On the 13th of May 2022, Microsoft Bing deprecated anonymous sitemap submission due to the superfluous spammy link issues. Sitemaps now would be submitted to Bing either with the help of Bing Webmasters tool or with the help of Bing Webmasters Tools.
According to Bing, there were many cases where an XML sitemap was submitted by a user who didn't really want to submit one but instead just wanted to open a website in another tab. In the light of the abuse by search, spammers have found ways to generate large volumes of spammy submissions through the sitemap protocol, Microsoft has ceased the conventional approach to sitemap submissions. Consequently, the anonymous HTTP request submissions wouldn't be allowed post the 13th of May 2022.
Moving forward, Microsoft has decided to give priority to users who register their accounts because anonymity often led to spam abuse of the service. Microsoft encourages users to create their own submit form for their sitemaps in order to receive updates about their content by email. In addition, when registering, Microsoft emphasizes that it does not sell or collect user data nor use it for marketing purposes.
The question now is that if Bing now no longer enables the submission of anonymous sitemaps, how should one go about it at all? Well, one can still leverage robots.txt or Bing Webmaster tools, the approach slightly differing nonetheless.
One can opt for either of the following steps for direct sitemap submissions to Bing, moving forward:
IndexNow can be used as a supplemental and alternative way of pushing content to Bing when you don’t have an XML sitemap. The search engine Bing has a feature where site owners can push their content to the search engine without having to submit it first. They track all the web pages and after that, the webpages are indexed in the search engine. This is not only great for site owners that wish to keep their content private, but also for those in countries where they can’t get content approved by a human reviewer before it is indexed on Bing. The only catch is that they need an anonymous submission form so that they can see all of these web pages or you will be blocked from submitting through IndexNow.
Microsoft Bing’s announcement to stop accepting XML sitemap submissions through HTTP requests means that anonymous sitemap submissions wouldn’t be the norm anymore. This means that one is obliged to use robots.txt or Bing Webmaster Tools for submitting all sitemap requests henceforth.
This move will peeve and disrupt the Black hat SEO tactics and allow more anonymity and editorial control to the site owners to build more authoritative and credible links.