Let’s first talk about the problem. Many website owners are finding that some of their pages aren’t being indexed in Bing and aren’t sure how to figure out why that is. Previously, this wasn’t a high priority for site owners, as Bing controlled a relatively small percent of the market. Now that Yahoo! is also being powered by Bing search results however, Bing now commands at least a quarter of the search market and is simply too big to ignore.
Before we look at some solutions, I’d like to first mention that being indexed in any search engine is not an overnight activity and does take some time. For Bing specifically, many have expressed that it can take as little as a week all the way up to 3 months to be indexed, but the times for each site will vary. The speed at which a site is indexed will depend on several factors including the authority of the site, the freshness and uniqueness of content, and so on.
The first action I’d recommend for site owners with this issue is to check to see if your site employs SEO best practices for being indexed, which will apply to both Bing and Google. Is your site easy to navigate through? If it takes more than 3-4 clicks from the homepage to get to any other page on the site, not only will users have a harder time finding it, but spiders will too and these pages won’t be indexed if they can’t be found.
Does your site have quality inbound links pointing from other sites? Not only do inbound links help boost your site’s popularity in search engines, but they will also help spiders crawl from these exterior pages to your site. Additionally, by targeting some of the deeper pages on your site with these inbound links, you can help spiders come to these interior pages and continue to crawl into deeper content.
Another important question…does your site contain quality, unique content? A good site will contain pages with relevant and unique content which helps encourage spiders to continue crawling. If spiders come across pages with duplicate no content, they may decide that your site is no longer valuable and stop crawling it.
Finally does your page load fast enough or does it seem to take forever to load? Just as a user would probably leave a site that takes forever to load, so will spiders since they have billions of other pages to index.
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Now that we’ve addressed the indexing best practices just mentioned, let’s talk about another solution that can help if you find that your pages still aren’t being indexed. Bing has recently released an updated Webmaster Tools section, which can help you further troubleshoot your site and find problem pages that are being prevented from being indexed. The first step you’ll need to take is to verify that you are the site owner in Bing Webmaster Tools, and this can be done by placing a small script on your site so Bing can verify that it is indeed yours. Once verified, there are several useful tools you can now use to further analyze your site.
The first tool I’d recommend checking out is the “Submit URL” tool. Bing has this useful feature which will allow you to submit up to 10 pages per day, or up to 50 per month, to be indexed by Bing. The benefit of using this tool is that you can submit pages that may not have otherwise been found right away by the Bingbot and it indexes the pages fairly quickly.
Another step to take would be submitting an XML sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools, so they have a list of all your important pages. This will help them detect deeper pages on your site that may be important for you to have in the index, but might not be easy to find by the spiders through your site’s navigation.
Finally, there is even a section that will help you detect crawl errors on your site, which is extremely helpful in determining why some of your pages still aren’t being indexed. This section can point out what pages currently have issues and what those issues are, which may include content labeled SPAM by Bing, malware on a page, or even a broken URL on the site.
Well, that’s all for today and I hope that some of these suggestions will help those of you who are having problems getting your pages indexed in Bing. If your site continues to experience issues being indexed in either Bing or Google, please contact us to learn more about our Advanced SEO service and request an Advanced SEO Audit for your site.
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