Bing has made great efforts in recent months to improve their webmaster tools. The most prominent feature updates happened when the company removed the need for Silverlight and streamlined their entire interface. However, Bing Webmaster Tools is continuing on its path of improvement. A recent set of feature updates adds sitemap file type options, expands the navigation, adds a notification option, and adds support for additional languages.
Previously, the sitemap upload tool on the site only allowed for the .XML file type. The new version allows for RSS, Atom, and TXT sitemaps as well. Both Atom 0.3 and 1.0 are supported. Bing has also promised “further expansion of this list of files types in the future.”
The expanded navigation for the site takes the form of a second bar that gives additional options relevant to your top level of navigation. For example, visiting the “Index” tab will provide index-related options that were previously accessible through less visible navigation.
Users can now access notification options in their Preferences menu. Notification can be sent for items such as crawl errors on the site, suspected malware, updates to the Bing Webmaster Tools, and more. Choosing which specific types of notifications you want to receive, however, is not possible. Users must opt in or out of all BWT messages.
And last, but certainly not least, Bing has expanded BWT to support 34 languages, including Italian, Japanese, Arabic, Polish, Spanish, German, Hindi, and Portugese.
Bing’s webmaster tools have more features promised on the horizon as well. It’s clear that Bing is ready to step up its game and compete with the webmaster and analytics tools provided by competitor Google. With Bing’s popularity rising, especially when Yahoo! figures are also tabulated in, the timing is ideal for improving webmaster-oriented extras.
[Sources include: the Bing Blog]