A lot of webmasters rely on traffic from Bing searches, but what happens if you lose all your traffic overnight? It could be that your entire site was completely removed from the index. This means every web page you’ve published can no longer be reached via Bing search.
How To Check If You’ve Been De-Indexed On Bing
Checking if your site has been de-indexed can be done with a simple search modifier (it’s the same one you’d use for Google, by the way).
In the Bing search bar, use the site: search modifier followed by your domain name. For example:
If you receive the error message "There are no results for..." when you use your domain name, then you've been de-indexed. Sorry...
Why You’ve Been De-Indexed On Bing
There are many reason why your site has been de-indexed from Bing. Assuming there are no technical SEO issues happening on your site, we can shorten the list to a few possibilities.
- You have published copyrighted content.
- Too much duplicate content.
- The quality of your content is poor. Use of scraped content, auto-generated content, etc.
- You engage in spammy SEO tactics (keyword stuffing, spam links, etc).
- Affiliate links all over the place
- Schema spam, misleading schema
In my experience, I have noticed an uptrend in sites being penalized for being monetized too heavily. This could appear in many ways, such as:
- Most of your articles are product reviews
- Your site is full of ads
- Your informational content is also monetized or full of affiliate links
How To Get Re-Indexed On Bing
There aren't any cookie-cutter solutions for coming back from a penalty. You need to go through your entire site and decide if your content or design is violating the Bing Webmaster Guidelines.
Clean Up Your Site (Follow Bing Guidelines)
I recommend you read the guidelines and make sure you understand what they mean, then going through your site and assessing how well you've followed the rules.
It can take a lot of work to go through your site, especially if you have lots of pages.
Once you've cleaned up your site, you should:
- Re-submit your sitemap using Bing Webmaster Tools
- Re-submit all URLs with the BWT URL Submission Tool
- You can also choose to raise a ticket to speak to support staff. You may end up waiting at least a week to get a reply, though.
Once you've made the changes, you can expect to wait a few weeks for the indexing to work. How quick it works can depend on several factors, most of which are out of your control. We can assume that some factors would be:
- The age of your site
- The quality of your backlinks
- How well you followed the guidelines when making changes
- How many web pages your site has
Keep checking Bing using the site: search modifier to see if any of your pages are starting to showing Bing.
Fix Crawler Issues
Fixing crawler issues is almost always a custom job, but there are a few things you can check to make sure you're compliant.
- Make sure your robots.txt file is not blocking access for Bing's crawler
- Verify your site's connection to Bing Webmaster Tools
- Submit your sitemap and verify that it can be reached
Fix On Page SEO Issues
After doing enough site audits and SEO consultations, I found that many people make the same mistakes in their on-page SEO. By following a few simple rules, you can make sure every page is optimized well enough for search.
- Learn the proper use of headers - Headers are not for styling. They're for structuring your content and formatting your pages for crawlers.
- Learn the basics of image SEO - Images should have small file sizes. They should not break a page's design, and they should contain alt text.
- Leave no page behind (orphan pages) - Pages on your site need to be linked to from other pages. Whether it's from navigation or in-content linking. If a page has no links pointing to it, then crawlers will have a hard time discovering it.
- Choose relevant titles and URLs - A page's title is it's label. If it isn't labeled accordingly, then it becomes harder to understand its role. Use the right keywords. Use a relevant title.
- Include meta descriptions - Adding descriptions will often get skipped because it's not a ranking factor, but it is a quality factor, which in turn is a ranking factor.
Fix Technical SEO Issues
Technical SEO issues present themselves in the strangest ways, but here is a short list of things I'd do right away:
- Perform an Ahrefs site audit - This will highlight any big issues that may be present on your site. Many of these issues can be false alarms, but it's worth knowing what is happening in the background.
- Check for hidden elements - Websites will have lots of design changes over the course of their lifetime. There are usually some "artifacts" that exist from past designs. These are usually invisible and very harmful.
- Check for redirect chains - If a crawler gets caught in a redirect chain, it will either spend it's entire budget stuck in a loop or it will leave your site because it got stuck. It's also bad user experience.
- Fix high load times - Page speed optimization will often require some web development skills, but there are some things that anybody can do.
It's stressful to lose traffic, especially if that traffic has created a level of income you've come to rely on. Even if you've followed guidelines as closely as possible, you can still lose all your traffic and income overnight.
If this article has helped you in any way, please leave a comment and let me know. If you're still stuck and struggling, then maybe I can help. I'm easily reached on my Twitter profile.