The Curious Case of Bing and the Missing Links
A few weeks ago, a client of mine emailed to say that their websites had disappeared from Bing's search results. They had had the 'top spot' for a number of keyword searches related to their business.
I wasn't been aware of any problems with the server or with their specific sites but the problem was clear - all the crawled pages had indeed been removed, for no apparent reason.
And it wasn't just affecting their sites. My own site, and actually, almost every website on my server had, for some unknown reason, been removed from Bing's search results:
Having setup a Bing webmaster account, I emailed their support staff alerting them to the problem. To be honest, i wasn't expecting much of a response.
A couple of weeks later, the sites are all back in Bing's results. And I did receive a response:
This is Docs from Bing Technical Support. I understand the importance of knowing the cause on why your sites were de-indexed so that it can be prevented in the future. I assure you that the identified root cause was on backend and not on yours. This has now been corrected and your sites should recover from our index after several successful re-crawls.
With the current configuration of your domain, no further actions are needed on your end.
Thank you for your understanding. If you require further help, please let us know.
Bing Technical Support
So it seems Bing was at fault afterall - though I'm still left wondering what happened, and whether it affected more than just some of the sites on my server.
Has something similar ever happened to your sites?
At least we can take comfort in the fact that Google has an 88% search engine market share, with Bing only attracting 4% of the web's users.