RubyApps Insights: Bing Webmaster Tools

RubyApps Insights interviews Scott Rubenstein, Partner and Director of Client Services, and Mason Jagel, Client Experience Team Lead, on the topic of Bing Webmaster Tools.

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Episode Transcription

Alexander Kotler: (music playing) Biff, bam, boom, but what about Bing? Google Webmasters tools is the industry standard for assessing the health of your website. And while its superior in many ways, it may behoove you to consider alternatives, like Bing. And that's what we'll be talking about today on RubyApps Insights Podcast. So rise and shine, and don't forget your booties, 'cause we're talking Bing Webmaster tools with Scott Rubenstein and Mason Jagel.

Scott? Scott Rubenstein? I thought that was you! How are you doing?

Scott Rubenstein: Thanks for watching

Alexander Kotler: Don't tell me you don't remember me. I sure as heck fire remember you.

Scott Rubenstein: Not a chance.

Alexander Kotler: Ned Ryerson. Needle nosed Ned. Ned the head. C'mon buddy. Case Western High?  I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show? Bing! Got the shingles real bad senior year, almost didn't graduate? Bing, again. I dated your sister Mary Pat til you told me not to anymore and then I had you and Mason Jagel, hello Mason, on the RubyApp Insights Podcast to talk about Bing Webmaster tools. Bing! I'm so excited. (laughs)

Scott Rubenstein: (laughs)

Alexander Kotler: Scott, Mason, welcome. Thanks for playing along. Groundhog Day is one of my all time favorite topics and Bing Webmaster tools, well it doesn't make the list, but we're going to talk about it anyway. Mason you recently wrote an article about the topic of Bing Webmaster tools.

So firstly, what is Bing?

Mason Jagel: Well, first of all, thanks for having me. Always a pleasure. Second trip here to the podcast room. Bing-

Alexander Kotler: This is Studio 55 so-

Mason Jagel: Studio 55, of course.

Alexander Kotler: Respect the environment, and the elevation of the prestige that comes along with Studio 55.

Mason Jagel: (laughs) Certainly. My apology. Bing is essentially Google, but it's Microsoft's version of Google. It's a search engine that a lot of people use.

Alexander Kotler: Really? A lot of people use it? I have barely heard of it. I knew that it was out there. I wouldn't have necessarily come to it, so who's using Bing, and what's important about it?

Mason Jagel: About 30 percent of Americans are using Bing. It's important because Bing is the default search engine on Windows based machines. Since Microsoft owns Windows and Bing, they want you to use their product as much as possible.

Alexander Kotler: So there's some built in incentive in there.

Mason Jagel: Yes.

Alexander Kotler: So, if you're a Microsoft customer they're going to naturally push you towards adopting Bing.

Mason Jagel: Yes, and when you boot up in an Explorer or Microsoft Edge, it will more than likely bring you to Bing automatically, unless you change the default settings.

Alexander Kotler: Hasn't Google defeated Bing? Is there any reason why anyone should consider using Bing?

Mason Jagel: Bing is fighting their way through Google's dominance for sure. They are now powering not only AOL, but Yahoo search engines. So anytime someone does a search on Yahoo, anytime someone does a search on AOL, they are actually using Bing without realizing it. If you look all the way at the bottom of the search results, you'll see powered by Bing.

Alexander Kotler: Powered by Bing.

so the context of our conversation is around Bing Webmaster tools. So Bing is the search engine, but we're actually approaching this conversation from the perspective of webmasters. So, just to get our ignorance out of the way, how might we describe a webmaster? And then lets begin to explore what these tools are.

Mason Jagel: Webmaster is a way for you to essentially control how your results either display or are read by the search engine itself, so Bing. Otherwise, its just automated and they do it automatically. They, as in Microsoft or Google. If they're not doing it properly, its not going to either show up higher in the search results, because they're reading it improperly and think it's not relevant to a search term. Or, I lost my train of thought.

Alexander Kotler: (laughing) Or I don't even remember what you were saying, so I can't even be like, "this is what you were saying."

Mason Jagel: So the question was, what's webmaster tools?

Alexander Kotler: Well, yeah okay, so we'll come back-

Scott, whenever I hear, whenever I hear webmaster,  I think of the movie Beastmaster. (laughs) it has absolutely nothing to do with one another, but I figured maybe you'd have something to say about Beastmaster.

Scott Rubenstein: The Beastmaster. Those are from the 80's.

Alexander Kotler: Yeah.

Scott Rubenstein: The Beastmaster. Well, I think it's, it's important because Microsoft realizes that there's money to be made in the search game. There's paid search, there's ad revenue. So they are doubling down on Bing. As Mason noted Windows 10 users when they make searches through Cortana, that send them to Edge or IE11, they're searching Bing. Bing is being used through Yahoo. Bing is also now working with Amazon Echo and other related smart devices, and they're trying to gain that revenue and take that market share away from Google for that reason. And so, Mason had noted that about a third of the U.S. searches, and this is Microsoft's, Microsoft's stat, are using Bing in the U.S.

Alexander Kotler: So are you saying it can't be trusted?

Scott Rubenstein: Well I'm just saying that Microsoft is the source of this information. Micro- and, and, it's also a quarter of the searches in the U.K. and all that information, what we can do is we can take that information and surmise some things out of it. I think most corporate users are on Microsoft Windows 10 and/or Edge, or IE11. And if you're doing searches from a business standpoint, you're doing them from those computers and there's a likely case that you're doing them with Bing. And so, the users of your websites are using Bing, then you want to have your website prepared, and you know, adjusted to work well with Bing search results, using Bing Webmaster tools.

Alexander Kotler: There is, for all of our listeners at home, a built in drinking game.

Mason Jagel: (laughs)

Alexander Kotler: You can sip coffee or hot tea as well for every time we say Bing you should take a sip

Mason Jagel: [crosstalk 00:06:59] Bing.

Alexander Kotler: Yeah. And it's a short podcast. So, you'll probably be full up pretty soon.

Nevertheless, the predominant player, Mason as you mentioned, is Google. So, thinking about someones role as a Google webmaster, what is important, knowing that there are a relatively significant number of users searching for whatever they're looking for via Bing, what needs to be factored into play and why should a webmaster consider some of Bing's tools within the webmaster tool kit?

Mason Jagel: It gives you more, as a webmaster, it gives you more control. As to how they're crawling the site. And the big player in that is the site map. Dot XML.

Alexander Kotler: Just want to say that was big and not Bing. So if you took a sip that was not related to the game. Sorry, continue.

Mason Jagel: (laughs) What the sitemap XML does is, it shows the structure of the site. If your site is structured in a certain way that Bing doesn't know how to read it, it's going to read it incorrectly. The sitemap tells Bing how to read the pages, the structure of the site, how things work on the site. So the relev-, the results that do come back are more relevant based on the people's searches.

Alexander Kotler: Is Bing a replacement, not necessarily from a search standpoint, but it is a preferred option for a webmaster, in terms of tools, versus Google's?

Mason Jagel: It shouldn't be viewed as one or the other. It should be viewed as something you do in tandem. Now yes you're going to receive a lot of traffic from Google, but you're also going to receive as sizable chunk from Bing's web traffic.

Scott Rubenstein: I think it's a smart move for Microsoft to place a big bet on Bing, and continue their efforts towards Bing. I think going to continue to do that. The focus on Bing search and specifically with Windows 10 and using their search on Windows 10 in collaboration with a bunch of their other moves towards their corporate buying audience. Which is you know Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as well as the recent purchase of LinkedIn. It all speaks to a larger sort of strategy around focusing on their corporate customers. And I think while Google services everybody and tries to be all things to all people, I think Microsoft is continuing to lay a heavy hand towards their corporate users and really focus on them. And I think that they're going to continue to do so.

Alexander Kotler: What are some key tools that a user of Bing webmaster tools might utilize?

Mason Jagel: It depends what you're looking for, but some of the highlight ones- I don't want to spend a half hour describing every single tool, but the highlight ones I'd say are SEO reports, where it lets you know if, you know, your page is missing an H1 tags or a meta description or things like that. Very crucial things in terms of SEO rankings. Not just for Bing but for Google. Inbound links, any websites that might be linking to your website. Bing provides a list of this based on whatever they crawl. And terms that people are searching that lead them to your website as well.

Alexander Kotler: Mason, Scott, any last thoughts on Bing Webmaster tools for either webmasters or for marketing technologists to be thinking about as they consider the origins of some of the visitors on their websites.

Mason Jagel: I think it's worth your attention to at least look into it a little bit. See what kind of traffic or where your traffic is coming from and, you know, give Bing a chance.

Alexander Kotler: Give Bing a chance.

Scott Rubenstein: Bing.

Alexander Kotler: Bing!

All right, well, we did have to record this for a second time. Which is very much in the (music playing) appropriate spirit of groundhog day, but both times it has been distinct pleasure to host Mason Jagel, Scott Rubenstein for the RubyApps Insights Podcast.

Scott Rubenstein: Thank you.

Mason Jagel: Thank you.

Voiceover: RubyApps Insights is recorded at Studio 55, and is hosted by Alexander Kotler.

For more insights and detail on RubyApps enterprise software developed by RubensteinTech visit Until next time, have an awesome every day.