A Closer Look at That Bing Toolbox
Back in June, Microsoft launched the Bing Toolbox. This is pretty much what you might consider a one-stop shop for Bing webmaster, developer, and advertiser resources. Microsoft described the Toolbox as an organized set of tools for the entire Bing community, and a one-stop portal to all of the services you need to drive traffic and increase engagement with your site and applications.
At the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose, there was a Bing Toolbox workshop that went through various tools offered in the Toolbox.
The "toolbox" section of the Toolbox features:
– Add a Site
– Submit Your Sitemap
– Get an AppID
– New Silverlight Tools
The Add a Site feature lets you submit your domain URL directly to Bing. The sitemap feature lets you submit a sitemap file via Bing’s Webmaster tools. The Get an AppID lets you get started with the Bing API, and the new Silverlight tools section takes you to where you can download the Silverlight software developer kit and manipulate search results with the click of a button.
Also in the Toolbox area are snippets from the Webmaster Blog and the Developer blog.
The "Developers" section of the Toolbox features:
– A whitepaper
– Access to the Bing Software developer Kit
– Bing Product Guidelines
– Libraries and apps for getting started with the API, the Bing Maps developer center, and Bing Translator
– Related resources for Silverlight SDK for Bing, PowerToys, and the Code for Green Contest
The "Webmasters" section of the Toolbox features:
– Bing product guidelines
– Site submission
– Sitemap submission
– Bing API Web Page Error Toolkit
– Malware detection
– SEO toolkit
– Related resources like the Bing whitepaper, Channel Bing video, and Webmaster help guidelines
The "Ads & Campaign Tools" section of the Toolbox features:
– Access to register for the Ads Pilot Program
– Access to adCenter
– Microsoft Advertising Intelligence tools
– Search advertising tools
– adCEnter adExcellence program
– Resource for all ad tools
Beyond these four main sections there are also navigational tabs for support and community, which can be used to connect with Bing and other Bing users. Community provides access to blogs, forums, media, and events, while support gives you access to FAQs, webmaster help, developer help, and Bing API documentation.
"Today search has become an integral part of our life. Search has become a platform," said Bing Principal Group Program Manager Rajesh Srivastava. "Bing Toolbox is a tool that helps you connect with search. What is Bing’s strategy? What are our goals for Bing? We have to deliver the best, most comprehensive experience for users. Bing is about delivering great results. We are also looking at organizing the results to enhance the search experience. If you are doing a search you have a decision making process in mind. Bing is all about making the user get to their decisions quicker!"
This was a sponsored session, in case you couldn’t gather that from such a quote, but Bing is still new to the search block, and webmasters still have questions. This is all the more reason to pay attention to what Microsoft’s doing, and the features they’re offering in this Toolbox.
On a related note, Bing says they have a "treasure trove" of data and are working to get that info to developers via the Bing API 2.0. They say they’re adding more and more pieces of data to the API that users can extract.