The last few posts we have covered getting a Windows Live Id, done a review of what is included in the Bing Webmaster Tools and how to register a site with Bing Webmaster Tools. In this article we will complete the registration of a site with Bing Webmaster Tools process by verifying your website ownership.
What is the Purpose of Site Ownership Verification?
The purpose of site ownership verification is to confirm you have rightful access to the web space being monitored by Bing Webmaster Tools (just like Google’s Webmaster Tools site verification).
The process of either adding a specific meta tag or file to your web hosting account confirms you have access to the web hosting account and ultimately are the website owner.
Options for Site Ownership Verification
Bing has three options for verifying ownership of a website/blog:
- A meta tag placed in the head section of your default (home page).
- Using an XML file placed on your web hosting account.
- Add CNAME record to DNS – for advanced users.
You will note that the meta tag option is for you home page, not every page on your site. Those who use plugins or edit the template for your database/program run site (like blogs and ecommerce sites) will find that when you use either a plugin or edit the head section of your templates the meta tag is added to each page, not just the home page.
Those if you who are DIY website owners (say those using Dreamweaver or Expression Web) can run into the same problem when you can’t/don’t edit the home page head section to include this meta tag. An example would be someone that does not know how to use DWTs (Dynamic Web Templates – Dreamweaver and Microsoft products only), creates a template for their site and recycles the template each time they make a new page without knowing how to edit the head section specifically on the home page. This person, if later they decide to drop Bing Webmaster Tools, has to edit every single page where the meta tag was to remove it. That can be a lot of work if you have a whole bunch of pages.
Hence, why we are going to use the XML file verification method in this tutorial. One file, placed in the root of your web space, that can be removed by deleting the file if you want to quit Bing Webmaster Tools or have to reverify for some reason. Oh, and another reason this method could be better is if you hired someone to monitor your website/blog stats for you and then decided to do it yourself (what we recommend) then you can remove the XML file verified in their Bing Webmaster Tools account and get your own with your own Bing Webmaster Tools account.
Verify Site Ownership Using XML File
Note: Your website/blog has to be available on the Internet to proceed with the verification process. i.e. Bing needs to be able to access the file we are adding to your web space account.
Log into Bing Webmaster Tools
Go to the Webmaster Tools home page, left click the Webmaster Tools Sign In link and login with your Windows Live ID.
You will be taken to your Bing Webmaster Tools dashboard.
To the right of the site you added to your Webmaster Tools account there is a message: “Site ownership has not been verified. Verify now”. Left click the Verify now link.
You are taken to the Verify ownership for: (your site name) page.
Get the XML File
We are going to be working with Option 1 in this process.
First item under Option 1 is to download your BingSiteAuth.xml file. Left click the link provided.
Select Save File from the options presented.
Save the file in the folder you have on your computer for your website files. You have one, right? If you don’t, make one and then after you have completed this tutorial backup your website (or blog as the case maybe) to your computer.
Upload the XML File to Your Web Space
Using your FTP software, upload the XML file you just downloaded from Bing Webmaster Tools to the root of your website.
The root of your website/blog is the folder on your web hosting account with all the files (pages) of your website. The specific name of this folder varies depending on which hosting company you are using.
Verify You Uploaded to the Right Spot
Bing provides a link for you to click to verify you uploaded your XML file to the right spot. Left click the link provided.
A new tab opens. You should see something like this:
<user>(a bunch of numbers here)</user>
If it worked correctly proceed to the next step. If not, try moving the XML file.
Complete the Verification Process
Scroll down to the bottom of the Verify ownership page.
Left click the VERIFY button on the left.
You are taken to the dashboard for the specific site you just verified.
Under Site Activity on your dashboard you will see a bunch of No data available messages. That makes sense, you only just did this and Bing hasn’t had a chance to collect data about your site.
Give Bing Webmaster Tools a few days to start collecting data about your site.
You can log out of Bing now.
Bing Webmaster Tools Site Ownership Verifcation
As you can see, it really isn’t that hard for a website/blog owner to do this themselves. Just a bit of patience is required.
Now, once Bing has a chance to visit your site and collect data about it, you will have a wealth of information on how Bing sees your site.