MSN Live Search has joined the race to provide webmasters with the tools and features that we expect with the announcement of Webmaster Portal. According to the announcement, the new service will be started in “private beta” and will test out some of the tools and commands that they intend on bringing to the public starting in late fall:
Shortly after that day in March when we had to take the “link:” operator offline, a small team was formed in Redmond. Its singular focus: to build the next-generation set of tools, content and resources for SEO professionals and webmasters (and get “link:” back in your hands). Creatively named Webmaster Portal (we’re really good at marketing), it will be a single, friendly place to find all tools and information relating to Live Search SEO. Initially we’ll support these scenarios:
- Troubleshooting tools to ensure MSNBot is effectively crawling and indexing your site
- Sitemap creation, submission and ping tools
- Statistics about your website
- Consolidation of content submission resources
- New content and community resources
While we expect the tools to be available publicly in late Fall, we still have some polishing to do. In the meantime we’ve created a private beta program to let adventuresome folks get their hands on the tools sooner – and help polish things by providing feedback.
This is a welcome addition to the one engine webmaster show that has been Google’s Webmaster Central and I look forward to useful tools and information that MSN has been providing like AdCenter Labs. This is quite a surprise for me, after MSN had pulled (what I considered a basic tool) the “link” operator offline, I was concerned about their ability to return results (maybe a storage concern), but if they can turn tools and reports like they have done with AdCenter Labs, then this will be like Christmas!
Will this live up to the hype? That remains to be seen, however, if you are interested in getting into the “private beta” (in other words they have to accept you), then get over to the announcement and send in you request.