Microsoft bing

How to use Microsoft Bing site explorer for SEO


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

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

You can filter all your URLs just like a file explorer, including:

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

This tool, which is not yet offered by other major engines, allows webmasters to crawl 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 that offered a subset of Site Explorer data and functionality.

However, Index Explorer had two flaws:

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  • As the tool was built by geeks for geeks, it has become 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.
  • Slow and sometimes expired for large websites. When it was first developed many years ago, it was not intended to accommodate large websites with thousands of pages.

When we decided to update Bing’s webmaster tools, we knew from listening to feedback and talking with webmasters that significant investment was needed to improve Index Explorer.

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

Thus, the new Bing Webmaster Tools is based on key principles of:

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

Key Site Explorer Improvements

The new site explorer features these key improvements:

Access to all URLs crawled and indexed by Microsoft Bing

Site Explorer provides a view of the trillions of URLs discovered and billions of URLs crawled daily by Microsoft Bing.

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

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

Lightning fast, even for large websites

We’ve completely redesigned the main database and web interface to keep the site explorer lighting fast for any site, even extra-large websites like facebook.com.

You can load and explore your sites, folders, URLs, usually in less than a second, including for sites with millions of subdomains, millions of URLs per folder.

Just keep scrolling to see more, you might drain your mouse battery or your browser resources before you get to the end of very large folders.

Your entire site is instantly accessible in its entirety. Many webmasters from large sites and domains have told us that this is the only way they have to navigate their entire site on such a scale.

SEO problems are easier to find

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

Site Explorer has a responsive design, performs well on mobile, and offers more filtering options that provide quick and intuitive access to key SEO information.

Site Explorer: An Overview

Bing Site Explorer - SEO explore your site

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

Site explorer - Tools menu for Bing webmasters

We believe Site Explorer will be a useful tool for the SEO community in exploring and optimizing websites – and the widespread use of this tool since its release confirms this.

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When you open Site Explorer, by default, it instantly displays folders and URLs based on the number of clicks each received from Microsoft Bing search results in the past six months.

Site Explorer also gives webmasters options for sorting folders and URLs:

  • By impressions in Microsoft Bing search results.
  • In alphabetical order.

Site Explorer gives you access to relevant crawl information by folder based on recent crawls of your site, as well as the number of clicks, impressions and backlinks.

To follow:

  • Indexed URLs.
  • URL with crawling errors.
  • URL with warnings.
  • Excluded URLs.

Bing Site Explorer - Sorting links

Webmasters can also:

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

The tool not only offers the ability to “crawl SEO” of all indexed URLs, but also to filter URLs by type that webmasters should investigate, for example:

  • URLs having crawling problems due to server errors.
  • URLs not indexed on the redirect tag.
  • URLs not indexed due to canonical tag source.
  • URL that does not meet Microsoft Bing guidelines for webmasters.
  • Etc.

Bing Site Explorer - Filtering Capabilities

Thus, Site Explorer is a complete SEO solution to check the SEO status and health of your sites and URLs.

Use the site explorer to optimize your site

Examine and optimize URLs already indexed

Keep in mind that when you open Site Explorer, the tool lists already indexed folders and URLs by default, starting with those with the most clicks.

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

If you do, consider improving your web pages to drive more benefits to your site.

Otherwise, consider excluding these URLs from search engines or redirecting them where appropriate.

Do you get a lot of impressions but a limited number of clicks?

If so, then consider:

Are your URLs not generating enough clicks?

Inspect these pages through our URL Inspection Tool.

Here we provide SEO comments on your URLs.

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

Examine URLs that are not indexed and index them appropriately

Open Site Explorer and filter by unindexed URLs (that is, URLs with the noindex tag or URLs with crawling issues).

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Check if these URLs need to be indexed.

Use the Bing URL Inspection Tool to see index status and markup information for each URL, including its live mode so you can test your changes without having to wait for the crawler Bing.

You’ll also see URL crawling issues and SEO errors, if any.

Examine all URLs

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

Do you really need that many URLs?

Less is more for SEO!

You could benefit by exposing less unnecessary URLs to search engine bots and less content by diluting URLs and clicks.

Make sure you optimize your content and avoid duplicates by consolidating pages where appropriate.

Takeaway meals

We released the Site Explorer tool in beta to collect feedback and improve it even further to help SEO professionals explore and further optimize your websites for search.

Please share your comments on Twitter or LinkedIn.

More resources:

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Image credits

Featured and in-post images: Microsoft Bing