Even though Google is arguably on top in terms of Webmaster tools, you can’t discount Bing. It’s the second most popular search engine now and plenty of people use it. The good thing is that you can apply tips from both Google and Bing to your Web site to make your site the most SEO-friendly Web site there is. Today’s tip comes from Bing on how to remove duplicate links from a Web crawler’s path.
The Bing team makes the claim that the Internet is infinite. While we know that the Internet is not literally infinite, new URLs are found everyday. A lot of these URLs are duplicates that make the finding of new relevant content a challenge since Bing has to sift through these relatively useless links.
One solution that Web sites implement to guide search engines around these useless links are canonical tags. Bing says that these tags are not the best solution by using an example that says canonical source URLs only waste crawling bandwidth. If you use canonical tags on your Web site, you’re essentially setting up your Web site to not be crawled for its most important content.
A much better solution according to Bing is to use URL Normalization. By using this tool, you can set up parameters that tell Bing not to crawl certain parts of your Web site. This will make it so that Bing will only target the important parts of your site that you want people to see during search. You can also implement URL Normalization right now from within the Bing Webmaster Tools so Webmasters don’t have to wait for their IT guys to fix the canonical tags.
Of course, you might be a Webmaster who doesn’t understand this kind of stuff. Bing has you covered there as well. Once you log-in to the Bing Webmaster Tools, you can set up URL Normalization with a few clicks. Bing will automatically detect the most common duplicates on your site and you just have to let it do its thing. Easy as pie and you get the added benefit of Bing only crawling the important stuff.