Yahoo and Microsoft provide some improved search tools

Google’s web master tools are typically regarded as the most flexible, but the two other major search engines are providing useful capabilities too:

Yahoo is providing a Dynamic URL Rewriting tool

This tool will allow you to tell Yahoo which querystrings to ignore in a URL.

This is really good because one of the challenges for SEO has often been to ensure everyone always uses the same URL to avoid search engine dilution.

(E.g. somewhere.com/product/?id=123&src=affiliate1 is treated differently to somewhere.com/product/?id=123&src=affiliate2 by search engines — they don’t know (and can’t assume) that the “src” querystring parameter doesn’t (mostly likely) change the content. Links to a product page using such varied parameters means less weighting, or page dilution, which may affect ranking.)

Read more about this:

Yahoo’s tool is an excellent move. It needs the other big players to do similar things before we can be more relaxed on our URLs and their querystrings.

Microsoft Live Search announces a web master SEO tool

This tool sounds similar to google’s and will offer:

  • 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

Read more in their announcement.

Good progress on both fronts.

(An irony is that it was Google’s Matt Cutts who mentioned these in one of his blog posts!)

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