Microsoft upgrades Bing webmaster tools

Webmasters can now control how quickly the Bing crawler indexes a site at different times of the day

Microsoft has improved the tools it provides for webmasters to track their sites' visibility on Bing search engine results, so that they can make any necessary adjustments to improve how Bing crawls their content and ranks their pages.

Among the new features are the capability to control how quickly the Bing crawler indexes a site at different times of the day, which lets webmasters slow down the crawling activity at peak traffic hours, so that Bing doesn't put additional stress on the Web servers. This can be set by adjusting the crawl rates on a graph, Bing said on Wednesday.

Microsoft also did a "complete rewrite" of Index Explorer, a tool that shows webmasters how Bing has indexed their sites, by refreshing its data more quickly, improving its performance and making it more extensible, the company said.

In addition, webmasters can now allow other colleagues to access their site's Bing Webmaster Tools account, and assign them different privileges, such as read-only, read-write and full administrator access.

Microsoft is also beefing up its webmaster documentation, posting "detailed" self-help guides and how-to documents, the company said.

The Bing Webmaster Tools are designed to let webmasters do SEO (search engine optimization) by tracking how Bing crawls and indexes their sites, and by monitoring the rate at which end users click through to their pages from Bing results for different query terms.

Google also offers webmasters similar tools, and Tuesday it announced it has started integrating that SEO data within its Analytics application, which tracks users' activities within a site.

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