It's been an interesting year in terms of search engine to webmaster communication. Both Google's Matt Cuts and his Bing counterpart Duane Forrester went away.
Matt announced that he was taking an extended leave, and then later extended that leave indefinitely. It remains to be seen whether or not we'll see him back at Google, and if so, in what capacity. He did share some thoughts on that recently.
Forrester was laid off at Microsoft, as so many others have been, but after a couple of months, he announced that he's returning to the company in pretty much the same role (via Search Engine Land). He writes on his personal blog:
You’re still going to see me blogging on the Webmaster Tools blog and I’ll be at the conferences as well. But as you’ve become accustomed to lately, you’ll also hear more voices than just mine in the mix. This means more and deeper insights from the various teams within Bing and part of my new role will be to keep this train charging down the tracks!
In the past I worked closely with the Webmaster team to help bring the tools and services you needed to market, and that work will continue as we move forward. Frankly, that group is so strong, there’s little need for my hands on the product directly, and for that I am grateful. The Engineering team that brought you our world-class Webmaster Tools has been running the show the entire time I’ve been away, so the Tools remain in excellent hands day-to-day.
I’m also going to be spending time working with folks on the API side of the house, seeking ways to grow engagement with our data-level opportunities for businesses. It’s no secret that the data-layer will continue to be one of the most important aspects of search moving forward. The trick is helping businesses understand how to access it and leverage it for their own success.
Last week, Bing launched some uddates for its iOS apps.