Microsoft had previously indicated that Bing Chat data would be integrated into Bing Webmaster Tools by May 2023. However, months after the projected deadline, the data remains absent. Despite discussing the feature since February, Bing has recently refrained from commenting on the matter.
When approached by Search Engine Land for a comment, a Microsoft press representative stated, “Microsoft has nothing more to share on Bing Chat data in Bing Webmaster Tools at this time.” However, a subsequent update from Microsoft affirmed their commitment to launching Bing Chat data in Webmaster Tools.
Mixed messages suggest Microsoft is still working on the data integration but is not necessarily close to meeting its previous goal. Fabrice Canel had previously announced that Bing Chat data would be incorporated into Bing Webmaster Tools, though he did not specify an exact date. In May, he mentioned, “We will be shipping in May in Bing Webmaster Tools UX and Bing Webmaster Tools API.” He further tweeted about the imminent reporting of clicks and impressions in Bing Chat.
The Bing Webmaster Tools team had developed the feature, as evidenced by a screenshot shared by Canel in late May. He captioned the image with, “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.”
We will start reporting clicks and impressions in Bing Chat in the following weeks.
— Fabrice Canel (@facan) April 21, 2023
No Announcement and Speculations on the Delay
While the exact reasons for the delay remain unclear, there is speculation that Microsoft's senior management might be hesitant to release the data to website owners. Concerns arise that the click-through rates from Bing Chat could be disappointingly low, and Microsoft might not want such data to become public knowledge.
Another theory suggests that publishers and site owners were apprehensive about AI's capability to answer questions comprehensively, potentially reducing the need for users to visit the original source.
There's no doubt this is disappointing from Microsoft, especially since the company promise it would provide data and be transparent with Bing Chat. Comparatively, Microsoft Bing has historically been more open with its Search and Bing Chat data than Google with its Search Console. The silence from Microsoft, months after teasing the integration of Bing Chat data into Bing Webmaster Tools, has left many awaiting further comments.