We are all familiar with the Google Webmaster and Yahoo Site Explorer tools. These tools provide webmasters a great deal of insight into the performance of a site by providing site metrics such as when the site was last indexed (read) by search engines, if the site has any HTTP errors, if there are certain URLs that search engines cannot read, etc.
Microsoft has announced that it is planning to come up with a similar tool like Google Webmaster or Yahoo Site Explorer called Webmaster Portal. Microsoft expects this tool to be fully out by late fall. This tool will act as a one-stop-shop for webmasters to find information regarding MSN Live Search SEO. According to a blog post on a Microsoft site, Webmaster Portal will initially provide:
- Troubleshooting tools to ensure MSNBot is effectively crawling and indexing your site
- Sitemap creation, submission and ping tools
- Statistics about your website
- Consolidation of content submission resources
- New content and community resources
Another feature that this tool will allow is to be able to check backlinks for a site in LiveSearch. Microsoft has disabled backlinks check on LiveSearch for a while but it seems to be back with Microsoft Webmaster Portal.
Webmaster tools have become an integral part of the development of search engines and the way they communicate with webmasters. Search engines will be able to provide relevant results via deep crawling and efficient indexing if webmasters understand the way search engines work.