SEO Microsoft Bing – site gone from SERP overnight! - article comments

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To prevent article pages from being miles long, but preserve all the useful questions and answers provided over time, I've decided to copy/paste the website comments to the forum - and "move" further discussions here.

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SEO Microsoft Bing – site gone from SERP overnight!

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Relja
    • Emmanuel OBC
      04/08/2022 at 11:28
      Hi, try deleting IndexNow plugin if you have it installed.. We had all these issues when we added that plugin to a lot of our websites.
      We noticed that some of the sites without that plugin installed didn’t lose ranking. So few weeks ago we deleted that plugin and now some of the site have thier ranking back again.
      See if doing that helps after few days or weeks.
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        Relja Novović
        04/08/2022 at 12:14
        Hi Emmanuel,
        I have never used that plugin, but I have been using Cloudflare’s “Crawler Hints” option, which does a similar thing.
        However, though all of my websites used that option, only one domain is affected with the Bing SERP removal.
        Still, to be on the safe side, I’ve disabled the Cloudflare Crawler Hints for the affected website about 10 days ago.
        So far, nothing seems to help.
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      Jack Yan
      06/08/2022 at 06:58
      Hi Relja, I’ve been observing some weird things around the same time as you, and ran a bunch of tests over on my blog. I don’t want to link-spam you so I’ll summarize as briefly as I can.
      I discovered it as we were using DDG for our internal search for one of our sites. In late May or early June, thousands of our pages disappeared. Bing will do between 10 and 50 pages now for a site: search.
      I initially wondered if we were doing something wrong, but there are two findings that suggest there is something very wrong with Bing.
      I ran a bunch of site: searches using Google, Mojeek (which has its own index) and Bing. Let’s take one extreme example of site:nytimes.com. Here are the results:
      Google: 36,500,000
      Mojeek: 2,879,513
      Bing: 2,723
      But pretty much every site: search you can throw at them, except for site:microsoft.com, sees Bing dead last, and with a tiny fraction of the number of pages Google has.
      Secondly, head to WorldWideWebSize.com. This site tries to estimate the size of the web by throwing queries at search engines. And in Bing’s case, since late May, the index appears to have tanked. At best, Bing has about 1·5 million pages in its index, if their methodology is accurate. That’s smaller than Inktomi and Alltheweb.com in the early 2000s. In fact, their latest graph shows the line just stopping.
      No one there is talking about this, but there is something very wrong with that search engine.
      Finally, Cloudflare Crawler Hints. I had that switched on as well, and it sent the least relevant pages (some were nearly 20 years old) to Bing. It didn’t reflect at all the pages I know were being read on our site.
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        Relja Novović
        06/08/2022 at 07:16
        Hi Jack,
        I’ve disabled the Cloudflare Crawler Hints after having noticed this problem with Bing. Just to be sure Bing is not getting spammed by page-submission requests.
        It is a black box after all, so all I can do is try to minimize the amount of “unknown” and unpredictable stuff, and track the little feedback I can get.
        The number of indexed pages is not the whole problem IMO. Sure “SEO” piles up the Internet with garbage, and it’s fine if a search engine decides to just ditch a lot of that stuff. However, what I found to be most appaling is that I have some articles that rank top 3, or top 1+2 on Google, for the cycling-related stuff. Those have been removed from Bing (and the “Bing-copy-search-engines“)!
        To add insult to injury, Bing SERP showed a website that literally copy/pasted my articles (the whole site is comprised of copy-pasted articles from various cycling-related websites, and uses AdSense for monetizing… so Google isn’t golden either, but at least it doesn’t rank the site on its SERPs). I had submitted the report to Bing, but no action was taken. Then I asked the “thief” website’s hosting provider to sort it out, and that was done in 24 hours, so the pages stolen from my site were showing 404 and will probably get dumped from Bing’s SERPa in a few years time… 🙂 Maybe then my articles will come back.
        Again – I’m fortunate these websites don’t pay my bills. But it is a bit scary – just getting “turned off” overnight, and basically nothing you can do about it. Online-based businesses should start building brick&mortar shops ASAP. 🙂
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      Max
      06/08/2022 at 12:08
      Hello,
      Check if your website access logs contains prod.uhrs.playmsn.com in refarrals, then your site has been manually banned, by some guy from india or south america, that system provides low-paid clickworker reviews metrics without feedbacks.
      Bing now looks like mafia.
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        Relja Novović
        06/08/2022 at 12:22
        Hi Max,
        To me, it looks like a search engine service that’s not very competent – but brave enough to let many other search engines depend on it (like DuckDuckGo).
        Incompetence combined with such optimism provides for some really fun/scary (depending on how you look at it) results.
        It’s good they don’t run an air-traffic company though. 🙂
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      Jack Yan
      06/08/2022 at 14:35
      Hi Relja, I totally agree with your thoughts—the small index is the consequence and not the cause, and I read your addendum about the splog appearing on Bing and not your site. Like you, I’m fortunate that the sites don’t pay my bills, either—they are a shop window to what we really offer—but the traffic was among my bragging rights. With 6 per cent, maybe more, traffic gone (Bing, and its licensees like DDG, Qwant, and others) we have to stop making certain claims. And it doesn’t look like things will get fixed any time soon—as Microsoft would then have to admit something is wrong, and that wouldn’t go down well with its licensees.
      What really surprises me is how quiet the licensees are. In the early days, I would always get a response from Gabriel Weinberg at Duck Duck Go. More recently I pointed out to him that Bing had collapsed. You’d think that was pretty serious for a site that’s heavily reliant on Microsoft (way, way more than before; there’s nothing from Yandex on it, as far as I can make out). Nothing, just crickets.
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        BikeGremlin
        06/08/2022 at 17:45
        Fair points Jack.
        Though, see the chapter 4.1. “Search engines that apparently don’t rely on Bing”.
        I.e, Yandex seems to have its own index (perhaps in addition to using Bing).
        DuckDuckGo on the other hand seems to be 100% reliant on Bing’s service (4. “List of Bing-copy search engines”).
        I agree it all seems very quiet. Nothing from Microsoft (and the other Bing-dependent search engines), nor from any SEO-specific websites/news-sites (maybe because “no one uses Bing” – it wouldn’t make for a click-bait article). If I hadn’t Googled, I would have thought the problem is only with my websites and my bad luck.
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      Dg
      26/08/2022 at 09:07
      I see your site is back on bing. How did you solve? Facing the same issue since July and not got a reply yet

  1. Oliver Zink
    04/10/2022 at 20:31
    Hi there!
    I am facing exactly the same issue since July. I have contacted support several times now, and they are always giving the same useless generic response:
    After further review, it appears that your site coolplaydevcom did not meet the standards set by Bing the last time it was crawled.
    I have the feeling they aren’t even checking the site manually and just checking it with the same algorithm that is blocking it.
    Any advice on how I can get them to manually check my site?
    Thanks.
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      Jack Yan
      04/10/2022 at 22:57
      Hi Oliver, until Bing admits it has a problem, my sense is that it’s “business as usual” for these folks. I have a 25-year-old site that is on there, but getting Bing to index anything after, say, 2007 is incredibly tough. A handful of articles make it, but when I do a site: search, no more than 55 pages (out of thousands) will ever show for us (and 36 per cent of those are repeated over different search engine results’ pages), and other independent sites are in the same boat. The Bing index has collapsed from what I can make out—it’s probably smaller than Inktomi’s and Alltheweb’s in the first half of the 2000s.
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    Chinmay Kumar
    11/10/2022 at 23:08
    Oh, God.. Glad to find atleast some insights here in this article, I was just scared if I am the only guy left with blocking his site on bing overnight.
    Sad thing: not recovered yet from 5 days after doing all the mentioned steps, will try some other steps suggested by you in this article. Especially the Cloudflare one.
    You have done a fabulous job.. At least I am having a little bit of hope, that i am not the only guy, dealing with the same problem.
    Let’s hope for the best, I was pretty sure that there is some bug in their system which helped me lost my 80% of traffic overnight without much efforts.
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    Vali
    11/11/2022 at 19:52
    Hi, any updates on this? I am facing same issues.
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      Relja Novović
      16/11/2022 at 08:30
      Hi Vali,
      My new pages/articles take months to get indexed, if ever. And that’s all good, business as ususal, as far as Bing is concerned. 🙁
      On the bright side, it seems like my sites are no longer completely erased from Bing’s SERPs. For now.
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    Vina
    02/12/2022 at 04:20
    Hi, Relja!
    So, which one thing actually helped your pages to be re-indexed?
    Is it manual resubmitting? Or is it the Microsoft Team that lifted the block?
    Have you got your normal traffic back today?
    Do you have any more updates on the indexation process for your newer pages?
    Thanks a lot!
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      Relja Novović
      02/12/2022 at 05:50
      Hi Vina,
      Good questions which I may not have answered clearly in the article.
      It appears there is more than one problem.
      1. My sites did get deindexed by mistake (according to Bing’s support). They sort of fixed that part. So now my sites are visible on Bing again, though the performance (and the ranking) seems to have dropped a bit, compared to the pre-deindexing period (I have no way of determining whether that is justified, i.e. has Bing found better answers to queries on other sites etc.).
      So yes, it looks as if the Microsoft team have lifted the block.
      2. Another problem is that my new content doesn’t get indexed for months.
      Bing’s support says that’s normal and I should just wait. Well, I think even one month is a pretty long time for a new article to get indexed.
      This could be just about incompetence, lack of infrastructure etc, so they may be prioritizing site indexing based on the website’s “rating.” Google does that kind of prioritization too – hugely popular sites get new pages indexed within minutes, while my sites take a day or even two. However, with Bing, my articles take more than two months to get indexed (I’m still not sure see if they’ve just stopped indexing any of my new articles altogether).
      So, as far as I can tell – Bing is a mess. And they don’t communicate clearly about the problems.
      That means that practically all the other search engines, except Yandex, are also having indexing problems, since they all seem to rely on Bing to get the results. Some just regurgitate Bing’s ranking, while others rely on Bing to get the info about the existing content.
      For example: if a site gets removed from Bing, Brave search will still show it in its results, while DuckDuckGo will also remove it. However, if a page doesn’t get indexed with Bing at least once, no other search engine (apart from Google and Yandex) will show it – ever.
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    Jack Yan
    02/12/2022 at 06:25
    Not just Google and Yandex, Mojeek indexes your site. In fact I see io.bikegremlin.com was indexed today, but I don’t know the novelty of the other pages they have. They claim to have 410 pages from your domain indexed, about two-fifths of what Google and Yandex each has. It’s up from Bing, which claims 90 pages (although if you go through the results, many are repeated from page to page, so I wonder if it really has 90). More than us at our busiest domain: they will only show 55, c. 40 per cent of which are repeated between different pages!
    On your point about waiting for new content to be indexed, most of the pages Bing has indexed for us are pre-2009. Before the index’s collapse earlier in 2022, it found newer pages. Now, we’d be lucky if it can locate anything from the 2010s or 2020s. Last I looked, it found exactly one page from 2022. The Bing proxies are a mess—like you, I find some parallel Bing exactly, others might retain removed entries but eventually they catch up. I’ve given up on Bing and its various skin jobs like DDG, Qwant, Yahoo, etc. Microsoft won’t acknowledge how near death its search engine is, while its proxies are keeping their mouths shut.
 
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Anthony
05/01/2023 at 21:50
This is an interesting read. Like you, my well performing site was delisted in Bing.
I saw lots of false directories / files that are apparently in Bing’s index of this site. These don’t exist, and never have. They seem to be basic exploit attempts. Some examples:
/admin
/blogs
/store
/backup
/wp2
/cms
/kcfinder
/dev
/demo
So the question was why are these being associated with my site? Well, it seems the answer is Cloudflare’s Crawler Hints as under IndexNow in Bing Webmaster Tools I see exploit URLs being submitted by Cloudflare.
I’ve reached out to Cloudflare about this, and also have a ticket open with Bing.
 
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If you can't find the answer to your question in this thread, please open a separate thread with your question/problem, in an appropriate forum section (this is the General (IT-related) section).

Relja
 
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