Insights From Fabrice Canel’s Pubcon Keynote

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Fabrice Canel, the Principal Product Manager for Microsoft Bing, gave a keynote presentation at the Pubcon convention in Austin, Texas.

The packed room of conference attendees eagerly listened as Canel discussed the topic of SEO for the new AI-powered Bing search engine.

As the leader of the product development team, Canel’s insights into the new and improved Bing search engine were highly anticipated by the audience.

His presentation offered valuable information on optimizing websites for the new Bing search experience. Additionally, we learned Bing Webmaster Tools will soon include traffic data from Bing’s AI chat.

In this article, we’ll dive into the highlights of Canel’s presentation and how to use the information to improve your visibility in Bing’s search results.

SEO Recommendations For Bing AI Search

Canel suggests sticking with the same SEO playbooks for optimizing content for Bing’s AI experience because it’s still the early days for AI search.

Additionally, he recommends monitoring Bing’s communication and data to make necessary adjustments as the usage of the new Bing continues to increase, transforming the way people search.

Throughout his keynote at Pubcon, Canel stressed the importance of SEO professionals in guiding Bing’s search crawlers to high-quality content.

According to Canel, SEO won’t ever be “dead,” and Bing needs the help of SEO professionals to optimize content for its new AI-powered algorithm.

What is @facan’s mission? To “stop crawl guessing,” adding that “most search engines have no idea if your content has changed. … It’s not smart! It’s costing you money.” Which seems to be a teaser to the question, “Should SEOs use AI?”

— Amanda Zantal-Wiener (@Amanda_ZW) February 28, 2023


Here’s what SEO professionals can do to help Bing.

Lastmod Tag

Canel emphasizes the importance of setting the lastmod tag to the date a page was last modified, not when the sitemap was generated.

The lastmod tag is an HTML attribute indicating when a particular webpage or URL received significant changes.

This tag is used in sitemaps to help search engines like Bing understand when a page was last updated.

Lastmod also helps searchers identify and access the most up-to-date content available.

When a lastmod tag is present, Bing will display the updated date in search results. This signals to searchers that the webpage may have new or updated information they haven’t seen yet.

Canel notes that 18% of sitemaps have lastmod values not correctly set, typically set to the date and time the sitemap is generated.


To help Bing discover relevant URLs and the latest webpage changes, Canel recommends adopting IndexNow to inform search engines of recent modifications to website content instantly.

He also suggests having sitemaps to provide search engines with all relevant URLs and corresponding modification dates.

Most importantly, focus on writing quality content and use semantic markup to convey information about the pages.

Canel adds that manually crawling a webpage to see if its content has changed wastes resources and energy and creates CO2.

Canel highlights another benefit of IndexNow that many don’t consider: saving energy.

Manually crawling a webpage to see if its content has changed wastes resources and energy and creates CO2. So, using IndexNow can help reduce carbon emissions.

Canel notes that 20 million websites have already adopted IndexNow, and he expects more top websites, search engines, and content management systems to follow suit.

“I’m pleased to announce today that Wix will be adopting IndexNow,” @facan says, emphasizing the importance of its integration with CMS platforms. Among other participating platforms: WordPress, Yoast, and others that he can’t disclose yet.

— Amanda Zantal-Wiener (@Amanda_ZW) February 28, 2023

Action Items

Canel suggests taking several action items to optimize content for Bing’s new AI-powered algorithm. These include the following:

  • Join
  • Adopt
  • Review and fix sitemap lastmod dates
  • Use Bing Webmaster tools
  • See what users want with
  • Read the Bing Webmaster Guidelines to understand better how Bing finds, indexes, and ranks websites.

In Summary

Canel’s keynote presentation at the Pubcon convention in Austin, Texas, offered valuable insights into optimizing websites for Bing’s new AI-powered search engine.

As the Principal Product Manager for Microsoft Bing, Canel’s expertise and guidance is highly regarded by SEO professionals and website owners.

Canel emphasized the importance of using the lastmod tag correctly, adopting IndexNow, and creating quality content with semantic markup to optimize content for Bing’s AI search.

He also highlighted the benefits of using Bing Webmaster Tools to monitor traffic data and make necessary adjustments to improve visibility in search results.

SEO professionals can benefit greatly from Canel’s recommendations and take action items such as adopting, reviewing and fixing sitemap lastmod dates, and understanding Bing Webmaster Guidelines to optimize their content for Bing’s AI-powered algorithm.

Overall, Canel’s presentation provided actionable insights to help website owners and SEO professionals optimize their content for Bing’s new AI search.

Featured Image: Freer/Shutterstock

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