Bing is the second most renowned and most used search engine worldwide. Why I called it second is because Google comes on number one and is the most preferred search engine. We know that no one can beat the search engine giant Google. But Bing always tries its best to provide more enhancing experience to its users. This is the reason that Bing keeps updating and introducing new features to it. In the month of July, Bing launched the robots.txt tester tool and now Bing is allowing webmasters to submit a URL to the robot.txt tester tool.
Let me ask – do you use the Bing search engine? If yes, then this article is for you. It is because the recent update of Bing allows you to submit a URL to the robots.txt tester tool.
Are you gear up to learn about Bing’s robots.txt tester tool and how you will submit a site’s URL to it? If yes, let’s get started now.
What is Bing’s robots.txt Tester Tool?
Put simply, Bing’s robots.txt tester is a tool that webmasters use to regulate how bots crawl their website. Txt tester helps webmasters to analyze their robots.txt file. And highlights the issues that would prevent them from getting optimally crawled by Bing and other robots.
Also, the robot.txt file tells the search engine crawler what to do and not to do on a website. A robot.txt file is one of the ways that a publisher can exercise control over search engines.
Bing launched enhanced version of robot.txt tester tool
On September 4, Bing officially announced an enhanced version of the robot.txt tester tool. Though the tool was already launched in July, the recent one brings new features that will enhance user’s experience. Let me also tell you the tool fills an important need because getting a robot.txt wrong can result in unexpected SEO outcomes. Moreover, producing a perfect robot.txt file is essential and a top priority for Search Engine Optimization.
However, any mistake on a robot.txt file can result in search engines crawling pages they shouldn’t be indexing. Errors in a robot.txt file are a common source of search ranking problems. This is the reason why Bing enhanced the robot.txt tester tool for its users.
Let’s dig deeper into the features of robot.txt tester tool.
Webmasters can now submit their URL to the robot.txt tester tool
The first feature that Bing introduced in the robot.txt tester tool is – it will allow webmasters to submit their site’s URL in it. The tester tool will operate as Bingbot and BingAdsBot. It will check the robot.txt file and verifies if the URL has been allowed or blocked accordingly. Here read the official statement of Bing about the submission of the site URL to the robot.txt tester tool:
“Webmasters can submit a URL to the robots.txt Tester tool and it operates as Bingbot and BingAdsBot would, to check the robots.txt file and verifies if the URL has been allowed or blocked accordingly. Not only this, but the test functionality checks the URL which we have submitted against the content of the editor, and hence, once changes are made in the editor, you can easily and instantly retest the URL to check for errors. The system checks for allow/disallow statements for respective user agents and displays the robots.txt file in the editor with 4 variations i.e. http://, https://, http://www, https://www. The webmaster can edit the text file and/or download the same to be updated offline. If there have been changes to the robots file elsewhere and updated, the webmaster can use the Fetch latest option to get the latest robots to file of the property.”
Moreover, the feature allows webmasters to submit up to 10,000 URLs per day for most sites.
Four useful features of robot.txt tester tool
Now SEOs can analyze their robot.txt files and highlight issues
Another new feature of the enhanced robot.txt tester tool is – it will allow SEOs to analyze their robot.txt files and highlight issues that may hinder Bing from optimal crawling. In addition, it will also guide them step-by-step from getting the latest file to upload the same file at the appropriate address.
Let’s see how robots.txt tester tool works for SEOs
Any SEO can use this tool to test and validate their robots.txt or to check whether a URL is blocked. You can also make changes in robot.txt if you want to by using the editor. The test functionality of the tool can check the submitted URL against the content of the editor. It allows SEOs and site owners to check the URL for errors on the spot.
Moreover, you can download the edited robot.txt file offline and any changes can be made to it with the latest version of the file. The tool also enables SEOs to submit a request to let Bing know that your robor.txt file has been updated.
Fabrice Canal from Microsoft said, “As robots.txt rules can be extremely challenging to understand and edit especially when using wildcard character *. By offering this easy to use robots.txt testing tool, we offer transparency on how we process robots.txt and help webmasters to edit and verify their robots.txt.”
The bottom line
The new version of the Bing robot.txt tester tool is launched to enhance user experience. Undoubtedly, the tool can help highlight crawling issues for SEOs and webmasters. It will also enable them to troubleshoot their robot.txt files more easily. With the updated features of the robot.txt tester tool, Bing offers you transparency to help webmasters edit and verify their robot.txt files.
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