Bing explains the new Sitemap Index Coverage report

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Bing explains the new Sitemap Index Coverage report


Bing has quietly rolled out the new sitemap index coverage report in Bing Webmaster Tools and today posted a how-to on that reporting tool. I believe the new sitemap index coverage report began rolling out in late June 2023 and pushed it to everyone a few weeks ago but Bing has never formally announced the new report.

Bing said they attempt to download relevant and valid sitemaps at least once a day except when your lastmod date says that your sitemaps didn’t change.

What it shows. The sitemap report shows:

  • A page that shows all the submitted and organically discovered sitemaps for your site, along with when they were submitted, status (success or error), last crawl date, the number of URLs discovered, a link to Index Coverage when this data is available, and the ability to resubmit sitemaps.
  • Per sitemaps index file, a listing of all the sitemaps included and the issues detected if any.
  • Bing now reports a breakdown of URLs indexing status for URLs indexed and URLs which need attention from sitemaps and sitemap index files. Currently this is available for sites having more than 10,000 URLs indexed in Bing.

What is looks like. Here is a screenshot of this report:

Bing Sitemap Report

How it helps. Bing said this report can help you do better in search by:

  • First, ensuring that Bing is informed about all the relevant sitemaps associated with your website. If you notice any relevant sitemaps are absent, submit them to Bing or references them in your robots.txt file or ensure that they are part of a sitemap index file which is already referenced in robots.txt file.
  • Second, Identifying and fixing in your sitemaps. For instance, if you see that we cannot crawled your sitemaps ensure that there are no settings in robots.txt that are blocking the crawl by Bing Bot. Additionally make sure individual sitemaps are organized via Index Sitemaps so that number of URLs per sitemap are less than 50,000 and each sitemap file size is less than 50 MB to ensure maximum discovery.
  • Third, and this is the role of the new indexing report, please investigate why URLs listed in your sitemaps are not indexed by looking at URLs which need attention.

Why we care. When you have issues with your URLs being indexed in Bing Search, that can lead to less traffic and visibility for your business or organization. This report helps you understand which pages are indexed and which are not indexed. More importantly, it gives you clues on why those pages are not index.

This report can help you improve your index rate by Bing Search and thus improve your traffic from Bing Search.

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About the author

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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