The Bing Places portal has features to help businesses respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and share updates with users and employees. Below are some tips and tools to help you respond faster for your customers and employees:
More broadly Microsoft offers many tools and products that can help businesses continue serving their customers and employees during the coronavirus epidemic. A few products of note include:
During these unprecedented times Bing Places is looking for ways to better serve local businesses. Please refer to the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, and the Small Business Administration’s websites for additional information and guidance on COVID-19.
If you have ever wanted to reach out to potential new customers on your Bing Search Profile Page then Special Announcement was built for you. This feature allows businesses to communicate promotions directly to customers, give real time updates on business changes like hours of operation or menu changes, and share links to additional business information. Text and links get shared directly with your target search audience in a Special Announcements box in your businesses Bing Listing.
Posts can include new hours of operation, menu change highlights, events, offers, or general information for your customers. These announcements are highly visible to your potential customers, so it is very important that these posts are high quality. A few recommendations before you create your first post:
Note that Microsoft reserves the right to not publish or take down any special announcements posted by businesses if in Microsoft’s sole discretion the content is deemed inappropriate or offensive, spam or malware, or includes private or protected content.
Note: The announcement creation workflow is not available on mobile phones, desktop only.
Bing Places for Business is a free Bing service which empowers businesses to claim existing Local Listings, or add new ones, in order to manage the accuracy of information we display about you to customers.
Bing Places for Business can help local, small and chain businesses by:
Get online customers for your business
Bing will use the listings added on Bing Places for Business to show the right business information to customers searching Bing and Bing Maps on their PCs and mobile devices.
Make sure customers have the right information
Businesses can use Bing Places for Business to preview their listings on Bing and then make the necessary updates or corrections. Businesses can describe the services available at their business and can add hours, photos, and specific links to their website. Bing Places for Business also helps keep that information updated by notifying the business contact when the listing information is more than three months old.
There are three steps to getting your Local Listing information added to Bing:
Businesses start by searching to see if Bing already has a listing for their business. If the listing exists, users can claim that listing and modify it as needed. If a listing does not exist, users can add a new one. Businesses with multiple locations can use a bulk upload file to add up to 10,000 locations at once. Get Details
Verifying a listing protects it from unauthorized changes. Users can verify ownership of their listings via a unique PIN sent to them via postal mail, email, text messag, phone call, online verificaton or via Webmaster. Some Verification options may not be available to all customers. See Get Link for more information.
After successful verification, listings are processed by Bing for publishing. Publish ETA will be available next to the 'Verified' status'.
To edit any information about your listing (e.g. hours of operation, photos, website info), please login to your Bing Places account, select the listing you would like to update and use the' Edit' option from top left to update the details.
Supported business types
The following types of business are currently supported.
Local and small businesses operating from a single location (e.g. restaurants, car dealers, museums).
Business with multiple locations
National or regional chain businesses (e.g. retail stores, hotels) with multiple locations. Real estate management companies with multiple properties are also supported. These businesses can use the bulk upload file to more easily manage their listings. Get Details
Businesses without a physical store
Businesses that offer their services at customer locations (e.g. cleaners, plumbers). While all businesses must provide a valid address for verification purpose, service provider businesses can choose to hide their address from search results. Get Details
Supported business relationships
Listings on Bing Places must either have a physical address for customers to visit or provide an area of service where someone will travel to visit the customer. This service definition allows for many different permutations of businesses, so Bing Places allows for listings to create three different relationships between themselves: Department of, Located at, and Works at.
Departments Within Your Business Or Institution
Many listings like stores, auto dealerships, hospitals, universities, and government institutions have departments that are distinct from the ‘parent’ listing. To qualify as a department the ‘child’ listing must be accessible to customers searching on Bing and must differ from the parent listing. Departments will often have their own phone numbers or hours of operation, and departments will always offer different categories or goods or services.
Examples of acceptable departments:
Example of unacceptable departments:
“Located In” Business Relationship
“Department of” and “Located in” are very similar relationships with the distinction that located in means the listing isn’t owned by the parent listing. If a grocery store owns a coffee shop inside the store then that coffee shop would be considered a department of the grocery store; however, if there is a Starbucks located inside of a grocer store then that listing would be “Located in” the grocery story rather than a department of the grocer store. ‘Child’ listings that pay ‘rent’ to the parent listing should be considered ‘located in’ rather than ‘department of’ listings.
Examples of acceptable ‘located in’ relationships:
“Works At” Business Relationship
Some businesses like law firms hire multiple people who customers need to be able to reach out to directly. In these instances, it makes sense for the person to have their own Bing listing that is attached to the business with a “works at” relationship. Businesses that only have one customer facing professional should append their name to the listing title; for example, “Smile Dentistry: Dr. Jane Doe.” But if there are multiple professionals working from the same address then setting up individual listings for each professional and then linking them all to the business makes sense.
Examples of acceptable ‘works at’ relationships:
Examples of unacceptable ‘works at’ relationships:
Bing Places for Business is currently available in the following countries.
Bing Places for Business is currently available in the following languages.
Bing Places Account
Creating your Bing Places account is simple!
All you need to do is Sign In using your preferred login option, and your account will be created immediately:
A free Microsoft account can also be created at the Microsoft account sign up page. For more details about Microsoft account and why it is beneficial to have one, please visit the Microsoft account page.
This section describes how you can add and manage your business listings on Bing Places for Business.
Adding a local or small business
Follow these steps to add a new local or small business.
Updating old Business Name/Address information
If you've moved location and/or changed your business name, please note we do not advise you to claim/update an existing local listing.
Instead, please use this process:
This is because existing local listings often pull business information from other data sources. If you change the name/address, but these other sources remain linked, then your listing will be receiving conflicting information that could lead to data inaccuracy.
Complete your listing
Completing your listing helps Bing tell a better story about your business. Here are some tips to help ensure your listing is complete.
Edit your listing information
If you're claiming a listing, most of your information will be pre-filled, though we recommend checking for accuracy prior to submitting your listing.
The more complete your listing information, the better the story you can tell your customers when your listings show on Bing.
The following business attributes are available within Bing Places:
* indicates required information
When you are happy with the accuracy and completeness of your information, click Submit to begin the publishing process for your listing.
Correct your location on Bing maps
To help your customers locate your business easily, review and correct your business location on Bing maps.
Guidelines for photos
A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some tips for choosing photos to add for your business. You can add up to 100 photos.
To ensure photos are displayed correctly on Bing, we require that all photos must be at least 480x360 pixels. Larger images, up to 10MB, are allowed provided the meet the same width : height ratio.
We are launching a new feature to let Bing places users flag and categorize all images we think related to its business.
In Bing, you will find that there can be multiple images published under your business listing, including your own uploaded images, web mined images and aggregators provided images. In the past, we've received escalations from business owners about some of the images being outdated, irrelevant or of poor quality and asking to have those images removed.
With this feature, now you can flag all the images, from all channels, that you deem not representing your business in an accurate and up-to-date fashion. Once you mark them with a flag in Bing Places dashboard that mentions the image as inaccurate, the images will be removed from the ‘live’ listing and will be no longer displayed on the Bing results page or Bing Maps. This is an automated process, so please allow at least 5 days for the collection of images under your ‘live’ listing to refresh.
At the same time that you flag images as relevant or not relevant, you can also provide a ‘category’ tag (such as ‘interior’, ‘exterior’ or ‘logo’) that can help our search engine in categorizing your images and providing meaningful search results to Bing users. If you want to have a better image ranking in Bing, you can provide us with this data. The better understanding we have of your images, the more your image ranking will improve.
Guidelines for websites
URL of the corporate or business website. Do not add any public domain (Google.com, Yahoo.com) websites here. If you dont have a website, you can now create a free website with us. Click on the 'Create free website link' to get started. Alternatively, you may leave this empty if you do not have a business webpage and you dont want to create one.
You may also provide us with the URLs of the business pages in Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and TripAdvisor. Leave these sections empty if not applicable.
Currently special hours are supported for businesses in United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) only. Holidays eligible for special hours are:
You can verify your listing in a number of ways. All of these methods, except for the online option involve receiving a PIN and entering the PIN successfully at the Bing Places for Business website.Get Details
Businesses with multiple locations
Businesses with multiple locations can use the bulk upload file to add or update up to 10,000 locations at once. This section describes the verification process and bulk file format requirements.
If you have multiple locations, you can verify all of those locations at once. You do not need not need to verify each location individually. Verification for multiple businesses consists of these steps:
After successful verification, you can upload your locations.
Subsidiaries (brands and properties)
Chain businesses are expected to have the same business name for all their locations. However if a business owns multiple brands or properties (e.g. multiple hotel brands or a real estate company managing different properties) they can provide the brand or property names for verification. These names can be used in the bulk upload file. Get Details
Preparing the bulk file
Use the guidelines below to correctly complete the bulk upload Excel file and reduce errors while uploading.
Assign a unique identifier for each location being added. This can be any number or text. Ensure no two locations in the same file have the same identifier.
Enter the business name here. Use the name the business is operated under or known as locally. Avoid using locations in the business name.
Address Line 1
Specify the address of your business here. Information such as suite or building number, building name, street name, etc. should be provided here in standard business mail format.
Address Line 2
Use address line 2 to accommodate long addresses that won’t fit in address line 1.
Name of the city where the business is located.
Name of the state or subdivision where the business is located. Follow these country specific guidelines.
Use this field for the zip or postal code for your business.
Add the country code for the country where the business is located. Use the country codes from the following table.
Enter up to 10 categories that best describe your business. At least one category is required.
Of the categories added under the “Category” column, choose one that represents your primary business and add it under the “Primary category” column.
Latitude and Longitude
Enter the latitude and longitude of individual locations.
URL of your corporate or business website. Do not add any public domain (e.g. Google.com, Yahoo.com) websites here. Leave this empty if you do not have a business website.
You can add the business hours in the following format.
<DayOfWeek> hh:mm AM or PM - hh:mm AM or PM
Open 24 Hours
If your business is open 24x7, then specify “Y”. Otherwise you can specify “N” or leave this blank. When "Y" is specified, all other operation hours are ignored.
Add up to 100 URLs of photos of your business. URLs must use an image extension (.bmp, .jpeg or .jpg). Separate the URLs using a comma. Here aer some tips when choosing which photos add for your business.
To ensure photos are displayed correctly on Bing, we require that all photos must be at least 480x360 pixels. Larger images, up to 5MB, are allowed provided the meet the same width : height ratio.
This field is intended for restaurant (Food & Drink) businesses only. Provide the URL of the page on your website showing the cuisine offered at your restaurant.
URL of the Facebook page for your business. This must start with www.facebook.com.
URL of the Twitter page for your business. This must start with www.twitter.com.
URL of the Yelp page for your business. This must start with www.yelp.com.
URL of the TripAdvisor page for your business. This must start with www.tripadvisor.com.
Indicative price of one meal
This field is intended for restaurant (Food & Drink) businesses only. Use one of the following values to indicate the average price of one meal at your restaurant.
'$' - to indicate very low price
'$$' - to indicate low price
'$$$' - to indicate medium price
'$$$$' - to indicate a high price
'$$$$$' - to indicate a very high price
Hotel Star Rating
This field is intended for hotel businesses only. You can select one option from the following. Star ratings will be reviewed and inaccurate ratings will be removed.
Delete From Account
To delete a previously added listing from your Bing Places for Business account, specify “Y” in this column.
We have removed following fields from the bulk upload template because our studies have shown that Bing search and maps users are not looking for this information. Please be assured that this will not affect search relevance of your listing in any way.
Add text describing your business. You can use this column to describe the various products and services offered at your business locations. You can also include, for example, your specialties, awards and guides about how to reach your business. You can use the same description for all locations or use a location-specific description. Descriptions should be limited to 4096 characters.
A short version of the description. Limit this to 500 characters.
If your business has additional websites beyond those described above, you can list them in this column. Enclose URLs in a pair of brackets e.g. '<' and '>'. Separate multiple URLs with a semi-colon(;). Example: <www.example.com>, <www.contoso.com>
This field is intended for retail store businesses that have various departments (e.g. Pharmacy, Photo Studio, Cosmetics). You can also include the department phone numbers. Use a semicolon (;) to list multiple department names.
Example: Pharmacy:xxx-xxx-xxxx; Cosmetics:yyy-yyy-yyyy;Photo studio
This field is intended for retail store businesses that carry various brands at their stores. Use a comma (,) to list multiple brand names.
List names of professional groups or organizations your business is associated with. Use a comma (,) to list multiple names.
Add a list of various payment options offered at your business. You must select from the following list. Separate multiple values with a comma.
American Express, ATM, Cash, Check, Debit card, Diner's Club, Discover, Eurocard, Financing, Food stamp, Gift card, Invoice, JCB, MasterCard, No Cash, No check, No credit card, Paypal online, Traveler's check, Visa, Credit cards accepted
Add list of parking options available at your business. Select from the following list, separating multiple values with a comma.
Offsite parking nearby, Paid parking on site, Parking on site, Street parking, Valet parking, With in/ out privileges, Free parking on site, Limited parking on site, Limited valet parking, Merchant-validated parking, Metered street parking, No in/out privileges, No self-parking
Add the year in which your business started at its current location (in YYYY format).
Fixing errors in the bulk upload file
Any errors in the bulk upload file will result in the entire file being rejected. To avoid, this follow the guidelines specified in the previous section. However if errors do occur, the following steps can help you resolve the issues.
Download the file containing errors. You can easily identify the cells containing errors using the following guidelines:
Download your listings
Use the following steps to download a copy of all listings that were previously added through a bulk upload.
The download size is limited to 10,000 locations. If your account has more than 10,000 locations, contact Support to obtain the full list.
Businesses without a physical store
Businesses without a physical store that offer their services at the customer locations, such as service providers like locksmiths, plumbers and tutors, can use the same process as described in the “Local business” section but then choose to hide their address from search results. Use the following steps to hide your address.
Agencies that want to add listings on Bing Places for Business on behalf of their clients can register as agencies and make use of streamlined methods to manage business listings.
Who are considered as agencies
An agency is a business authorized to add and manage Bing Places for Business listings on their behalf of their clients.
What are the benefits of signing up as an agency?
Agency users can
How do I sign up as an agency?
To sign up as an agency, do the following:
Upon successful verification, you can add and edit your clients’ listings. Note that we will ask you for additional verification for each listing added.
As an agency, how to I verify my clients’ listings?
For each client listing you add, we will send a verification PIN by email or postcard to your client’s business email or address. After receiving the PIN, either you or your client must enter the PIN at the Bing Places for Business website.
Additional instructions for completing verification will be included with the PIN.
Verifying your business listing protects it from unauthorized changes. Bing Places for Business offers the following methods for businesses to verify their listings.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Data quality guidelines
All listings submitted to Bing Places for Business should conform to the data quality guidelines provided below. Your business listing may get suspended if the guidelines are not followed and/or the content provided by you can mislead the users in any way.
If your business has more than one category of services, select the one to represent your primary type of business. For cases where you are running multiple category business from same address, its advisable to create seprate listings and use parent child relationship to link them. E.g If you have a Hotel and also a restuarant within the hotel, then you can create 2 listings and use the parent child relationship.
Business Website and other URLs
Position on Map
Hours of Operation
Note: Images will be reviewed for quality before being published.
Delete your account
Please follow below steps to delete your Bing Places account
If you would like to create an account with us in future, please sign up at Bing Places for Business
I have not received my verification PIN
If you were using phone verification, you can click “Resend PIN” located in the Enter PIN box.
Postcards with your PIN typically take about 5-6 business days to arrive at locations within United States. For international locations, it may take longer. We recommend waiting at least 12 days from when you requested verification. If you do not receive your verification postcard after 12 days please contact our support.
The verification PIN I received does not work
I cannot find my email provider for email verification
To prevent unauthorized access, we support a limited number of email names that are most likely to belong to the business being verified. If you do not see your email address, please use a different verification method. However, we are continuously adding to the suggestions shown. You can use the Feedback link to suggest other email addresses for future use.
My business is shown in the wrong position on Bing maps
To help your customers locate your business easily, review and correct your business location on Bing maps.
I cannot find a good category for my business
Click Browse to see a full list of all available categories. Expand each category to find the most suitable option for your business. If none of the categories are exactly correct, choose the closest option.
You can suggest new categories by clicking Feedback.
There are duplicate listings on Bing for my business
I want to report a closed business
Only verified business owners can report a business as closed. To do so, follow these steps.
My business is wrongly marked as closed
You need to successfully complete the verification process for the above changes to take effect.
Is there an easy way to add and verify multiple businesses or locations?
Use the bulk upload tool to add and verify multiple locations all at once.
For more details review the “Businesses with multiple locations” section.
Bulk upload does not allow me to add more than 100 businesses
Chain businesses with multiple locations can verify all of their locations at once, provided all the locations have the same business name. The Name column in the Excel file for upload should have the same value for all rows.
If your business owns or manages multiple brands or properties, consider adding the names of those brands and properties. Review more details in the “Businesses with multiple locations” section.
I am not able to sign in to Bing Places for Business
How are Local Listings created ?
Bing uses many internal and external data sources to populate the information that appears in a Local Listing. Bing Places is one of the primary sources for this information; using Bing Places you can control and update your listing, within the established policies available at https://www.bingplaces.com/Help#DataGuidelines.
Although Bing Places is one of our preferred data feeds, we may still prioritise information we get from other sources if that information appears to be fresher, (e.g. Bing Places data hasn’t been updated for more than 6 months) or if there are multiple conflicts with the data we’re getting from Bing Places.
Many of the sources Bing pulls from are publicly visible at the bottom of the listing, in the 'Data from' section; other sources are internal and specific to Microsoft and we don't disclose them publicly or provide a list of all our sources, as this keeps evolving over time.
In some cases the data in Bing Places might not be reflected in the published Local Listing because of policy concerns, or due to the formatting logic used by Bing when acquiring, standardizing and conflating data from multiple sources. Bing’s algorithm keeps learning to improve the final listing quality, which may mean that at times details of the final listing might differ from what is expected.
Each change in Bing Places goes through a Publishing Cycle, in order for the data to be validated and matched against the data we’re receiving from other sources. If, after several days, a certain attribute has not updated on the local listing, and the change in Bing Places complies with our policies, please do flag that with us so that we can review, validate, and update the listing.
Please note that we favour information that helps users who are searching on Bing and we want to offer them a standardized experience, so certain updates provided in Bing Places Dashboard might be discarded if we feel that a different value for the same attribute provides a better experience (for instance, we don't accept SEO techniques, like keyword insertion, applied to business name).
As of now, Bing Places API is available only as a part of Bing Places trusted partner program.
If you are an agency managing more than 10,000 business listings on behalf of your clients, and have strict data quality checks; you might be eligible for Bing Places trusted partner program.
Benefits of Bing Places trusted partner program:
If you are interested in checking out the Bing Places API document, click here.
If you are not interested in Bing Places trusted partner program, click here to create a regular agency account.
Download the Bing Places App on your iOS or Android device and take control of your business listings from your phone.
How Bing local ranking works
Bing Local provides search users with the most relevant business listings, based on the search topic that the user has entered. For example, if a search user looks for "restaurants", Bing Local will provide restaurant listings that will be immediately useful to the user based on many relevance checks:
Local ranking algorithm is primarily based on relevance, distance and popularity.
Best practices to improve your ranking
If your business is not showing in Bing, it doesn’t mean it's not popular! It simply means that Bing doesn’t have enough information about your business.