As a webmaster it is becoming more and more important to stay in the loop. With all the Pandas, Penguins and other updates happening at a much faster pace, webmasters have to spend more time making sure their sites are within the search engine guidelines than before. While some may not depend that much on search engine traffic, others may receive 90% or more of their site's traffic from search engines such as Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo.
Webmaster Tools have become an important source of information in recent years, and while they are not providing you with all the information that you may need, they often can be used to analyze and optimize websites.
Google Webmaster Tools is without doubt the most prominent service that webmasters can make use of. Webmasters can add websites to the service to receive statistics, health related information and optimization tips from Google.
The Bing Webmaster Tools work in a similar fashion. A Windows Live ID is required to sign up for the service, after which one or multiple websites can be added on the dashboard. Each site needs to be verified before data is displayed.
To add a new website to Bing Webmaster Tools you log in to the service first before you add a new website to the form on the service's front page.
If it is the first website that is added to Bing it is necessary to fill out a form with business related information. The form otherwise is much shorter and only asks you to enter a link pointing to a sitemap url and select a time of the day that is the busiest for the site. Both information are completely optional.
A click on the Add button adds the new website to the frontpage's site listing. You will receive a notification there that ownership needs to be verified before you can access the data that Bing has collected and analyzed. A click on the Verify Now button displays the three verification options on the next page. You can verify the website by
Probably the easiest option for most webmasters is to upload the authentication file to the web server. You can then click on the verify button after you have completed one of the three options. If everything worked out, the site has been verified and is from that moment on fully accessible in the Bing Webmaster Tools. Keep in mind though that it may take some time before information are displayed in the admin dashboard.
I personally did not add all of my sites to Google or Bing Webmaster Tools. It does not really make sense to add smaller sites, especially if it is more of a hobbyist site than a site that you make money directly or indirectly with. For larger sites though, it does make sense to have them added to both services to make sure you do not miss any official notifications concerning those sites.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.