Google Webmaster Tools vs. Bing – Which is More Informative?

Recently, we covered all the new features that Bing has to offer for marketers, including Bing Webmaster Tools. For all of those who are already using Google Webmaster Tools, you might wonder if there is any need to try Bing out or not. So today, we’re going to look at some popular features that Google and Bing have to offer in their Webmaster Tools as well as which ones are the most valuable for marketers and website owners.

Dashboard

Whenever you log in to either Google or Bing Webmaster Tools, you will be greeted with some important stats about your website. Let’s take a look at what each choose to display.

Google

Google Webmaster Tools dashboard gives you the bare basics about your website as it appears in Google search including site errors, search queries, and URL’s indexed via your sitemaps. In addition, if you have any messages from Google about your website, including malware warnings or the dreaded unnatural links warning, they would show up here as well.

Bing

Bing Webmaster Tools, on the other hand, gives a wider range of information about your website as it appears in Bing search including everything from clicks from search to inbound link count.

Website Configuration

The website configuration section of both Google and Bing Webmaster Tools are similar – this area allows you to add sitemaps, ignore confusing URL parameters, review Sitelinks (also known as Deep Links in Bing), and add new users to your Webmaster Tools accounts. There are some differences in options between the two.

Google

Under Configuration > Settings in Google Webmaster Tools, you can give your website a specific location to target users in search which helps Google improve their geographic search queries. You can also tell Google that if it finds a link to www.yourdomain.com to treat it as a link to yourdomain.com or vice versa.

Bing

Bing has several additional options for your website’s settings in Bing search vs. what Google has to offer for your website’s settings in their search. For example, you can manually submit URLs, and block specific pages and/or directories on your website from appearing in Bing search. Google also allows you to remove URLs from their search, but it is under the Optimization section of their Webmaster Tools.

One major difference between the two Webmaster Tools is that Bing allows you to tell them to ignore incoming links to your website that might be unnatural or spammy. The ability to disavow links in Google Webmaster Tools would be huge – instead of having to ask link partners to remove your website’s link, you could just tell Google to ignore it! With Google’s crackdown on link spam, it seems like they should give webmasters this option to take preventative measures instead of having to wait for an unnatural link warning or Google slap.

Crawl Reports

Google and Bing both offer reports and analytics data that help you learn more about any issues the search engines have crawling your website. It’s also good to note that Bing’s reports include traffic data from both Bing and Yahoo.

Google

Under Health > Crawl Errors & Stats, you can see how the Googlebot crawls your website’s pages and lets you know about any errors it encounters. You will definitely want to take note of any URLs not found – these are URLs on your website that result in a 404 error. Not only is it bad for the Googlebot, it’s also bad for your visitors. Be sure to clear up as many of these as you can by creating redirects to the appropriate URLs or remove internal links as needed.

Bing

Under Reports & Data > Crawl Information, you can see if the Bingbot has encountered any errors on your website including possible malware (Google has a separate report for this under the Health section). One nice feature in Bing’s crawl report over Google’s is that it will show you the number of links to pages that have errors – this can help you determine which ones to fix first as they might be ones that actual visitors to your website are also encountering.

Search Queries

Curious about how your website ranks in search for particular keywords, number of impressions, and the click through rate for those keywords? Both Google and Bing Webmaster Tools will provide you with those queries – both reports can come in handy to fill the gap since Google introduced the (not provided) keyword in Google Analytics.

Google

Under Traffic > Search Queries, you can see the keywords that led to the most impressions of your website in organic search on Google for the last 30 days up to 3 months. You can sort the table of keywords alphabetically or by number of impressions, clicks, click through rate, and average position in search. You can also click on the search query to see what pages each query displayed to visitors along with those page’s individual impressions, clicks, and click through rates.

Bing

Under Reports & Data > Search Keywords, you can find a similar report in Bing on the keywords that appeared in organic search for the last 30 days up to 6 months. You can sort the table of keywords alphabetically or by clicks from search, number of times they appeared in search, click through rate, average click position, and average search position. You can also click the View link next to each keyword to see what pages each query displayed to visitors along with those page’s individual stats.

Alternatively, you can also go to Reports & Data > Page Traffic to see your top pages in organic search with the same statistics for each. Then click View to see what keywords led to visits on those pages. This report can be more useful if you are trying to determine your top content in search results vs. just your top keywords.

Incoming Links

Google and Bing both allow you to explore incoming links to your website counted by each search engine. The count itself varies greatly – for my website, Google reported over 2.6 million total links whereas Bing reported only 34,000. Comparing both to Open Site Explorer’s count of just over 24,000 can be just as confusing.

Google

Under Traffic > Links to Your Site, Google groups links by domains linking to your website the most and pages on your website that are linked to the most. Unfortunately, they separate how your data is linked, aka anchor text, from these two groups of information. Google’s incoming link count is very comprehensive – they seem to count every page on every domain linking to you, even if a domain has a sitewide link. You can also export your links in CSV or Google Docs. Google also has an Internal Links report under the Traffic section that shows which internal links are used the most on your website.

Bing

Bing Webmaster Tools shows your website’s incoming links sorted by the target page. What’s nice about their reporting is when you click on a target page, you will see the websites linking to that page along with the anchor text used for those links. You can export this information in CSV format and have a better understanding of the links coming to your website and your anchor text distribution, similar to what you would get from third party tools like Open Site Explorer.

Optimization Tips

On-site search optimization is just as important as your link building strategy if you want to rank well on either Google or Bing. Reviewing the following optimization tips offered in both search engine’s Webmaster Tools can help you determine which elements are most important to help you boost your rankings.

Google

Under Optimization > HTML Improvements, Google offers a simple interface for the most important issues Google thinks you should address on your website. If you click on each of the hyperlinked elements, you can learn more about how to solve each issue as well as see the pages identified as needing improvement.

Bing

Bing offers two different optimization tools. The first is SEO Reports under Reports & Data. Similar to Google, Bing lists the problems it notices. Clicking on each of the hyperlinked elements will take you to a more detailed page about how to fix these issues along with the pages identified as needing improvement.

Under Diagnostics & Tools, you will find the SEO Analyzer which offers a visual guide to your website’s optimization needs. Here, you can enter any page on your website, from your homepage to your most important pages to see what Bing suggests you fix. You can click on the Page Source to see specific highlighted segments of code where the optimization needs to be added.

There you have it – some of the most useful reports and data within Webmaster Tools provided by both Google and Bing. Which one do you use the most often and find the most informative?



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8 thoughts on “Google Webmaster Tools vs. Bing – Which is More Informative?

  1. Baard says:

    Nice comparison. Did not know Bing had that amount of functionality. Not sure weather I´m going to start using it though.

  2. Great comparison!

    I hope that Google will learn some good stuff from Bing Webmaster Tools. One of my collegues said that to Matt Cutts on Twitter and got the answer: “Competition is good for everyone!”

    Thanks!

  3. MaAnna says:

    Kristi, thank you for this helpful post and all of the screenshots. I’m using both tools now because of all the different pieces of info each provides.

  4. Steven says:

    By using more webmaster tools, it give advantage to website owner to see how to optimize their web

  5. Vijay Karla says:

    Yes, Bing has revamped their webmaster tools. Unfortunately Bing APIs have limited flexibility. For example, there is no way to get site report for a particular date or date range through API even though it’s possible through Bing webmaster tool web GUI. I hope Bing APIs also get revamped in near future.

  6. Ravi says:

    Thats great,
    Very usefull information! as per the result over SERP; I think Bing is more accurate than Google. Now! Google keeps tageting on Adword programme only, its time move over Bing search to promote our site and get business.

  7. Emmanuel Obarhua says:

    Wow! That a analysis, I never knew Bing has all that functionality. I’ll start using them whenever i set out for website optimization.

  8. Galore Tech says:

    Google is focusing on money only while Bing is focusing on real user behaviour. Google makes more GUI attractive without factual data. Bing is more enhanced and better than GA. Simple neat and clean report. My all clients appreciating Bing report which I sent on monthly basis.

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