Bing has launched its first official plugin for WordPress aimed at helping site owners get their content indexed immediately. Instead of waiting for a bingbot to crawl the site, the plugin notifies Bing of any new or updated content automatically using its Submit URL API.
“Bing believes that the future for search engines is less about crawling to discover content and more about sharing new and updated content across the web, a fundamental shift in the way that search engines handle web sites,” Bing Product Manager Fabrice Canel said. “Instead of monitoring RSS, sitemaps and HTML pages to check for new pages, discover content changes and/or new outbound links, websites will notify search engines directly about relevant URLs changing on their website.”
Search engines can take anywhere from several hours to a few weeks to crawl a website. Bing’s API allows site owners to get content indexed immediately, while eventually reducing the crawling frequency for sites where there are no changes. Users will need to generate an API key in order to configure the plugin for access to the Bing Webmaster Tools API.
The new plugin also introduces a few other options for managing URL submissions:
- Toggle the automatic submission feature
- Manually submit a URL to Bing Index
- View list of recent URL submissions from the plugin
- Retry any failed submissions from the recent submissions list
- Download recent URL submissions for analysis
Canel said the Bing Webmaster Team recommends using the new URL Submissions plugin as a complement to existing plugins that connect sites to Bing, such as Jetpack’s site verification tool, and SEO plugins that add XML sitemaps. Bing’s plugin is different in that it focuses on enabling Bing to discover immediate changes on WordPress sites.
“Sitemaps are a great complementary solution to our plugin to discover all URLs on WordPress sites, but we cannot monitor each sitemap all the time,” Canel said. “Only a small percentage of WordPress sites are publishing content every day. Most are nearly static and this is preferable to be notified instead of pulling content every so often for them. Same for sites publishing often, it helps to get the content quickly indexed instead of having to wait a long time.”
Bing doesn’t usually get as much airtime as Google and its supporting tools, since Google continues to dominate the search market. Bing’s market share is currently hovering at 2.75% of searches globally on all platforms as of June 2020.
The search engine has seen slow but steady growth in certain regions and platforms. Bing performs higher globally across desktop searches (6.08%). In the United Sates, Bing’s market share is sitting at 6.99% and is even higher on US desktop searches (13.35%):
Bing may not boast a big slice of the search market pie, but the search engine served close to 936.5 million unique global visitors during the month of May 2020. More than half of Bing users have a bachelor’s or post graduate degree and 38% of Bing users have an income of $100,000 USD or higher. Depending on the demographic you are targeting, being found by Bing users may be one small factor in your site’s overall success.
The search engine recently updated its webmaster guidelines for the first time since 2012. If you’re looking to optimize for Bing’s audience, this document contains a detailed break down of how the search engine ranks content.