Bing Bot

The Bing bot is the Bing search engine’s crawler. It searches the web for HTML documents to record them in its URL directory, the Bing index, and output them on a sorted list.

Bing belongs to Microsoft, as well as Yahoo. Microsoft’s Live Search was replaced by Bing on October 1, 2012. Currently, the Bing bot provides result lists for Bing and Yahoo and Yahoo additionally operates the Yahoo! Slurp crawler, but only to enrich the result lists. The Bing bot searches the world wide web as a crawler or spider and follows the hyperlinks contained therein to read the content of websites. This process is automated and is similar to the Google bot, Google ’s crawler.

Graph theory, a branch of mathematics, is a theoretical background for crawling or spidering of websites. Websites can be represented as trees that have a root, or root directory. Branches shoot off from these roots which can be considered paths, or hyperlinks. Each node can have several branches and each node represents a document. The bot tries to visit all the documents the fastest way possible to read their content in the form of text, images and other information, such as links. The bot makes its way through the tree or graph, and records any links which it subsequently follows.

The way it reads and evaluates content mainly depends on different models in the field of information retrieval, an interdisciplinary area between mathematics, computer science, and linguistics. The information retrieval has the purpose of storing, sorting and indexing information from existing data, in this case the worldwide web. However, the exact criteria for this method or the models used are not sufficiently known, neither for Bing or Google. It is assumed that all search engines use a combination of different models: Boolean logic, vector space models, and probabilistic models.

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Importance for search engine optimization

In general, it is important to grant the Bing bot access to a website. Although Bing has a far smaller market share compared to Google, the trend is increasing. If you want your website to be found in the Bing and Yahoo indexes, it is recommended to take appropriate steps. In practice, there are several options. You can adjust the robots.txt file so that the crawlers of search engines have access. You should specify directives such as dofollow or nofollow for individual documents with <meta> tags, or rewrite the HTTP headers so that the IP addresses of the Bing bot are permitted.

In the last two years, there has been an increase in fake spiders that were disguised as Bing bots. These fake spider bots read content only for the purpose of phishing or other hacker attacks. The methods to grant access to bots, can also be used to eliminate fake bots. Bing therefore also provides a Bing bot verification tool.[1]

References

  1. Verify BingBot. Bing Webmaster Help. Accessed on 11/13/2013

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