Microsoft Wields Updated Webmaster Tools

    August 7, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Microsoft’s Live Search behavior should yield more information to site publishers as the company took its Webmaster Tools out of beta and tweaked them with some new features.

Addressing the needs of webmasters, and doing it well, will contribute to the overall success of Microsoft’s desires for Internet profitability. The company wants to compete with Google on search advertising, no small challenge now that Google has Yahoo locked up with a deal to place ads on Yahoo Search.

Things can change, and they do so by being responsive to the needs of one’s customers. Microsoft recognized its need to reach webmasters with tools that make working with Microsoft’s Live Search a better prospect.

It’s taken Microsoft some time to ramp up and chase after Google, which published its Webmaster Central some time ago. Google tends to update that service regularly, and Microsoft followed suit with updates to its version of webmaster assistance.

Microsoft’s Webmaster Tools present ways for people to reach out for more traffic and analyze it once they have arrived. An update noted on the Live Search Webmaster Center blog showed it leaving beta, bringing along some updated tools as well.

Webmasters need to know how well Live Search crawls their site. Microsoft hopes to shed some light on this by presenting “crawl issues” encountered during the spidering process. The feature shows which of four types of issues the Live Search crawler encountered:

  • File Not Found (404)

  • Blocked by REP
  • Long Dynamic URLs
  • Unsupported Content-Types

As grizzled webmasters can see, Microsoft is just starting to catch up with Google in this regard.

Microsoft also said they enhanced the tool that gives details on the backlink data for sites. A limited look at that information during the beta period for Webmaster Tools expanded to show more data about those backlinks.

Additional tweaks gave webmasters more options to filter data, and a download option to pull that data to the desktop in comma-delimited (CSV) format. It’s a small step for Microsoft, one that the corporate masters overseeing the effort need to watch closely and ensure it receives continual updating to satisfy webmasters who are used to what Google provides.