Using Microsoft Bing Site Explorer for SEO

Last month, the Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools team released Site Explorer.

This new powerful SEO tool gives webmasters a unique view of how Microsoft Bing sees your website.

You can filter all of your URLs just like you would in File Explorer, including:

  • Indexed URLs.
  • URLs that redirect.
  • URLs blocked by robots.txt.

With this tool, which is not yet offered by other major search engines, webmasters can explore and optimize their websites for all search engines.

From Index Explorer to Site Explorer

The previous version of Bing Webmaster Tools included a tool called Index Explorer, which provided a subset of Site Explorer data and functionality.

Bing Index Explorer

However, the Index Explorer had two shortcomings:

  • Since the tool was developed by geeks for geeks, it got too complex for most SEO professionals. There were a lot of options and filters that didn’t help them understand and prioritize their SEO tasks.
  • Slowly and occasionally expired for large websites. When it was first developed many years ago, it wasn’t intended for large websites with thousands of pages.

When we decided to upgrade Bing Webmaster Tools, we knew from feedback and speaking with webmasters that it would take a significant investment to improve Index Explorer.

We also had to provide a useful SEO experience for webmasters.

Therefore, the new Bing Webmaster Tools are based on the following basic principles:

  • A cleaner, more responsive design.
  • A faster portal with more usable data.

Major improvements to Site Explorer

The new Site Explorer offers the following major improvements:

Access to all URLs crawled and indexed by Microsoft Bing

Site Explorer provides an overview of the trillions of URLs discovered and the billions of URLs that Microsoft Bing crawls every day.

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We no longer limit the number of URLs webmasters can see per site.

This means that webmasters for large sites like facebook.com can now access billions of URLs processed by Microsoft Bing.

Lightning fast even for large websites

We completely redesigned the backend datastore and web interface to keep the Site Explorer lighting fast for any site, even for oversized sites like facebook.com.

You can typically load and search your websites, folders, and URLs in less than a second, including websites with millions of subdomains and millions of URLs per folder.

Just keep scrolling to see more. You may be draining your mouse battery or browsing resources before you reach the end of particularly large folders.

Your entire website is fully available immediately. Many webmasters of large websites and domains have told us that this is the only way to navigate their entire website to such an extent.

SEO problems are easier to find

The tool experience is now more user-friendly and intuitive for SEO.

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Site Explorer is nicely designed, works well on mobile devices, and has more filtering options that give you quick and intuitive access to key SEO insights.

Site Explorer: An Overview

Bing Site Explorer - SEO explore your website

When you open Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools, Site Explorer appears as the fourth item in the navigation.

Site Explorer - Bing Webmaster Tools menu

We believe that Site Explorer will be a useful tool for the SEO community to explore and optimize websites – and the wide use of this tool since its release confirms this.

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By default, when you open Site Explorer, it displays folders and URLs based on the number of clicks received from Microsoft Bing search results in the last six months.

Site Explorer also provides webmasters with options for sorting folders and URLs:

  • Through impressions in Microsoft Bing search results.
  • In alphabetic order.

With the Site Explorer you have access to relevant crawling information per folder from the last crawls of your site as well as to the number of clicks, impressions and backlinks.

Keep an eye:

  • Indexed URLs.
  • URLs with crawl errors.
  • URLs with warnings.
  • Excluded URLs.

Bing Site Explorer - Sort Links

Webmasters can also:

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  • Check URLs for indexing issues and SEO analysis.
  • Test any URL with the robots.txt test tool.

Not only does the tool provide the ability to “SEO-explore” all indexed URLs, it also provides the ability to filter URLs by type that webmasters should investigate, such as:

  • URLs with crawling problems due to server errors.
  • URLs that are not indexed for the redirect tag.
  • URLs not indexed due to canonical tag source.
  • URLs that do not conform to Microsoft Bing Webmaster Guidelines.
  • Etc.

Bing Site Explorer - filtering capabilities

Thus, Site Explorer is a complete SEO solution for checking the SEO status and health of your websites and URLs.

Use Site Explorer to optimize your site

Check and optimize already indexed URLs

Keep in mind that when you open Site Explorer, the tool will, by default, list folders and URLs that are already indexed, starting with the ones with the most to the fewest clicks.

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Do you expect a certain number of clicks per folder and URL?

When you do this, you should improve your web pages to get more benefits on your website.

If not, you should exclude these URLs from search engines or redirect them if necessary.

Are you getting a lot of impressions but only a limited number of clicks?

If so, then consider:

Not getting enough clicks on your URLs?

Check these pages through our URL inspection tool.

Here we give SEO feedback on your URLs.

Also, read the Microsoft Bing Webmaster Guidelines to better understand how Bing finds, indexes, and rates websites.

Review unindexed URLs and index them as appropriate

Open Site Explorer and filter for unindexed URLs (i.e. URLs with the noindex tag or URLs with crawling problems).

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Check to see if these urls should be indexed.

Use the Bing URL Inspection Tool to determine the index status and markup information of each URL, including live mode, which allows you to test your changes without waiting for the Bing crawler.

You will also see the URL crawling problems and possibly SEO errors.

Check all urls

Open the Site Explorer and filter for all URLs (first menu).

Do you really need that many urls?

Less is more for SEO!

You can benefit from making fewer useless URLs available to search engine crawlers and less duplicate content to dilute URLs and clicks.

Make sure to optimize your content and avoid duplication by consolidating the pages if necessary.

Take that away

We released the Site Explorer tool in beta to collect feedback and make it even better so that SEO pros can further explore and optimize your websites for search.

Please share your feedback on Twitter or LinkedIn.

More resources:

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Photo credit

Selected & In-Post Images: Microsoft Bing

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