In the UK, it’s undoubtedly clear that Google is the dominant search engine with over 90% of the market share. Exactly how much search market share Google and Bing each have depends on where you’re getting the research from, but typically, it’s reported that Google has over 90% and Bing (combined with Yahoo which uses Bing) has around 6-8%, followed by Duck Duck Go with around 0.5-1% and then a few lesser-known names. Back in 2016, Bing was reporting a 20% market share of searches in the UK, but this figure was based on a lot of different sources and it had made partnerships with various businesses to white-label search and back then was the default search engine for queries through Siri. Nowadays, it powers Yahoo, and is also the default search engine in Windows 10 and Internet Explorer, unless of course, you change it. It feels less like a conscious consumer choice to use it, but it still gets millions of searches per day in the UK so it certainly isn’t worth ignoring from an SEO or PPC perspective.

What Is Bing Webmaster Tools

A familiar name isn’t it? You’d be right in guessing that it’s the Bing equivalent of Google’s Webmaster Tools which is now known as Google Search Console. Launched shortly after the Bing Search Engine, it allows a greater understanding of how your website is performing in organic search on the Bing engine. It’s definitely been a slow burner for improvement until very recently. In the past few months, Bing has been working on improving the overall look, feel and functionality of webmaster tools, and alongside that, launching new features, some of which Google Search Console doesn’t have. 

So what’s new?

Backlink Auditing

A feature that Google has, the ability to obtain a list of backlinks pointing to the website. However, Bing Backlinks has the ability to compare your website backlinks to any other domain by entering it on the similar sites section of the backlinks tool. 

bing webmaster tools backlink comparison

Keyword Research Tool

This is very similar to Google’s keyword research tool, although it does present data in a better way for organic research. Everything here is as you expect and a few extras. Choose a keyword and it will give you the following data back:

  • Impressions in the selected time frame (alternative to traditional search volume). 
  • Top countries for the chosen keyword. 
  • Related keywords.
  • Question keywords. 
  • Newly discovered related keywords. 
  • Top 10 ranking websites for the chosen keyword. 

That’s quite a broad set of data all accessible in single clicks. The breakdown of related/questions/newly discovered keywords is a nice addition to help formulate your content and pull in longtail traffic. You can also filter data by country, language and device, or any mixture of all three. 

Site Scan 

This is something I hadn’t expected to be launched – a full SEO site scanner which audits for issues on your website and then categorises the errors into 4 sections:

  • All issues. 
  • Errors. 
  • Warnings. 
  • Notices. 

Bing Webmaster Tools SEO Site Scan

With each crawl, the page limit is 10,000 so this is more than adequate for most websites. For websites bigger than this, you can filter and limit certain areas/parameters of URLs, exclude subdomains, include only a single directory, and more – it’s fairly comprehensive. 

This is definitely unique in the sense that Google doesn’t provide a scan tool in one place. You have tools such as lighthouse which will do some checks but one page at a time, and also some notifications for HTML improvements in Search Console, but it isn’t nearly as simple as setup, scan, and get actionable results relating more to onsite SEO optimisation rather than just page speed for example. 

Getting Your Website Setup On Bing Webmaster Tools

It’s clear to see that Bing is investing time in improving tools and engaging SEOs to use their software. One of the biggest hurdles you need to jump through especially if you work for an agency or you’re working with multiple websites in-house is getting all the websites verified in Bing Webmaster Tools. This is something that Bing has considered, and much like the Local Business Pages on Bing, they offer a one-click automatic verification of any website you have verified in Google Search Console. It really is that simple.  

Like all SEO tools, this isn’t a whole solution to anything, all of the tools are good, and they work well, but it’s certainly not a reason to move away from using existing tools. SEO relies heavily on having multiple datasets to ensure you’re capturing all of the issues and the opportunities whether you’re analysing backlinks, doing keyword research, or auditing websites for onsite or technical SEO issues.