Yahoo! has announced the closure of one of its most popular tools for search engine optimisation, Yahoo! Site Explorer.

The tool, which launched in September 2005, is due to be discontinued at some point later this year.

Its closure is part of Yahoo!’s ongoing transition to Microsoft’s search platform – an initiative of the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance.

Webmasters using Yahoo! Site Explorer have been advised to switch to the Bing Webmaster Center.

A post on Yahoo!’s search blog states: “The Bing Webmaster Center team has been actively adding new features over the past few months.”

Amongst these new features are detailed traffic statistics and an inbound links feature.

The eventual transition will mean that sites won’t have to be optimised for both the Yahoo! and Bing search engines separately.

Yahoo! added: “Microsoft is also committed to building analytic reports that include Yahoo! Search.”

It said further details would be released soon.

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