Microsoft Webmaster Tools to support Yahoo! Site Explorer Community

Starting last year we have been transitioning the backend for our organic search to the Microsoft search platform as part of the Yahoo! & Microsoft Search Alliance. The transition of algorithmic search results for Yahoo! Search result pages is complete for US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. We plan to transition the rest of world markets later this year.

In an August 2010 blog post, we said we would continue Site Explorer with a focus on new features for webmaster community, even after the transition to Microsoft platforms is complete. We listened to your feedback, and along with the team from Bing Webmaster Center looked jointly at the roadmap for the webmaster tools. Having two webmaster portals for a single source for organic results does not add enough value.  Once organic results are transitioned to Bing in all the markets, we plan to shut down Yahoo! Site Explorer and Microsoft’s Webmaster Tools will be the source for Bing and Yahoo! webmaster site and analytics data.

The Bing Webmaster Center team has been actively adding new features over the past few months, including detailed traffic statistics and a new inbound links feature. Microsoft is also committed to build analytic reports that include Yahoo! search usage. Further details on these reports will be coming soon. You might have some questions that we will try to answer below:

When will Site Explorer shutdown?

We are working with Microsoft to transition organic results in all markets to the Microsoft Search platform. Site Explorer will shut down once all markets are transitioned. This is expected later this year. We will keep updating you with progress of the transition at our Search Blog.

Should I start using Bing Webmaster Center?

Yes, webmasters should start using Bing Webmaster Center.

Does that mean that I should stop using Site Explorer?

No. In a large part of the world, we have not yet transitioned to Microsoft search platform. Hence, it is important that Yahoo! continues to receive your site/sitemap submissions so that search results from Yahoo! are fresh and relevant for markets that have not switched over. In order to continue to receive relevant organic traffic from Yahoo! search results, we encourage you to continue using Site Explorer as you have in the past until we fully switch over to Microsoft search platform for organic results.

Does it mean that I don’t have to optimize for Yahoo! and Bing Search engines separately in the future?

That is correct. We anticipate that later this year, Yahoo!’s organic results will be powered by Microsoft’s search platform in all parts of the world. After that point, any optimization that you do on Bing Webmaster Center tool will be reflected in Yahoo! organic search results.

Will the Site Explorer APIs be shut down?

The APIs were scheduled to be shut down at the end of last year, but the timeframe has been extended for the YDN Site Explorer API up until September 15, 2011.

Note: For BOSS Site Explorer APIs shut down information, scheduled for July 20, 2011, please see this April 2011 blog post.

Will Yahoo! continue to crawl my website?

Although the organic results will be powered by Microsoft Search platforms, Yahoo! will continue to innovate on the search experience beyond the services delivered by Microsoft. In order to provide Yahoo! users with an amazing search experience, our slurp crawlers may continue to selectively crawl websites to help support these efforts.

Hemant Minocha, Product Manager,Yahoo! Site Explorer

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