MSNBot 2.0b will kill MSNBot 1.1 in the evolution of the crawler associated with Microsoft’s search / decision engine. Bing inherited MSNBot 1.1 from Live Search, but even ahead of the rebranding of its search engine, the Redmond company was already working on the next iteration of the crawler. In fact, version 2.0 of the bot was introduced approximately a year ago, at the end of 2008. On November 4th Microsoft announced that MSNBot 2.0b was fully operational and that, as a direct consequence, MSNBot 1.1 would be retired.
“We have made numerous improvements in its performance, addressed some webmaster concerns, and published detailed information on how to control the bot with a robots.txt file. Today we are announcing that the new bot is fully operational. This development will enable Bing to do a better job at gathering the information we need from the myriad of websites we index worldwide,” revealed Rick DeJarnette, Bing Webmaster Center. “As MSNBot 2.0b enters full-scale production, the time has come to retire our previous generation bot, MSNBot 1.1.”
MSNBot 1.1 will not live to see the end of the first year in November, Microsoft promised. Website owners and administrators will only be able to identify MSNBot 2.0b as msnbot/2.0b (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm) in their logs moving forward. The current Bing user agent: msnbot/1.1 (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm), will no longer be featured in referrer’s logs as of the end of this week.
“This event is a major milestone for the Bing engineering team, and we look forward to the positive developments that this bot will bring to our search engine index and thus to Bing customers. We want to specifically thank all those webmasters who provided us with valuable feedback as we ramped up the production of the new bot. Your assistance and cooperation was essential to making this milestone happen,” DeJarnette added.