spreadsheet for bulk uploads, you will now be able to perform that upload through the web interface.
3.) If you had a listing under Bing Business Portal, but never completed the verification process, you will need to do so before your listing will appear to potential customers.
4.) Finally, remember customers have a lot of options when searching online. Put your best foot forward by uploading detailed information about your business e.g. days and hours of operation, payments accepted, parking information and pictures to engage those customers.
Just use the same username/password to access your existing information at http://bing.com/places.
Also as part of our drive to simplify the experience we are retiring a few business promotion and management services that were being previously offered. Starting today we will no longer provide the option of creating deals, coupons, QR codes and mobile sites as well as removing the ability to create and print collateral for your business.
Finally, as we said at the outset – this is only the first step. Our goal is to make it easier to claim, enhance and promote businesses on Bing.
Stay tuned for exciting updates in the coming months.
- Ginny Sandhu, Senior Product Manager, Bing