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Microsoft Bing Will Stop Using Its Old BingBot User-Agent

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Microsoft Bing Will Stop Using Its Old BingBot User-Agent

Fabrice Canel from Microsoft Bing announced on the Bing blog that the search company will retire the legacy BingBot user-agent in the Fall of 2022. Instead, Bing will use a user-agent that is more representative of its evergreen BingBot rendering engine. Bing announced the new user agents back in 2019 but I guess this now means the old one is going away for good.

So out with this user-agent by the Fall of 2022:

Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)

In with these two new user-agents by the Fall of 2022:

Desktop:

Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Safari/537.36

Mobile:

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)

The “W.X.Y.Z” in the strings above, would be substituted with the latest Microsoft Edge version Bing is using for crawling, such as “100.0.4896.127″.

If you hard code anything for user-agents, you should update those details.

As an FYI, Google did the same thing with Googlebot user agents a couple years ago.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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New Google Trusted Store Badge Test

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Google Store Smile

Google is testing a new design for the trusted store badge in the paid shopping results. The Google Trusted Stores program to all U.S. merchants back in 2012, along with that came a badge in the search results to make those listings stand out.

FYI – here is how to qualify for this trusted store badge.

Brian Freiesleben spotted this new badge the other day and posted a screenshot on Twitter – here is that screenshot:

Google Trusted Store Badge New

Curently, the badge looks more like this version from last year:

click for full size

And the original one looked like this:

Google Trusted Stores AdWords Badge

Brian said on Twitter, “Would love to see Google add this to organic products from trusted merchants as well, but not sure if that’s likely.”

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Google Search Console Content Ideas Going Away March 28th

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Google Ideas Light

Last December, we caught Google testing an experimental feature named content ideas in Google Search Console. Well, yesterday, Google sent more invites to this feature but noted the feature is only available until March 28, 2023 and then it goes away.

Both Robin Dirksen on Twitter and Deepak Ness on Twitter shared screenshots of this feature but the new part is the March 28th date.

The email they received about this feature reads, “Note: This feature be available only until March 28, 2023, and only to select properties.” Then when you access the feature, there is a notice in the interface that says, “New! Get inspiration for new content (available until March 28).”

Here are those screenshots (click to enlarge):

click for full size

click for full size

We know this seems like the Question Hub feature and that Google Question Hub shut down this month. So maybe this content ideas feature is also shutting down but not until the end of March?

Here are more tweets with this:

I do wonder if Google is only testing it until then and maybe will bring it to more users later or if Google is completely killing it off on March 28th?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Microsoft Bing Search Menu Drop Down With Explore & Collect

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Bing Menu

Microsoft Bing is testing a new search bar interface on image search (I believe) where the search vertical options, such as web, videos, news, etc, are now presented in a drop-down bar and Bing added an “explore” and “collect” option across the bar instead.

This was spotted first by Frank Sandtmann and posted on Mastodon but I am also able to replicate this in Bing Image search. Here is a screenshot that you can click on and enlarge:

click for full size

This was also spotted by Khushal Bherwani:

Frank wrote, “Today I spotted #Bing displaying a new navigation menu on their image #SERP. Now the usual elements can be accessed after clicking on a dropdown. In addition, two more elements are displayed: “Explore” and “Collect”.”

Do you prefer this interface? I get what Microsoft is trying to do here but to me, I might want to jump back to web results or maybe video results sooner than use explore or collect?

Forum discussion at Mastodon.



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