Microsoft told us that we should expect Bing Chat data in Bing Webmaster Tools by May 2023, well, we are now a few months after that deadline and we still do not have any Bing Chat data in Bing Webmaster Tools. In fact, Bing has been talking about this feature since February and guess what, now Bing has gone silent about it.
What Microsoft is saying now. Well, Microsoft is not saying much now and hasn’t said much since May 2023. “Microsoft has nothing more to share on Bing Chat data in Bing Webmaster Tools at this time,” a Microsoft press representative told Search Engine Land today.
Update: After I posted this, Microsoft followed up and said they, “committed to launching Bing Chat data in Webmaster Tools.”
Canel announced that data from Bing Chat would be included in Bing Webmaster tools several weeks ago. He didn’t say precisely when it would be included at that time.
Coming in May we were told. “We will be shipping in May in Bing Webmaster Tools UX and Bing Webmaster Tools API,” Cancel said when asked if Bing Chat data is coming to Bing Webmaster Tools. He said in another tweet, “We will start reporting clicks and impressions in Bing Chat in the following weeks.”
Here are those tweets:
It was built. The Bing Webmaster Tools team built it out, it just was never released. Here is a screenshot Fabrice Canel shared at the end of May when he said they were a few days away from releasing it. Fabrice wrote on there, “The anticipation is building! We’re diligently auditing and fine-tuning to ensure accuracy and precision. Stay tuned for the upcoming new performance report, just a few more days to go.”
Why the delay. I can only speculate but it seems to be that the higher-ups at Microsoft do not want this data in the hands of site owners. I suspect that the click-through rates that Bing Chat would show site owners would be horribly low and Microsoft does not want that data to get out to the public.
There could be technical reasons why it was not released but from what I can tell, this feature was ready to go and Microsoft Bing decided intentionally not to release it. Why? Like I said, publishers and site owners were concerned about AI answering questions well and full enough that users would not need or want to click over to the source.
Why we care. We were hoping that Bing would step up and share this data in a transparent manner. We were not expecting Google to do the same with Google Search Console. But Microsoft Bing has been more transparent with Search and Bing Chat than Google has been with Google Search or SGE.