Bing Webmaster Tools: Security, Widgets and Messages
Compared to the first three sections, the last three are relatively small. In this final post in our series on Bing Webmaster Tools we will go over Security, Malware and Messages and share our findings.
Making sure your website is secure is of course really important. We have already emphasized this on our page on WordPress security, of course. This section is about the security alerts in Bing Webmaster Tools.
Malware is software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems. For a website, this usually means software that is left on your website, usually in a file on your server. It’s software that is left there without your knowledge. If you find an alert in Bing Webmaster Tools about malware on your website, you should clean your site as soon as possible.
Bing Webmaster Tools divides the malware into two categories: malware found on the page and malware reference found on the page. In the first case, there is an immediate issue to be solved on the page with the listed URL, in the second case, there is a resource linked on the page at that URL that has malware. The page itself isn’t infected in that last case.
Bing Webmaster Tools lists a couple of malware issues:
- Malware Network Reference: any trace of a known malware distribution network is detected on your website.
- Browser Exploit: malicious browser exploit detected, which may cause unsolicited execution of external code.
- Malicious ActiveX: ActiveX interactions seem to trigger malicious activity.
- Heapspray: Bing detected a potential preparation for a browser exploit via a heapspray. Heapspraying is a technique used in exploits to facilitate arbitrary code execution.
- Malware Found on Adjacent Pages: URL is in a folder or subdomain containing malware.
- Malware Reported by External Source: external sources reported that malware, obviously.
Sucuri is our and your friend in this. Hire these guys to clean up your site. After that, you want to address the vulnerability that allowed the malware to be installed. Simply download the Sucuri plugin and follow their step by step instructions and guidance on how to secure your website (sections Hardening and Post-Hack in that plugin).
And only after this, you should Request a Review in Bing Webmaster Tools to have them check again for the presence of malware.
Track Certificates beta
Yet another beta in Bing Webmaster Tools: Track Certificates. This page will tell you all about the certificates that were requested by people visiting your site. The main purpose of that list is so you’ll be able to spot unexpected or suspicious certificates, so you can report them to Microsoft using the Report link.
This will also include security certificates like the ones we have on our website:
In their competition struggle with Google, Bing has released a number of additions for your website that should make your life better. Two of these are in Bing Webmaster Tools and we’ll discuss both briefly.
Knowledge Widget beta
Bing explains the knowledge widget like this:
For the first time, we empowered every webmaster to use the entity data from the Bing Knowledge repository. Since then, webmasters have added the embed code to thousands of pages to enhance their websites with the rich entity information from the Bing Knowledge system.
Yes, the Bing Knowledge information is similar to the Knowledge Graph in Google (Bing added it first, by the way). It’s a separate block of content but now on your website itself! It works really simple: while the visitor goes over your website, the widget detects related entities in real time, marking them with a little Bing charm. Now I do understand the social value, but feel that this is a bit like the pop-up ads in texts / on links that were briefly popular a couple of years ago. But hey, I might be wrong. Bing tells us that this is improving engagement, time-on-site, and user satisfaction.
Adding the widget is simple: add your URL, copy the provided code and paste it for instance right before the </body> tag in your template. Options are available for displaying images, images and links, just links. Besides that, there is an option to only activate the Bing Knowledge information on text selection by a user. It looks like this (example from Bing itself):
It’s a collapsible sidebar on your website.
At the moment of writing, this is only available for English entities.
This Translator Widget could be useful, and is similar to the Google Translate option that is on a lot of websites. It only requires a simple copy/paste action and you are good to go. There is even a WordPress plugin to help you out.
You can set the language of your website, and tell Bing to automatically translate based upon the visitor’s browser language, or have the visitor pick the language himself.
I’m not a big fan of these widgets, Google or Bing. I understand that these are ‘convenient’, but rather see people putting some effort (or money) in a decent translation. Go read our post on hreflang. It’s not that hard.
Preferably this section looks like this:
Bing sends five types of messages:
- Administrator: if anything changes to the Bing Webmaster Tools service, the administrator will inform you about it.
- Crawl errors: if an error occurs during the crawl of your website, Bing Webmaster Tools will automatically tell you about it.
- Index issues: if Bingbot has any problem indexing your site, a message will be sent as well.
- Malware: following the section on Malware, you’ll receive a message here that malware has been found.
- Bing Ads: automatically generated messages about Bing Ads.
The Current and Archived sections at Messages are self-explanatory.
Bing Webmaster Tools: It’s a wrap!
With this post, we conclude our series on Bing Webmaster Tools. We have compared Bing Webmaster Tools to Google Webmaster Tools (now known as Google Search Console) a couple of times during these four posts. Is that a fair comparison? For me it was like having Skippy sandwiches every day and then trying a jar of Peanut Butter & Co. It’s different, but the same product. One could say variety is the spice of life, but in this case I tend stick to Google Webmaster Tools for the larger scale and user base, although the Markup Validator tool in Bing Webmaster Tools will come in handy now and then for quick checks!
For more reading on Webmaster Tools, please find all our related articles here.