Microsoft is rolling out an update to Bing Webmaster Tools’ sitemap reporting capabilities.
This update is designed to provide you with a deeper understanding of how Bing indexes your sites.
From the Bing Webmaster Tools team, Saral Nigam explains how to leverage this report to address website indexing issues and ensure comprehensive and relevant sitemaps.
New Features in Bing Webmaster Tools Sitemap
The new features in Bing’s Sitemap Index Coverage Report offer various benefits.
One of these is a page displaying all submitted and organically discovered sitemaps for a site, complete with submission dates, status reports, last crawl dates, and a count of URLs found.
Additionally, the page provides a link to Index Coverage when data is available and an option to resubmit sitemaps.
Nigam states in the announcement:
“We try to download valid and relevant sitemaps at least once a day, unless your lastmod indicates that your sitemaps have not changed.”
Per each sitemap index file, Bing lists all included sitemaps and any problems detected.
A new feature offers a detailed breakdown of the indexing status for URLs, focusing on those indexed and those that need attention.
Utilizing New Sitemap Features For Improved Index Coverage
The enhanced sitemap feature in Bing Webmaster Tools can aid in improving a site’s index coverage.
The process begins with ensuring Bing knows all pertinent sitemaps associated with a website.
If any relevant sitemaps are missing, they should be submitted to Bing, referenced in the robots.txt file, or included in a sitemap index file cited in the robots.txt file.
The next step involves identifying and rectifying issues with sitemaps. For instance, if Bing cannot crawl a sitemap, ensure that no settings in the robots.txt file block Bing Bot’s crawl.
It’s also essential to organize individual sitemaps, keeping the number of URLs per sitemap below 50,000 and each sitemap file size under 50 MB for optimal discovery.
Lastly, the new indexing report can help identify why specific URLs listed in sitemaps are not indexed, focusing on URLs that require attention.
Benefiting from the Sitemap Index Coverage Report
The Sitemap Index Coverage report details the number of pages from your sitemaps that Bing has indexed, those it has excluded from indexing, and the reasons for their exclusion.
You can see sample URLs, the last crawl date, index status, and exclusion reason by clicking on each category.
The report summarizes the sitemap’s index coverage, including the total number of pages indexed and not indexed and a breakdown of the exclusion reasons.
Nigam suggests utilizing the following strategy:
“Consider removing unnecessary or outdated URLs from your sitemaps. Optimal sitemaps should list only all relevant valid URLs from your websites and should be refreshed at least once a day.”
Lastly, the data can be exported as a CSV file for further analysis or action.
Using the updated Sitemap Index Coverage Report in Bing Webmaster Tools ensures sitemaps are accurate, current, and relevant for Bing’s crawler.
This can help improve site visibility in Bing’s search results and enhance user experience for visitors.
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