In an effort to give you the most control over your site, Bing recently announced changes to the Deep Links management feature of Bing Webmaster Tools (known as Sitelinks when working with Google). For those who are unfamiliar, deep links are links that you will see below a company's name. You won't see deep links on every single SERP, but usually if that exact company name or URL was typed into the search bar you will see deep links underneath that company name. Below is an example of what you would see if you typed "Search Engine Journal" into your search bar:
Whether you were looking for the company or not, this was the first entry that came up. Because the first entry is a company, Bing includes these deep links. The deep links are chosen through a Bing algorithm, and while the algorithm generally does a good job of highlighting your most important pages, not all companies agree. This is where the changes come into play.
Bing Deep Link Management Changes Improve Your SEO
The changes made to the Bing Webmaster Tools are aimed at giving businesses more control over these deep links. The changes involved adding new features as well as getting rid of some older features. Below explains the updates and why they matter:
Features Removed from the Bing Deep Links Tool
- Weights. Webmasters used to be able to apply weights to existing deep links.
- Links Being Uses. You used to be able to see exactly which links were being used.
- Preview. There used to be a preview of what the deep links looked like.
Features Added to the Bing Deep Links Tool
- Block a Link Anywhere. You can now do two things in the way of blocking deep links. First, you can block a URL from appearing as a deep link absolutely anywhere, and you can do this with one single action. Second, you can block a link from appearing as a deep link in a specific marketing such as country or region. You can still block a deep link from appearing below a specific parent URL (this has been available for a long time), but now you can block in bulk without having to manually go through and do so for every single entry.
- No Limitation on Deep Link Information. In the past Bing had to copy all of the rich information to Webmaster Tools, but this is no longer necessary. As their community continues to grow, they are now allowing Webmasters to control every single deep link. You can tell Bing about anything no matter how popular or where the deep link is found.
- Blocks Expire Automatically. Blocks will now expire after 90 days unless you extend a block for another 90 days, which you can make happen at any time.
Deep links are just another way to help your company jump off the page when someone visits a SERP. It helps your entry look larger and makes it easier for users to navigate to other pages in your website that might be more relevant. In other words, you want these deep links optimized as much as possible. You want to make sure you have your best and most visited pages listed, and that will involve using many (if not all) of the new features described above.
Don't see any deep links associated with your company? Websites that benefit from deep links are typically the websites that are, as said by Bing, "keeping up to date with [their] performance in Bing and all the other places that Bing powers." This means keeping active and updated on your Bing Places and utilizing Bing Webmaster tools.