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Building Success: Using Bing Webmaster Tools

 

As part of my preparation for BlogHer PRO, I had the opportunity to speak to Duane Forrester, Sr. Product Manager with Bing’s Webmaster Program. He will be leading the lunch Keynote titled, “Lunch, and Keynote Brought to You by Bing — Growing Your Audience and Influence with Social + Search”.  Forrester explained to me the details of his personal journey: to share with others how to build success and how to leverage your business assets to become successful. He also believes that to deliver a quality product you need to have customer interaction.  His two books, “Turn Clicks Into Customers: Proven Marketing Techniques for Converting Online Traffic into Revenue” and “How to Make Money with Your Blog: The Ultimate Reference Guide for Building, Optimizing, and Monetizing Your Blog” detail how a business can increase customers and generate revenue with blogs.

 

We discussed many different topics related to blogging and one was of particular interest. Forrester discussed the new features of the Bing Webmaster tools including the “Link Explorer, SEO Analyzer/SEO Reports, and updates to current tools such as our Keyword Research Tool (beta), and our URL Removal Tool.” Bing Webmaster tools (available to anyone) detail standard info including queries, your site’s ranking and where you were shown. The tools also send alerts and when combined with Bing crawler you can proactively manage bandwidth by time of day. Another option is to set controls that someone else manages for your website. With Link Explorer you can not only see who is linking to you, but also who is linking to your competitors. BingBot offers the ability to have a crawler fetch your blog’s URL then have a search engine assess the code on the page and come back with a status. For example, you can watch out for signs of hacks in your websites such as really long links. Forrester shared important advice for all bloggers: we should get to know what “normal” code looks like on our website so we can spot when it has been hacked.

 

In addition to all of these tools, Bing is now the first search engines to provide SEO advice to users. This is accomplished with SEO Analyzer, which scans a URL then shares what SEO work needs to be done.This tool helps you know what SEO work needs to be done now, helps you learn more about SEO from a trusted source and can help you test fresh areas of your site quickly.
When I checked out the Bing Webmaster Tools online, I was happy to see blog posts from the Bing Webmaster blog that explains key product areas. For those who want to find out more, there are Bing Webmaster Guidelines blog posts and  free recorded webinars . The Bing Webmaster Getting Started Checklist is a great place for the user to start outlining the process and tools to build workflow. This checklist covers areas such as how to configure your site reports and data, Webmaster diagnostic tools and SEO Analyzer.

 

Here are some of the blog posts that are great resources not only for Bing Webmaster tools but also for SEO and reporting:

 

For more information, check the BlogHer Pro live blogs.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  

 

PicScout ImageExchange Simplifies Online Image Access

This week, I'm working with a unique company called PicScout on outreach for some really cool announcements related to their company and products. Techies, graphic designers and other creative professionals who use, promote and access stock images online should know about PicScout's ImageExchange as it's cutting edge stuff. So I thought I'd put up a brief explanation of it here for anyone interested.

PicScout uses the tagline "every image gets its credit" because the idea is that all stock images online can be fingerprinted and globally identifiable with the Picscout tool suite. Their new downloadable Firefox browser add-on, ImageExchange, allows for easily identifying image ownership while browsing the web so creative professionals, bloggers, designers, etc. can license and purchase images accordingly. (Anyone who downloads the app before Monday the 14th is automatically entered to win a $250 certificate for agency images.)

ImageExchange now works with "every type of image, including rights managed, such as those from Masterfile, Life, Alfo, Mauritius; royalty free, including those from Blend and Glow, and UGC." It's pretty revolutionary when you think about it – the ability to determine who owns the rights to an image online and easily pay to use that image. Simple, legal, and smart.

PicScout also partners with the Creative Commons for image sharing purposes, and PicScout just announced that Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito has joined PicScout's advisory board.

For anyone who wants to learn more about the ImageExchange, you can participate in an online guided demo from PicScout Thursday at 1pm PST/4pm EST.

 

Who Says You Can’t Be a Geek, Mom, Blogger & Athlete?

As TechMama’s compatriot blogger and co-mom-geek, Beth invited me to blog here all about how I’m a semi-finalist in this awesome contest sponsored by Microsoft Office to win a trip to the Olympics. Needless to say, I’m really psyched.

It actually doesn’t end there – the grand prize includes a trip to the Consumer Electronics Show and a brand new laptop! You know I’ll be blogging about that too. But to win, I need votes. As many votes as possible. Every day. It’s easy to register and vote. Just go to OfficeWinterGames.com and I’m the last one on the list of women bloggers.

I first laced up ice skates at age five, and my parents tell me that the look on my face told them I was hooked. I never had Olympic aspirations – I knew I didn’t have that kind of talent – but I also never lost my love for skating. I kept at it, even after college, and I’m proud to say I’m a national adult figure skating medalist.

Meanwhile, I started using PCs in grade school, became a programmer, sysadmin and tech project manager and began writing about tech in the 90’s, usually using MS Word. I began blogging in 2003. I’ve been called an expert live blogger and tweeter on many occasions covering a wide range of events and topics. I started blogging about figure skating for BlogHer last year, and it’s been a lot of fun.

While I have never been able to attend an Olympics, I have watched every moment of Olympic figure skating since I can remember, and I’ve sat on the edge of my seat for hockey, speed skating and skiing as well. I will blog my tail off up hill both ways in the Canadian snow for Microsoft Office if I win this contest. Please help me get there!

 

Free Online Safety Service From Norton Makes It Easier To Keep Kids Safe Online

**Guest post by Marian MerrittSymantec's Internet Safety Advocate

I have three kids who love the Internet in all its forms. The oldest is just 15 and the youngest is 7. Like a bunch of bumper cars, their online activities occasionally dent the family rules for being safe online. Sometimes they forget what we’ve discussed or they are into things I never dreamed would capture their interest. It feels like I’m always a step behind knowing what they are going to download or visit and then protecting them from the mistakes they might make.

The youngest one doesn’t understand why I’m concerned about her using search engines when she was taught how to use Google and Yahoo at school. (How do I know the “safe search” settings haven’t been tweaked?) The middle child, 13 years old, wants to game online and has no problem downloading cheat codes or visiting sites with gaming tips. He rolls his eyes when I lecture about visiting these “who knows who runs them” sites and downloading files. And of course, my oldest is into all the normal teen stuff: social networks, chatting, Skyping with her friends,and YouTube. So I admit it, I need some help here.

Norton has just launched a great and easy to use service that should make my life a lot easier. It’s called OnlineFamily.Norton and is a simple way to give me the insight I need into my children’s online activities but without the usual associated headaches of traditional web filtering or parental control software. And, during the introductory period (through next January 1st) the service (a $60 value) is entirely free!!

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