Microsoft Bing made two significant announcements this week -- the re-launch of Bing Site Explorer in Webmaster Tools and the release of the Bing app on Xbox to search the web from the console.
The redesign of Site Explorer in Webmaster Tools gives search engine optimization professionals more data on clicks, errors, impressions, links, warnings, and indexing issues.
A new feature gives webmasters options to inspect URLs, request to index any specific URL, and to test any URL inside the robots.txt tester tool.
Webmasters also can sort folders and URLs alphabetically or by Microsoft Bing clicks, default or impressions.
The Microsoft Bing app arrived on Xbox with the promise of giving consumers the ability to search and find recommendations and trending games, videos and news. It is one more place from which advertisers can reach consumers across the Microsoft advertising network.
The console is no longer a gaming box, but rather an entertainment center that supports activities many users already do -- for example, when they browse for videos or photos with a group of friends and want to view them on a big screen, or are stuck in a game and want to quickly look up hints without leaving the console.
The search feature combines Microsoft Bing data on games with information from Xbox such as in-game progress and Xbox friends who play a specific title.
The Xbox version of Microsoft Bing also brings in Microsoft Rewards to entice users to search with Bing rather than Google.
Searching with Bing earns users rewards they can redeem for gift cards or donations. Rewards can also be earned through quizzes and polls. Microsoft has also enabled the ability to search with voice, using the controller or media remote.
The app is available for users in the U.S., and Microsoft says it will bring the feature to more markets soon.