Bing announced Tuesday it will retire its tool that allows anyone to submit a URL on the web anonymously and have it index to serve up in the search engine.
Eliminating the ability to submit URLs anonymously when a user is not signed in should help Microsoft reduce low-quality and untrustworthy URLs. The company said it's been a challenge in the past.
It also should help Bing reduce the amount of spam that serves up in search results. Webmasters also prefer having greater ownership of the URLs for their site.
Marketers and webmasters can still use the tool, but they are now required to sign in to Bing Webmaster Tools to submit URLs. They must log in and verify the site, and then navigate to the Submit URL tool within the Configure My Site menu options.
In a similar process, Google in July shuttered its public submission URL tool that was not restricted to site owners, but continues to accept submissions using the usual tool in Search Console and through sitemaps directly. The company made the announcement in a Twitter tweet.
"It is likely the majority of those using the tool were SEOs [submitting] pages they didn’t own," Jennifer Slegg, founder of The SEM Post, wrote in a blog. “SEOs could submit a URL for a page they have a link on, to get the link indexed and pushing PageRank faster.
Sleff also wrote that marketers could use the tool to get a social media page indexed faster, often for reputation management purposes -- such as a Facebook page or Twitter profile.
Some users even did this on competitor sites to get spam-ridden pages indexed and then file a spam report, she explained.