Bing & Yahoo Soon To Support Canonical Tag

More than a year since the three major search engines united to announce the canonical tag, neither Bing nor Yahoo formally support it. But that could be changing soon. Speaking during the "Ask the Search Engines" session at SMX West on Thursday, reps from both search engines said they're in the process of supporting rel=canonical right now. Bing's Sasi Parthasarathy told attendees that canonical tag support should be in place by the end of March or early April. Arnab Bhattacharjee of Yahoo said they're currently rolling out support of the tag, but cautioned that Yahoo will only use it " [...]


Bing Updates Webmaster FAQs

Bing has updated their Webmaster FAQs document. The new PDF download it 28 pages long, 82 questions and answers deep and broken out in 12 categories. The questions and answers are all hyperlinked within the FAQs PDF document. PDF does add a level of readability but why not publish them as a web document as well? In any event, print them out and read them when you have some downtime. There are often nice little gems in these FAQs for webmasters to pick up on. [...]


Some SEO Advice For Bill Gates

What do you get for Bill Gates, the richest person in the world? How about a little free SEO advice for his new blog? It could use some. Bill, I went looking for your blog today on Google. Sorry, like many people, I have a habit of using that search engine first. What did I find for bill gates blog? Good, you're there in the top 10 results, listed fourth. And your official page at Microsoft shows at number one. But your blog could be so much better. Look at all those fake parody blogs! One of them is out ranking you. Some simply seem real because they have titles that actually say "B [...]


7 Ways To Conquer Natural Search When Google & Bing Face Off In 2010

When it comes to search marketing, the Big Three is about to become the Big Two. The deal heard round the world this past July comes to fruition in 2010—and the much-anticipated partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo! will have significant implications for search engine optimization. Paid search will no doubt face its share of opportunities and challenges, yet I suspect the crux of the one-on-one match-up between Google and Bing will lean toward the algorithmic side.  In the months following the announcement there’s been no shortage of uncertainty around what exactly the partn [...]


Bing Admits MSNbot Is Slow

Via Search Engine Roundtable comes news of refreshing candor from a Bing employee about the performance of Bing's crawler, which is still referred to as MSNbot. The admission happened yesterday in the Bing Webmaster Center forums, when Brett Yount, a program manager for Bing, replied to a question about why Bing has only indexed one page from a sitemap that was submitted six weeks ago. (In case the image is difficult to read, Brett Yount's statement is: "It is well known in the industry that MSNbot is fairly slow. I suggest reading our FAQs stickied at the top of the indexing forum to g [...]


Bing Still Working On Canonical Tag Support, Suggests Other Ways To Manage Duplicate Content

While Google has recently announced its support of the canonical tag across different domains, Bing says it's still working on supporting the canonical tag on a single domain, and suggests webmasters should rely on other means to manage duplicate content. The rel="canonical" link element was introduced earlier this year as a way for webmasters to define the canonical version of a page within a single domain. A Bing spokesperson says their "plan is to have this supported in the next several months," and that they also plan to support cross-domain canonical tags, too: "Based on how we are [...]


Does Bing Have What It Takes To Flaunt Video Search Results?

Now that Bing is officially a major player, it's time to ask some important questions. Are Bing video search results delivering a winning performance? Does Bing match searcher queries with relevant results? For advertisers, what is needed from an optimization standpoint to make your video standout among a search crowd? Let’s use the popular music group "Black Eyed Peas" as an example. After conducting a series of different searches with the band name being the basis of the query I observed the following: Query 1: black eyed peas. Images of the band were among the top positions, while t [...]


Sorry, Yahoo, You DO Index The Meta Keywords Tag

Oh, that this weren't true. Last week, Yahoo made news by disclosing that it had quietly dropped support for the meta keywords tag. As a long time hater of that tag and the insane questions it has produced, I was thrilled! But today, I see conclusively that Yahoo still supports the tag. The test was simple. I placed a unique word in the meta keywords tag on the home page of Search Engine Land. This word -- xcvteuflsowkldlslkslklsk -- generated no results on Yahoo when I looked earlier this week. Today, when I searched, it brought back the Search Engine Land home page. Thus, Yahoo indeed ind [...]


How To Ask A Google Engineer For SEO Help

Search conferences are an excellent opportunity to connect personally with representatives from Google, as well as Yahoo and Bing, for advice and assistance with SEO issues. With our SMX East search engine marketing conference starting tomorrow in New York, I thought it was a good time to list my personal thoughts on the right and wrong way to approach them. I'm not a search engine representative, but I know a number of them and have talked with many about the interactions they have with people at conferences in the 10 years I've been programming such shows. I think my tips will help, [...]


Video Interview With Bing’s Webmaster Team

Rand from SEOmoz posted a 17 minute interview with the Bing webmaster team from Microsoft. In the interview he talks with Eric, Rajesh, and Alessandro from Bing about topics including market share, the Yahoo deal, SEO for Bing, Bing webmaster tools, and the Bing IIS Toolkit. Here is the video: SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday - Interview: The Bing Team from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo. [...]


Bing Continues With Fake Referrers: What Part Of Stop Don’t They Understand?

For over two years now, Microsoft's search engine has been generating fake information that can make site owners think they're getting strange search traffic (including porn traffic), when they are not. It's time for this to come to an end. The culprit? Microsoft's "crawler," the software that visits web pages across the web that go into the search engine. The crawler is known as MSNBot, from the days when the recently renamed Bing search engine was known as MSN Search. When that crawler gathers a web page, it sometimes leaves behind "referrer" information in a web site's logs -- fake refer [...]


Bing To Ramp Up MSNBot 2′s Workload

Microsoft announced that MSNBot 2, which is currently in beta, may be ramped up a lot more and webmasters might begin to notice the new bot in their log files. The new bot has been out there since December 2008, and the useragent is just about the same as the original bot. New Bot: msnbot/2.0b (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm) Current Bot: msnbot/1.1 (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm) MSNBot 1.1 was released in February 2008, promising a more "efficient crawl." MSNBot 2 is also promising an even more efficient crawl. Microsoft warns: We are busy working on our improved craw [...]


How Live Search Penalties Work

The Live Search blog posted a comprehensive guide on how to determine if your site is penalized in Live Search and if so, what actions you can take to remedy the issue. I'll highlight some of the key points in this excellent blog post. Microsoft said, "most webmasters who get penalized know why it happened." First confirm your site is penalized by validating your site at Live Search Webmaster Tools and then clicking on the Summary tool and then the Site status section. Blocked "Yes" means you are penalized. Figure out what you did wrong by using the various tools to see your crawl issue [...]


Live Search Discusses Good & Bad Links

Jeremiah Andrick from the Microsoft Live Search team has written a detailed blog post named Getting the right kind of links. In this blog post, Jeremiah explains the issues Microsoft sees with link exchanges and then gives tips on how to get "the right kind of links." Those tips include to be the "subject matter expert" in your field, give stuff away as a "free service," work closely with "industry or professional associations" to get links from their pages, and leverage Social Media. If you are in a linking drought, check out that post and also read through our past link week column. [...]


Has Microsoft Live Search Detected Malware On Your Site?

Recently, Microsoft Live Search added malware warnings to their search results. If a searcher clicks a result that Microsoft has detected contains malware, a popup warns then not to proceed to the site. As Matt noted yesterday, Google and Yahoo! also provide malware warnings to searchers. How can you find out if Microsoft has flagged your site for malware and how can you let them know you've fixed the problem? As part of this update, Microsoft Live Search also launched an update to their Webmaster Center that added alerts about malware. You can generate a report of all pages on your site t [...]


What Is Search Engine Spam? The Video Edition

Search engines tell marketers not to spam them. Many search marketers also advise newcomers not to spam. Spamming issues get debated online. But what is search engine spam? What's it look like? How's it smell? And why do search engines (not to mention users) hate it? At our recent SMX East search marketing conference, representatives from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo tackled the topic. Below you can learn more about search spam, as well as reinclusion tips for each search engine. I've divided the formal presentations into three parts posted via YouTube, so that you can watch what each parti [...]


Google & Microsoft Share Advice For Webmasters, SEOs

The ever-helpful teams writing for Google's Webmaster Central blog and Microsoft Live Search's Webmaster Center blog have published a variety of videos and presentations this week in the name of helping webmasters and search engine optimizers. On the Live Search blog, Nathan Buggia recaps his SMX East presentation on Webmaster Guidelines, shares the slides from his talk, and expands on topics such as paid links, cloaking, and website penalties. He shares some detail on how Live Search handles paid links: Essentially we look at each link individually to understand the degree to which the si [...]


Live Search Is Updating, Expect Ranking Changes

Live Search September 2008 Update Underway from the Search Engine Roundtable reports discussion at WebmasterWorld that Live Search is undergoing a major index and ranking update. The Live Search results seem to have changed, and webmasters and SEOs are taking notice. I personally noticed referral increases and drops from Live Search on some of the sites I monitor. The update seemed to have started at about 9:30am (EST) yesterday, but we currently do not have any official word from Microsoft on this update. [...]


iProspect: Blended Search Resulting In More Clicks On News, Images, And Video

Since the advent of "blended" or "universal search" last year across the major engines, there's been ongoing discussion and speculation about its impact on user behavior and search marketing. Gord Hotchkiss last year wrote extensively about how blended search (on Google) has in fact shifted the user focus from the so-called "golden triangle" at the upper left of the page to a more distributed pattern that resembles an "E." Now search marketing firm iProspect has released a study (conducted by JupiterResearch) that shows users are responding to the various specialized content types within sear [...]


MSNbot 1.1: Live Search Implements A More Efficient Crawl

Today, Microsoft announced changes to their Live Search crawler intended to reduce bandwidth resources during the crawl of a site. MSNbot (upgraded to version 1.1) now supports both HTTP compression and conditional get. The post on the Live Search Webmaster Center blog describes each feature in detail and includes links to tools you can use to check your server for support of these features. HTTP compression enables search engine crawlers (and browsers) to compress files before downloading them. Conditional get lets the crawler ask a server if the page has been changed since the last request [...]


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