At SMX Advanced last month, Microsoft announced that Bing would redesign its Webmaster Tools this summer. The new version is now available.
Bing Webmaster Tools Senior Product Manager Anthony M. Garcia summarizes the changes:
The redesigned Bing Webmaster Tools provide you a simplified, more intuitive experience focused on three key areas: crawl, index and traffic. New features, such as Index Explorer and Submit URLs, provide a more comprehensive view as well as better control over how Bing crawls and indexes your sites. Index Explorer gives you unprecedented access to browse through the Bing index in order to verify which of your directories and pages have been included. Submit URLs gives you the ability to signal which URLs Bing should add to the index. Other new features include: Crawl Issues to view details on redirects, malware, and exclusions encountered while crawling sites; and Block URLs to prevent specific URLs from appearing in Bing search engine results pages. In addition, the new tools take advantage of Microsoft Silverlight 4 to deliver rich charting functionality that will help you quickly analyze up to six months of crawling, indexing, and traffic data. That means more transparency and more control to help you make decisions, which optimize your sites for Bing.
WebProNews also spoke with Bing's Eric Gilmore about the changes at SMX Advanced:
Users of Bing Webmaster Tools will find their accounts have been automatically upgraded with the new features. The company says it intends to release many more features in the coming months.
The new Bing Webmaster Tools comes just as Yahoo has begun testing Microsoft-powered results in its own search results. Bing's tools stand to become more important to SEO as Microsoft takes over Yahoo, who expects to show all Microsoft-powered results in the U.S. and Canada by August or September.