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Windows Live Search Webmaster Central Set Up & Overview
Thursday, February 07, 2008
In November 2007, Microsoft’s search engine, Windows Live Search released their counterpart to Google Webmaster Tools called Live Search Webmaster Central. You can use the Webmaster Tools to troubleshoot the crawling and indexing of your website, submit sitemaps and view statistics about your websites.
http://webmaster.live.com/

To access Webmaster Central, you will need a Microsoft account such as a Hotmail, MSN Messenger or Passport account.

Setting Up Webmaster Central

1. Login with your Microsoft Account

2. Add your Website http://webmaster.live.com/WebmasterAddSitesPage.aspx

3. Add your XML Sitemap

4. Provide your Verification Method

a. Via an XML file which you will need to add to your site or

b. Via a Meta tag that you will need to add to your home page

5. Click Submit – the set up process is complete. You can then add additional site if you have others. Note, To change a website's profile, click the address in the your sites list, and then click the Profile link.

Once the site is verified you will have access to the diagnostic data. This data includes:

Summary – which illustrates things such as your top 5 pages, the last time MSNbot crawled the site and the number of indexed pages you have in Windows Live Search.

Profile – which reminds you of your XML sitemap location (if you have defined one during setup) and verification information.

Keywords – allows you to enter in a key phrase to see how the site performs in the Live Search search results for this keyword illustrating which pages are performing best.

Top Links From – is an indication of the top 10 sites that are performing the best in Live Search that you link to. Among all of your website's outbound links, these 10 are performing the best in Live Search.

Top Links To – illustrates the strength of the links that are linking to your site. Among all the links to this website, these 10 are performing the best in Live Search.

Sitemap – Allows to identify what you XML sitemap is and allows you to submit one if you haven’t already. According to Webmaster Center, Sitemaps help the Live Search robot find all of the files to be indexed. (More at http://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.php#informing). You'll get the best indexing results by using robots.txt autodiscovery.

Other Tools from Live Search Webmaster Center

With Webmaster Center, you can also validate your robots.txt. Validate the current robots.txt file, or check new changes before you add them to the website.

This tool checks the robot.txt file for incompatibilities with MSNBOT. (Learn more at: http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/robots.htmlIt catches problems that could affect site placement on Live Search, but it doesn't look for problems with other search engines. You can also access the Webmaster Center Blog:http://blogs.msdn.com/webmaster
You also have direct access to the Live Search Webmaster Center Help information.
http://help.live.com/help.aspx?mkt=en-us&project=wl_webmasters

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, February 07, 2008  
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