Back in June, Bing made some important changes to their Webmaster Tools platform. They finally caught up to Google in terms of providing a comprehensive resource for developers and search marketers to utilize. Given that these changes have been out for over a month now, this is old news. However, Bing is often overlooked or at the bottom of the priority list for many site owners and SEMs.
Time and time again I’ve heard ‘focus on Google and the rest will follow’. This approach can sometimes backfire given that they are still different engines. Unique issues can pop up and if you’re too narrowly focused on tracking Google, they might not ever be identified.
One reason to ensure you are submitting your XML sitemap to Bing is that the engine has a harder time following links than Google. So if Bing isn’t finding your pages by following links from other sites, it’s possible that pages (especially deep pages) within the site might not be getting indexed.
With that said however, I’m not sure Bing really adds value beyond what Google Webmaster Tools already does. These improvements have enabled Bing to simply catch up to Google in terms of the types of resources available to webmasters. It’s a step in the right direction and the interface is very user friendly, maybe even more so than Google, if I dare say. But I would love to see some differentiation surrounding available reports from Bing.
Have you submitted your sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools yet? Would love to hear your thoughts on how valuable you think this is.