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How To Take Advantage Of Bingbot To Boost Your SEO Results 

If you have never taken any notice of Bingbot – now is the time.

Bing‘s search engine has been steadily growing in popularity over the last 10 years.

It has become the sleeping giant of the SEO world. Bing SEO is now an important consideration for all SEOs.

In this blog, I will share everything you need to know about Bingbot and how to take advantage of it to boost your SEO results.

What is Bingbot?

Bingbot is a web crawler created by Bing. It’s what powers the search engine and if you want to rank high in the Bing SERPs – You need to learn about it.

bing search engine growth

What’s the difference between Bingbot vs Googlebot?

Bingbot functions very similarly to Googlebot. There are a few details that differentiate them but for the most part they both:

  • Use very similar crawling technology
  • Have the same general goal
  • Face the same search-related issues
  • Index exactly the same content

Most web crawlers are very similar. That even includes bots from SEO tools like Semrushbot and Ahrefsbot.

If you optimise your website for Google you are 90% of the way there. But the last 10% is what will give you an edge over your competitors.

How Bingbot Works

Bingbot works by following links all over the web and discovering new pages and new sites. It processes those links and organises the sites that it finds to use the information to answer people’s search queries.

Bingbot works in three important stages:

  1. Discovering and crawling websites
  2. Extracting the information it finds
  3. Storing the information to use it for the Bing SERPs

Why should you care about this?

Two words: Competitive advantage.

Learning about Bingbot can help you leverage it for better rankings, but more on this later.

List of Bingbot User Agents

Search engine user agents just refer to the type of bot and the role that it has.

A user agent is like an identifying number to say it is Bingbot who is requesting a version of your site.

It will leave behind a user agent string so you can identify:

  • What device it crawled from
  • The browser it used

For example, a search engine may have different user agents to crawl and understand site links vs crawling and understanding images.

bingbot user agent string

Bingbot has 3 main user agents to power their entire search engine:

  • Bingbot – Main user agent for desktop and mobile devices
  • AdIdxBot – Used to power Bing ads
  • BingPreview – Takes snapshots of pages

Bingbot’s predecessor was called MSNBOT. Sometimes you will still see the name MSNBOT in your server log when it crawls your website.

GROWTH HACK: Sign up for my free link building training webinar.

Why is Bingbot Important For My SEO?

Bing has a growing user base online.

While it doesn’t have nearly as big of a “search engine market share” as Google does, ranking in Bing has a number of benefits for your SEO.

Bingbot Helps Bing To Find & Index Your Site

This is obvious but so many SEO’s overlook it.

You want to make sure that your website is optimised for Bingbot so it can easily find and index all of your content.

Crawling & Indexing

Think of Bingbot like the person in the accounting department that pays the wages – being on good terms with them means you get paid on time, every time.

Being Indexed On Bing Can Significantly Increase Your Search Traffic

I’ve had clients sites that were making a lot of money just from Bing organic search traffic.

My own website gets a good amount of visitors each month from Bing alone.

bing seo traffic performance

Optimising your website for Bingbot can significantly increase your search traffic…

…And Bing traffic is just as good as Google traffic. It is still very targeted and high quality which can lead to a significant increase in leads and sales.

GROWTH HACK: Sign up for my free video training series and get a copy of our internal private SEO tool.

How To Rank With Bingbot?

Simply put: The more usable that Bingbot finds your site, the higher you will rank.

You need to make sure that Bingbot can easily understand your site pages and that they feature high-quality content worth extracting.

Focus on these four on-page SEO factors:

  1. Page load speed – Make sure your content loads fast.
  2. Search factors – Title tags, meta descriptions and URLs.
  3. Website content – Fresh, quality and unique content.
  4. Page structure – Heading tags and internal linking.

These four ranking factors are what will give you an edge in the search results.

To learn more about ranking in Bing check out my complete Bing SEO guide.

How Do I Verify Bingbot?

If you see what appears to be Bingbot traffic on your site server logs, there is an easy way to really verify that it is Bingbot.

In most cases, Bingbot will appear as”Bingbot” or “MSNBOT” in your server logs.

To verify that this is genuinely Bingbot, you can use Bing’s free IP address verification tool.

Head over to the Verify Bingbot tool and enter the IP address that you want to check.

verify bingbot tool

Then, click submit and it will give you the verdict.

bingbot verification

Easy as that! You can quickly see if it is Bingbot and take any appropriate measurements.

How To Block Bingbot?

Want to block Bingbot from your website?

There are two methods:

  • Updating your robots.txt file
  • Using your .htaccess file

Here’s how to do them both.

Method 1: Block Bingbot With robots.txt

Bingbot follows robots.txt rules.

So the easiest way to block it is by adding a disallow tag to your robots.txt file.

Simply copy and paste the code below into your robots.txt file:

User-agency: Bingbot
Disallow: /

That’s it! Bingbot should follow the robots.txt rules you set up.

Be aware that it can take some time for it to discover the new robots.txt rule.

Method 2: Block Ahrefsbot Using the .htaccess file

The problem with robots.txt is that you are relying on Bingbot to do the right thing and follow your directions.

With .htaccess the control is back in your hands.

To block Bingbot add the following code at the end of your .htaccess file:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ‘bingbot|MSNbot’
RewriteRule . * – [F,L]

This is will do the trick and keep Bingbot off your website for good.

Bonus: Stop Bingbot From Crawling Specific Pages

Want to block Bingbot from crawling certain web pages only?

To block Bing from visiting entire pages without stoping it from the whole website simply copy and paste the following code into the page header:

<meta name=”bingbot” content=”noindex”>

That’s it! Bingbot will not add that specific page to its index and it won’t be shown in the Bing search results.

Wrapping It Up

Bingbot has become an important search engine bot for SEOs to understand and it will only continue to grow.

Taking advantage of Bingbot now gives you an edge over your competitors in the search results. Who wouldn’t like that?

Remember:

Although Bing may not be as big as Google, the organic traffic is just as valuable. Follow the steps above and leverage Bingbot to grow your site’s traffic.

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