Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools are the cornerstone tools that the engines provide for webmasters. Do they seek to help SEOs or simply make the waters more murky? What features can SEOs best leverage for SEO and is the new kid on the block, Bing, kicking Google Search Console’s butt or simply gaining ground?

Catch up on our latest webinar where Dixon Jones and a panel of experts answer these questions and more!

Your Panelists

Fabrice Canel, Prinicpal Program Manager at Bing.

David Iwanow, Search @ Danone Specialized Nutrition.

Kristine Schachinger, Digital Strategist & SEO Consultant.

Transcript

Dixon Jones

Hi guys and welcome to another edition of Old Guard vs New Blood.

This time we’re going to change things around a bit rather than go from old people and young people, we have got the old guard of Google and Google Search Console and we’ve got the new blood of Microsoft and Webmaster Tools.

We got David in here, David Iwanow, who’s going to carry the banner for Yandex and I’ll carry the banner for Majestic.

So we’ve got some fantastic panelists in here, and just before I ask you to introduce yourself I want to say thanks to Majestic for sponsoring the event, without them these things couldn’t possibly work. If you haven’t tried Majestic recently they’ve come out with a whole load of new stuff including a brand new dashboard of their own, which is not quite like the Search Console dashboard, but go and have a look at the campaign dashboards now and a lot of new tools and new features.

So why don’t you introduce yourselves, so Fabrice why don’t you go first?

Fabrice Canel

I’m Fabrice Canel and I am the lead for the web data platform at Bing. This is the team that is discovering the Internet content, selecting the best content on the Internet, fetching it via BingBot and processing the Internet content.

And as part of my responsibility I’ve got also a Bing Webmaster Tool, so this means that at the end of the day if your site is missing from Bing, that’s my responsibility you can send me an email to understand why the site is missing and obviously my mailbox cannot scale so we have Bing Webmaster Tool and support to help you first.

Dixon Jones

Honestly I think that we’re very lucky to have you on Fabrice so it’s great to have somebody so core to Search Console.

Kristine why don’t you say a little bit about yourself?

Kristine Schachinger

I’ve got 20 years web experience, 15 years SEO, I do a variety of SEO practices, but right now primarily site health audits and court recoveries updates. I do Technical SEO, Forensic SEO and then when a good project comes along I do full website strategy and everything, and then I also do accessibility.

Dixon Jones

I’ve seen you talking at conferences and things as well so you kind of get around as well so thank you very much for coming on Kristine, it’s really good to have you.

David tell us about yourself.

David Iwanow

Hi I’m David and I’ve been doing SEO now for 13 years. I’m based in Haarlem but I’m from Australia. I’m the global search and traffic manager for Danone within a specialised nutrition division, so medical and baby foods.

Dixon Jones

Cool – so and where are you there? I mean obviously that’s probably a Zoom background but you’re you’re in Holland or somewhere around there?

David Iwanow

Yeah in Haarlem, so about 15 minutes away from Amsterdam towards the beach, a nice little country town where everyone says hello to you. Nice, friendly, good place to visit!

Dixon Jones

So today we’re going to be talking about Google’s Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools and David if you want to throw in some stuff about Yandex there as well and Majestic does have also the ability to connect your websites as well and that will bring in Google search data and things (and I’m sure we should probably be bringing in Bing Webmaster Tools data as well).

But for SEOs using these tools as part of your audit, as part of your SEO, as part of your world, then what one thing do you think is a tool within either Google Search Console or Webmaster Tools or Yandex that you like and that you like use a lot? and I’m going to start with Kristine.

Kristine Schachinger

In core updates specifically, because core updates are technical quality and queries, I check queries a lot in Search Console because you know we don’t get keyword data anymore generally speaking. but I can find not only when queries have shifted, so with the way Google’s processing language now sometimes google will decide a category is more specific to the page so some like doing nightshade vegetables which is a really high traffic keyword and it shifted into nightshade vegetable list which made it a very low traffic keyword so they could write new content to the more general term.

But also one site they went down 90% on a core update and found that all the queries that dropped were in two folders on the site, which indicated to me to check those folders and those folders had redirect loops on them and then they also had a very slow page speed we fixed those two things and they got their entire site back on the next core update.

So it’s a very good investigative tool with the queries because it can really show you where the problem is.

Dixon Jones

That’s great, David you want to go for something

David Iwanow

I think for me it’s more of an overall trend. So you’ve got people like Avinash who are very, very smart people. They talk about don’t panic and look on things day by day, looking at trends over time. So typically I’m sucking out a lot of my data of Search Console, I’m pushing to BigQuery so I can look at things on a greater scale with millions and millions of keywords, but I typically look at trends so if keywords are up and down three percent, five percent then I don’t care.

In the grand scheme of things three or five percent over a couple of days is not going to make a difference to the business, but if there’s a general trend? that’s when you start looking into as, Kristine said, are there particular folders which have sort of fallen in favor? Maybe it’s because they actually deleted that content and forgot to redirect it.

So yeah, typically I’ll look at what’s the trend happening or maybe look at some of the particular pages or URLs or sections of the website that have shifted significantly, but it’s one of those things I always get frustrated with us as an industry when there’s a core algorithm update people start screaming! Just wait a week. There’s no point doing your analysis before you’ve actually got proper data in your Search Console or Analytics. It is the one thing that makes me extremely frustrated when people say “we’ve seen this algorithm update anyone’s seen any impact yet?” you still don’t have the data. Just sit back, chill, and then see what the trend is because we’ve often seen some timelines we have two or three sites in the market where the traffic will shift from one side to the other, that’s fine we’re still catching that click.

Dixon Jones

So Fabrice does the data update any faster in Webmaster Tools than it does in Google Search Console as far as you’re aware?

Fabrice Canal

it’s good question – I think we are at parity – I mean it may take a few hours to a few days depending on the data stream. This is a lot of data obviously to move around and a lot of subsystems and so to aggregate and to service data may take some time

Dixon Jones

Okay and what’s your favorite part of Webmaster Tools?

Fabrice Canal

So obviously there is a new release of Bing Webmaster Tools and we just refreshed completely the tool and modern ux, mobile friendly, and especially focusing on the usability for the tool. This is less a tool for geeks, this is more a tool for everybody, but especially focusing on the navigation and the user experience to really highlight the top problems on your site. For example, we went from 47 navigation items to only 12/15 navigation items that is guiding to broader tool that is surfacing the issues.

As part of this we’re really focusing on getting the content indexed, this is step number one, this is what we really focus on. Okay you have a website you can really help us to discover the content, to fetch the content, and to get the content indexed. The tool is having the most used address days is the url submission where people can submit url via the web interface for sure but most people are adopting the api that is allowing them to publish, add, update or delete content and tell us when the content has been changed on your site helping us to send the crawler to visit this content and to get the latest content, and I think it’s very important this day to streamline this to minimize the crawler load on the website and to get this kind of fresh copy of the internet.

Dixon Jones

And you get to submit 10,000 urls a day into Webmaster Tools right?

Fabrice Canal

We have to have a way to kind of adjust based what we think about the site, the number of url submitted, if you have a very new site we do not allow 10,000 url because this is opening the door for spammer to submit urls. But if then based on various criteria, some are listed in Bing Webmaster Tool help and blog post, then yes we will increase the number of url to 10,000 and often far more than that.

Dixon Jones

Okay and guys for the Majestic people if you want to figure out how many pages you can submit to majestic.com go and have a look at the comparison there.

Okay so there’s some interesting things that I find very useful with both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Firstly, I have to say connecting up Bing Webmaster Tools is so easy if you’re already on Google Search Console it’s about five clicks and that’s it – you’ve got all of your Google Search Console sites in in Bing Webmaster Tools, so good job there.

I have to say thank you for not making me log in through the Microsoft login so that was also pretty cool, but one thing that I found was really interesting just looking over them in the last couple of days is I looked at four different sites that are on both systems and on all of them one thing that I thought was interesting was that the average click-through rate on Bing was higher on all four of this of these sites!

So my question to Kristine and David, because Fabrice will be biased on this answer, is if that transcends across other sites as well, and it’s not just the ones I’m looking at? If the click-through rate is continually better on Bing than on Google Search Console does that say something good about Bing as a search engine?

Kristine Schachinger

Well it’s always been that way since it started basically, and the problem is the level of traffic.

Dixon Jones

I think we can agree the level of traffic is significantly less, but if the click-through rate is consistently better and if we believe the both the metrics because they may be coming from different they might be counting apples and oranges. But if the Click-through rate is consistently better on Bing then doesn’t that say something for Bing as a search engine and then I guess what the logical question from that is why isn’t the market share on Bing growing at a rate if there’s a fundamental improvement on the search?

Kristine Schachinger

I’m sorry I don’t know that this is true just from an outsider so if Fabrice can confirm or deny or not say anything, I don’t believe for a number of years that Microsoft is really that interested in Bing as being a player in the search market, and it seems like recently they’ve invested in people like Fabrice coming to conferences, and talking to us, and reaching out to SEOs and feels like in the last maybe four or five years they’ve started to really reassert that, and I could be wrong, it just felt like that and Google’s irrelevance now when it comes to search queries that aren’t micro-moments/micro-data it’s really an opportunity I think for Bing to make a play into the market because I have to refine queries over and over and over again these days to get anything in Google on informational search and I don’t have to do that on Bing – it’s much better return so uh so we’ll see if that makes a difference. The problem is people are so hardwired into Google being the search engine that I know it’s a hard thing to overcome but I know that they’ve made significant improvements in the market in the last few years.

Dixon Jones

Yeah – David I don’t know if you think anything different?

David Iwanow

I think the thing it comes down to again the market share, so I think Bing Ads may have a greater reach than Bing the search engine or Microsoft ads or whatever we want to call it. But I think all these types of things also don’t help when you’re trying to gain traction when the platforms are renamed every couple of years. I think generally when trying to get consumer adoption that doesn’t help. I mean I try to set Bing as my default browser but it’s the case it doesn’t always present the results I expect, so I do try to use it more because obviously I try to sort of practice what I preach, but in most of our markets Bing’s not really significant. I think outside the UK and the US it’s marginal, like if you’ve got markets like Australia or in Asia where it’s 98/99% Google, even if I capture 100 of that one or two percent or 10 percent it still doesn’t equate.

I think that sometimes it comes down to the same thing, like DuckDuckGo, I think it’s the fact if you optimize your site for Google, you have as little errors as possible, little redirects, less issues and you have an xml sitemap, then I think you’ll capture a chunk of Bing traffic by default, and I think that we just kind of just accept that we’re going to get traffic if we’ve optimized for Google.

Dixon Jones

Yeah I guess my question is that the click-through should be volume independent if you like, so I was wondering about whether there was an improvement in the quality demonstrated there.

Fabrice, is it true that you’re counting stuff from different perspectives anyway because your different systems (Google and Bing are different systems) so do you think that click-through rate difference is genuine or do you think that it’s apples and pears?

Fabrice Canal

I do believe this is genuine. This is not only what we report but it’s also what webmasters that are having a deep system to understand where the traffic is coming from, the data funnel, understand that this is coming from “Bing”.

And I said Bing with double quote because one challenge that we have, let’s say versus Google, is Google is really ‘one’ versus our ‘many’. By this I mean it’s Bing, but it’s also Yahoo, it’s also Ecosia, it’s also plenty of search engines that are leveraging the Bing technology to power their search engine.

So when in bing.com we report today on Bing and Yahoo, we do not report yet on all subsystem that are powered by Bing and so Bing is often what we say is greater than you think, because yes it’s Bing it’s also plenty of other things that is powering their social experience.

Dixon Jones

Okay, so I want to talk about the link stuff both on Google and Bing, but I’ve got a bunch of questions that have come in so I’m going to jump into one.

“I have a desktop version and a mobile version of a website with separate urls. The desktop is declared as the canonical, but with the emphasis on mobile is it time to change the canonical to mobile?”

What I hear is you’ve got two different versions of your urls and definitely I would say that the golden standard is being able to have the same url for your mobile version and for your desktop version. If you can’t do that, well certainly Bing Webmaster Tools will tell you about which crawler they’re using to crawl your website right now, so I would say have a look at that and the second that it’s crawling your mobile version or it thinks it’s crawling your mobile version then that’s the time to canonical everything to mobile.

Kristine? David? How do you feel about someone with a desktop and mobile versions for a website with separate urls?

David Iwanow

just move to responsive. Just pull the band-aid off. I mean the whole thing of maintaining two platforms and then trying to find a technical way… you can kind of do it, but it has to stop. I mean the other thing is, particularly in Google’s perspective, they’ll just force you across, so potentially mobile will become your default version.

But you’ll also have to look at what’s the functionality? So your mobile site often won’t have the same functionality as the desktop site, so you need to make sure there’s some type of feature parity.

But if it’s a simple CMS then just force it across. You can do very simple hacks to make your website actually responsive, so you can do some work within the CSS so it doesn’t have to be a perfectly responsive site, but you can do some quick hacks into it. You just need to move to a single platform. You can’t afford to keep running too, it’s just not cost effective and it’s going to make your tracking and your analytics analysis impossible.

Kristine Schachinger

I agree 100% with David. That was actually what I was going to say – move to responsive. I coded websites for years so I know that that’s a big task, but you really need to do that.

Also Google came out, and I don’t remember how long ago, but they did say that you needed to be responsive, and I talked to John about this when responsive and mobile first came out and he said that having the separate url can actually confuse Google – so you really just need to get on one url and make a responsive site out of it.

Dixon Jones

I suspect that this is not what they want to hear.

Fabrice Canal

it’s 100% this. Obviously one url is always better. Less is more.

Less url is more for your site, more links, more impressions, more things, this is you get all the benefit on the single url so you can do responsive or you can do dynamic serving where you detect the user agent and return different content. Both are really prepared by being but also Google they said that on their website or their communication and we are completely in sync with them, do not multiply the number of urls on the internet. It’s hard to fetch. This is creating global warming, stop multiplying the number of urls on the internet please!

David Iwanow

On the click-through rate stuff, so I’ve integrated the Bing webmaster stuff, some of the data is still processing but picking one site at random Google click-through rates 4.8 percent and Bing it’s 5.19.

Dixon Jones

I’m seeing an uplift on Bing, not as big yours is, a smaller uplift I would say but then again you’ve got a better click-through rate.

David Iwanow

The average position of 6 is a lot better on Bing, the average position is 23 on Google, which I guess will make a difference.

I think Bing is less aggressive when it comes to showing Bing owned properties and ads, so I think that’s probably why a lot of people see a difference, you know Bing is not as aggressive on the monetization and showing their own properties.

Kristine Schachinger

True, and just to note, like I said, it’s been that way for a really long time. I’ve worked with very large sites and sites, going back as far as I can remember since Bing has been in the market have always done better on click-through rate, not every single site but generally speaking with Bing. And so, you know then it’s like whoa, so why not optimize for Bing and it’s like, well because you won’t get the traffic, unfortunately. And if you optimize, like David said for Google, then you pick up the traffic, which is important because if Bing made its own algorithms that weren’t like Google, nobody would optimize for Bing, makes sense. So just the traffic difference is like 10 on one site and like you know 60 on the site I’m working on right now between the two.

Dixon Jones

Sure, I think you do have to you’re going to have to go for Google first for quite some time I think. Okay, so Cash asks an interesting question – “Google search console includes traffic from Google, or does it include search traffic from other search engines as well?” And I think the answer to that mate is just Google, Google Search Console is only showing you Google data, and Bing is only showing you Bing data, oh plus Yahoo, sorry. And the second one is – “how often is the backlink info in Search Console updated?” I don’t know how often it’s updated in Google. Does anyone know?

David Iwanow

It almost seems to be random, I mean, we’ve tried a monitor in the past, and we’ve seen no updates for a week, and we’ve seen no updates for a month on some other sites. I mean, obviously Majestic updates every day.

Dixon Jones

Every day on Majestic. Thank you very much for pointing that out, David. I was going to jump in. And how often does Bing update its backlink data?

Fabrice Canal

This is daily.

Dixon Jones

Oh, fantastic! Okay, so therein lies your answer, we don’t really know about Search Console, but we know that Bing and Majestic update daily so, that’s cool.

Right, talking about links because obviously, we got a lot of audience from Majestic, so links is a big thing. “How good do you think the Google Search Console backlink data is? And Kristine and David have you played with the new backlink data in Bing Webmaster tools?”

Kristine Schachinger

I haven’t just because I’m doing a lot of recoveries right now. Most sites don’t use Bing Webmaster tools.

Dixon Jones

And you don’t really worry about backlinks, well, maybe you do if it’s a backlink penalty.

Kristine Schachinger

Well yeah, I don’t usually. Backlinks are something I check if I really need to or if I am doing a site health audit, which is different than a recovery audit. It has helped me locate issues, like when someone was attacking the site with negative SEO with backlinks. But primarily, I tend to use tools for backlink data, and I import that information, but I only use it for indicators as opposed to real data.

Dixon Jones

So for the audience, the most important thing to know about Bing Webmaster tools is that unlike Google, which will just show you your own backlinks, it’ll also show you similar sites’ backlinks so you can compare two or three. How many sites? Three, four?

Fabrice Canal

We suggest some sites but you can pick up any site.

Dixon Jones

I am, however, really upset that they’ve allowed you to show any site because that’s trying to compete on Majestic’s territory. Now, Fabrice, how do you feel about this?

Fabrice Canal

So this is something that we were doing years ago, there was ‘line:’ operator at Bing that was offering the ability to list URLs on the SERP, and it was so much requested by webmasters that we wanted to further back this ability to display links. Plus, as you said, for negative SEO there is always the ability to review what is linked to your site, but also some competitor site. This is a tool, this is obviously not Majestic, this is a limited set of features versus what Majestic is offering today. 

Dixon Jones

It’s alright, I am not worried because, I think, that the limitation of link information in Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools is that there is no information surrounding the links. You know, you’ve got a list of links but no real concept of their relative value or even their relative context.  So I’m not too worried about the competition from there but I found it really interesting to see that Bing was now introducing competitors, the opportunity to put competitors in there and, as you say, you can actually put any website in there and find some backlink information.

David Iwanow

Dixon, an interesting thing on that, so as another platform out there – Yandex. They have the recent links discovered, so that’s kind of similar to Majestic, I guess, your new Fresh links. So I do like some of those types of features where you, as a webmaster you get some general feedback of your links that you’ve acquired when they’ve been kind of discovered.  I do like some of that kind of feedback, obviously, it’s probably prone to, you know, being abused maybe by aggressive SEOs, but I do like the general idea of it giving you some general feedback of which links it’s discovered, which will likely influence your rank.

Dixon Jones

So on that, David, I mean you’re probably the only one amongst the four of us that are using Yandex. So firstly, John says: Doesn’t Yandex just provide results to Russian speakers? No, it’s in English, isn’t it? I’m sure it’s in English.

David Iwanow

Yeah, it used to be a lot bigger in markets like Turkey, Belarus. It’s much bigger than platforms like DuckDuckGo for sure.

Dixon Jones

“How useful is the Yandex Search Console is? Are there things in there that we don’t see in Bing Search Console?”

David Iwanow

Yeah, I mean, I think so. Yandex probably sits somewhere between sort of, I guess, Bing and Google in terms of functionality. When it comes to an interface, I think that they put a lot more time into it, you know it’s nice color-coded for you, things that have been discovered or removed. I like that type of aspect, so you’ve got a very much kind of visual feedback. It’s got nice crawl statistics, the latest 10 changes, so it gives that kind of similarity which you get with a platform like Content King or Deepcrawl. It gives you a running report of how it’s discovering your site, how it’s finding issues, how frequently it’s finding issues. So I think those types of things are useful for webmasters because if you’re a proactive webmaster logging into your console every day, you should see some new information. After all, if you start seeing the same stuff each day, you lose interest in logging in every day. So I like the idea of giving you all teasers each day. And, I think, their search query stats and their grouping, and their classification is far more advanced than any of the other platforms by far. And the really cool thing was, two things, one is that you can drill down to a region or city level so again, you can see those people in Birmingham what are they actually looking for, and the other thing is they have a lot of pre-built reports. So you know what are all the URLs or pages first position, what are the ones between two and three, what are the ones between four and ten. So again, they’ve pre-built some of those reports for you, so you don’t have to manually recreate them each time you want to do some analysis.

Dixon Jones

That’s kind of interesting it sounds like that granularity is definitely something the other tools don’t seem to have. Maybe they’re doing in Google Analytics but not in the Search Console. Just one thing on links in Google Search console, it looks like they’re going exactly the opposite direction to Bing on that one because the only links’ data in Search Console now is the legacy stuff. Unless I’m wrong, there isn’t any new link information, so it would appear that they’re eventually going to drop the link information altogether. They’ve probably got upset about too many people being, you know, paranoid, over-obsessed on links in Google, and they’re just trying to hide it from the likes of you and me. So anyway, what about things like other tools? Sorry to cut you out a little bit now, Fabrice. Google also has the Search Console Discover if you’re lucky enough, not everyone’s got Discover results coming in. Where are those results coming from, guys? And is it worth trying to SEO optimize and try and get more Discover traffic coming into your website?

Kristine Schachinger

I’ve recently been looking at this for a client. The only information I can find so far on Discover optimization is just a site that they trust, and so I do know with the site that I’m working with they have a manual action and a core update issue, and as they got those, their Discover traffic went way down. It’s almost nothing and now, that those are lifting their Discover traffic’s coming back, so I think there’s probably an indication that trust is a factor in the Discover. You know, trust and authority, just like core updates, are core ranking factors. So you know, it’s making sure you have a site easy to crawl and index, and you have good links and good content, and all those normal things.

Dixon Jones

And is that Discover traffic coming from Google Android mobile phones? I’m not an Android user, so?

Kristine Schachinger

Well, here’s the interesting thing if you add Google Analytics to this real quick if you look at Google Analytics, you can’t actually tell where Discover traffic comes from, if it’s coming from the app because it goes to direct so you’ll get big spikes in because this is a new site, so they’ll get big spikes in direct results. I did some research – the Google app doesn’t show there, so it doesn’t have a special indicator in Google Analytics, their feed does but not the app itself. So yeah, discover traffic’s interesting especially, for publishers because it’s really helpful for them to see what’s trending in Discover, but there doesn’t seem to be a real optimization because it’s highly personalized, and I believe it’s run majority by AI and search results are not.

Dixon Jones

Okay, David, anything you want to add in there?

David Iwanow

I’ve tried to look into the discover stuff, you know, I’ve taken the URLs, I’ve scraped the social shares, I’ve scraped the Majestic data, and nothing really seems to stand out. I’ve worked with a lot of classified websites, so they’ll get a big spike in a particular listing all of a sudden, but there doesn’t always seem to be a strong correlation with anything else. It’s heavily personalized, so if you look at Google Discover on your device, the level of personalization is insane, so the chance you’re going to have a significant influence on that is fairly low. Obviously, if there’s a group of similar people which are sharing the same type of content on social media, there seems to be some general kind of trend but in terms of tracking analytics, we have a lot of backchannel discussions on this type of stuff, and the data doesn’t always match up. Sometimes higher than what you see in Discover, sometimes lower – if you can actually track the URL, and then there are random things.

So, I run a little travel site – it’s pretty bad, feel free to judge me – but there’s an article from 2019 that started trending on Discover and no real reason that you know, there’s no massive change. I checked google trends, I checked all the other things there’s no news or announcement about this particular destination but I started getting a spike and discover traffic.  So again, you know, it’s not always linked to that you’ve published something interesting today, and you also notice more and more. I was looking at Discover today. I’m seeing articles from eight months ago saying: “hey did you miss this” so I think Google is also trying to shift Discover to be content, which, I think, is relevant rather than it’s just breaking news all the time.

Dixon Jones

Okay, so I mean for me, I think that Discover is very closely related to entities and knowledge graphs but I’ll save that for another day.

Fabrice, I mean, you guys, do you have anything equivalent to Discover traffic?

Fabrice Canal

We do, we have in various place personalized listing, but this is in the Bing mobile app or MSN and other places where you can see links, that as you said, powered by what we have the matching of the customer and the intent of a customer. I mean, if you want to know more about Majestic, yeah, we may surface links about Majestic. For that, we are matching your profile and your preferences. From the SEO standpoint, at the end of the day, it’s all this data built by Bing, by my team, I mean, we are a backbone – we collect the internet content, we process it, we understand it, we tag it. And the feed like for Google is powered by the same team, which is the search engine team that is powering these experiences. So, really, for the SEO, what matters for this experience is the publication date. So, the publication date and the last updated time should be discoverable easily on your pages via clear text or clear meta tags. 

Why this is important? Because, obviously, we don’t want to surface all the time legacy content, so we want to surface the latest content. As you said with your example a few weeks ago, “did you miss that?” We do the same. And it is important to really timestamp the content to really understand when to surface things. The second thing is, obviously, schema. The schema helps in tagging the content – is it a recipe content, or is it something else? So all this kind of meta information that is added to the content help disambiguating the content we publish as part of this Bing Webmaster. New Webmaster guidelines are putting a lot of emphasis on HTML5 tags. A lot of them are helping to understand the structure of the content what is the, what we call the main body, the primary content of a page, to help us remove the ads, text, navigation item to really understand the deep content. All of this help Bing, but also over search engines to really deeply understand your content. Date, time, schema all of this help the algorithms to retrieve the best content matching your profile.

Dixon Jones

If you are saying that you can put a meta tag in there with a time on it, firstly what meta tag would you use? And secondly, isn’t that inviting some scurrilous people, of which I know there’s none around here, that might just decide that every day they’re going to update their content a new timestamp basically?

Fabrice Canal

Yeah, we are able to see, to detect that the time of the day is. We don’t care about what is the time of the day when we fetch the page, what we know, we understand that the content update is meaningful or not meaningful versus the last time we called it, and so, I do believe that we look at a variety of tags. We didn’t ever communicate on one specific tag, but this is Google, I think, and Bing on specific tags, so I would not recommend one specific tag because there is a variety of tags you can put that in HTTP header, you can put that in the body, but in the end, what is the best is – put it in the content. Whatever you put in metatags, the font is not accurate, you may forget about it, this is fixed, this is part of a template you may make mistakes. And as you said, this is what will happen with these tags is often they will be on January 1st. This will be the new year, and you will update the copyright here at the bottom of the page and will generate everything that will be new on January 1st. We see this all the time, okay, so it’s preferable really to put it as part of the text.

Dixon Jones

Okay, fair enough. So, I mean, in Search Console, there’s a lot of stuff coming in there about schema and things. Google is really pushing through schema testing tools and things, and I think in Search Console, well, unfortunately, they’re retiring the structured data testing tool, which I think is annoying SEOs a lot and bringing the rich snippets instead. But two questions – firstly, do you guys, “David and Kristine, do you like the stuff in Google Search console the schema testing stuff in there? And then Fabrice – it doesn’t seem there’s an awful lot of schema testing within the webmaster tools, is that coming online in the future?”

So, Kristine or David, do you want to go first?

Kristine Schachinger

You know, the schema testing in there, I generally use crawl tools to tell me the scheme on the site, so I don’t usually do a lot with except to look for errors in the schema testing because it’s just not that robust like it used to be. The other thing too, just to emphasize on schema because Google doesn’t understand language as you and I speak it. The schema is its interpreter to help it contextualize language, so anyone who’s not doing it really should make sure to add it to the site along with the tool that you have, but I’m not sure if I am supposed to mention that. But it is incredibly important if you’re not doing it you need to make sure to do it because it is how Google can contextualize language what’s in a section of the site.

Dixon Jones

David, do you use Schema tool?

David Iwanow

I mean, I’ve played with it in the past, but the big issue I had is whenever we use the old Google schema validator, it would validate something we would launch it, and it would come back with errors, so I gave up trust in it. So, when they said they’re going to retire it, yeah, it sucks, but it was failing me most of the time when I need it. So, there are a lot of tools out there that actually can validate schema a lot better.  One quick thing, back to the Yandex thing – trends of similar sites over time.  So similar to the backlink data that Bing surfaces. I think these are the types of really cool things which, I guess you know, you only get from maybe commercial tools like SEMrush. So I think those types of things I would love to see in Bing.

Dixon Jones

Probably over time. Well, they have got in the, if you have a look at the suggested, what is it? The suggested keywords in Bing they’ve got.

David Iwanow

Yeah, but the problem is, I’m looking at the keyword research, and sorry this is a dig at Bing, that’s wrong, I’m ranking for that keyword that’s saying I’m going to get, you know, 800 impressions. This keyword research says I’m getting 600 impressions for that keyword.

Fabrice Canal

David, follow up with me. I want to understand this problem.

Dixon Jones

I saw one – a keyword suggestion where I was already, I assume, ranking number one for that phrase maybe, I’m not. I should go and check. Anyway, any plans to start looking at putting schema into webmaster tools?

Fabrice Canal

We do have that, and we will expand in this area as part of the URL inspection. We have a new URL inspection you can see it in the left nav at the bottom. This is in beta for now, and we will expand this area. So, you have a URL inspection – it’s a way to learn, to investigate when you have the time. Instead of having a zillion tools, we want to combine this into this tool. To tell you more about this tool versus some other competitor. We believe that we provide a lot of clarity about your content, an example we may tell you about your site if we are able to index the content, then we will provide information about the schema that we can extract from the content, and we use – what you say, David – we use the same production code that is used by the main system, meaning that whatever issues are detected in Bing master tool will be the same whatever is happening in production.

The second thing is that we are also able to provide clarity on kind of how are you matching the guidelines or not, I mean, are you a spam site or not. And so we tell the story there because else you don’t know if a site is not indexed due to crawling issue we are not able to fetch it, or you are not matching the guidelines, and so we kind of remove the site. So we provide this clarity, we have an inspection about what the site, what this URL is all about, and we will continue to provide a lot of clarity, including on schema information about as we do today but extended in the future far more on schema.

Dixon Jones

Fantastic! Okay guys, we’re pretty much out of time already, so that always seems to be the way. Hopefully, plenty of viewers still got to the end of the presentation. If you haven’t used the Google Search Console’s integration in Majestic, please do connect your websites up there.

A message from David to panellists: David’s putting some stuff in the URL inspection tool and Bing extracts markups such as JSON and open graph micro formats, so, yeah, all the three that you want really.

Guys, why don’t I just leave you by saying, give a sort of how do people come in contact with you and where they can find you if they want to get in touch with.

Fabrice Canal

You can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn. Don’t send me an email in my mailbox this is a disaster.

Dixon Jones

What’s your Twitter handle, Fabrice?

Fabrice Canal

@facan f-a-c-a-n

So this is good, I think at the end is again, as you said Kristine, we are coming to conferences we have a good story to tell. These days we see Bing market share growing year over year, month over month. So, you will see us certainly more active because we do believe that this is the time to really look at Bing. After all, there is a good value proposition, more users coming to Bing and we do believe that the investment that is co-existing done not only for Bing webmaster tool but all the backend systems, and everything will help customers. We will satisfy even more customers via Bing, we don’t care so much about Google, we care about first satisfying or customers and even more moving forward. So, I think this is a good trend, again, more for Vermont we are winning on market share and they say: we are pleased to work for this team and to continue pushing to satisfy the customer.

Dixon Jones

Fantastic! Kristine, how do they get in contact with you?

Kristine Schachinger

Sure, just one thing with Bing, we’d really love Google to have a competitor, so that would be awesome.

Fabrice Canal

We love the competition! In the end, it says a great thing to really think through the real problems to not sleep on the kind of “okay, we are a good no, no we are not good” we do believe that search engine is really at the preschool age versus what search gene will be in 20 years from today. There is a lot of AI, machine learning craziness thing that is happening, and we do see a trend, if we look back five years ago, search engines were completely dumb. The same thing will happen in the next five years.

Dixon Jones

It’s my new book “The Artificial Intelligence a Modern Approach”

Kristine Schachinger

So, and the reason I say that is, I think every company is better when they have competitors. Competition makes people, companies do better things.

And then for me, the best way to reach me is on LinkedIn. I have put my full name on here because no one will remember how to spell it, but I am the only me on the internet, so it’s really hard to miss me. There is no other Kristine Schachinger with a K that shows up at least in the first like 20 pages at Google.

Dixon Jones

Yeah, yeah, or just putting Kristine with a K with SEO, and you’ll probably find it.

Kristine Schachinger

Yeah, I mean, if I did something wrong, I’d have to make another me to hide me because of some problems.

David Iwanow

I got very active on Twitter, but I took a break for maybe a couple of weeks or so because of the dumpster fire linked to the anti-vaxxers, the US election, and the anti-mask people. So yeah, usually I’m on Twitter reach out to me there.

Dixon Jones

But you needed some air. What’s your handle on Twitter?

David Iwanow

My full name – David Iwanow.

Dixon Jones

Guys, thank you very, very much. Thanks, again, to Majestic for putting it on for us. I’m gonna end the webinar now, and just so you know, it cuts you all off, so you know, there’s not much I can do about that Zoom hasn’t figured out how to deal with that. So, see everybody next time. Thank you very much, guys. Bye-bye!

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Comments

  • David Iwanow

    That was a good session and great to see all the progress Bing is making to help webmasters I think Google has fallen behind Bing & Yandex in this toolset for now…

    September 18, 2020 at 2:37 pm

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