Bing Hates Me… and so does DuckDuckGo!

This is another one of those “inside baseball” post about being a blogger, with perhaps a passing reference to the existence of video games at best.  You have been warned.

As I may have said in the past, web stats are like numbers from the UN, the more precise they are, the more likely they are to be wrong.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy web stats all the same, and so I have various ways to look at the traffic that comes to the site, including Google’s Search Engine Console tools, Google Analytics, Microsoft’s Bing Webmaster Tools, Yandex’s site tools, that flag counter widget in the side bar, and the built-in WordPress stats.  None of them ever agree with each other.

Which is fine, I have no need for precision.  I just like to see trends and what brings people to the site.  It doesn’t change what I write, but it is interesting to me to see what is accidentally popular.

This week I was bored and poking through the various stats and came to Bing’s tools, which were updated a while back to copy as closely as possible the Google console, and I noticed that somewhere around June 8th traffic to the site pretty much died off.

Bing stats running into June 2022

If that were an EKG on a medical TV drama they would be calling a code blue and yelling for the crash cart and headed straight for a commercial break before we knew whether the person had died or not.

Now, if that had happened with Google I would have noticed right away.  Most traffic here comes from Google, and when Google feels a chill sites like mine catch pneumonia.  Back in February they made some change and my traffic from them was cut by a third and it was immediately obvious in the WordPress stats.  They might not exactly line up, but trends stand out.

Bing, however, does not send me a whole lot of traffic.  If you look at last year’s annual round up, Google sent me 155K referrals and Bing sent 2,716.  So a hot day for Bing looks like this:

Bing rocking the seven referrals, the average for 2021

So Bing wasn’t a waterfall of new viewers, but it was never zero… until now.

Now, of course, it could be that video game trends have moved away from whatever it is I write about these days.  But not showing up at all, even in impressions… that seemed strange.

I opened up Microsoft Edge because it defaults to Bing for searches, and typed in the most common search term that brings people to the site, TAGN… seriously, some of you could bookmark the site… and this is what I got.

Searching for TAGN

The top result, which is a listing of acronyms, that remembers who I am.  But literally no other result was associated directly with my blog.

I searched for the full blog name and got results for sites that mention the blog, and sites where I auto-post links to recent posts, like Tumblr, Flipboard, Twitter, and even Facebook.  There were even links to the Blogger site where I used to backup my site until IFTTT broke that link.

But nowhere was there an actual link to tagn.wordpress.com.  I had been delisted.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do.  Microsoft has a list of reasons why your site might not be listed, but once you get past the technical items that you can check, it sums up to just maybe they don’t like you, which are the last two things on the list.

So somebody at Bing must have decided around the end of May that my site doesn’t meet whatever their quality thresholds are, because it says right on the page that “Bing likes unique, quality content.”

And, in looking into this, I discovered that DuckDuckGo uses Bing to get its search results.  That explains why traffic from DuckDuckGo, which is about on par with Bing, went away as well and why my attempts to find my blog there end up with the same set of results.

Oddly enough, I had been using DuckDuckGo as my default search engine recently to see how well it did, and was tempted to write a scathing post about how inferior its results were compared to Google’s, and then I found out they use Bing… and that pretty much explained it.

I must still be in Bing’s system somewhere, because every few days on the chart it shows I was in the results for 1  search.  But otherwise Bing appears to have disowned me.

Yandex still loves me though.  I still get a page view or two a week from them!

12 thoughts on “Bing Hates Me… and so does DuckDuckGo!

  1. bhagpuss

    That’s very useful information, mainly because I swapped over to DuckDuckGo a while ago, after Google started to irritate me by shoving lists of suggestions at me that I couldn’t switch off. I was under the impression DDG used its own, proprietary search engine. i had no idea it used Bing! No-one in their right mind uses Bing. I am now going to revert to using Google.

    As for how I rate on Bing, who knows and frankly who cares?

    Like

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I thought I found you, but it turned out to be “inventory-full.blogspot.com.”

    I am still laughing that Bing links to all sorts of off-shoots of my blog, just not my actual blog.

    Like

  3. Ula

    “‘Bing Hates Me and DuckDuckGo Too’, worried no one EVER. But of course I agree that it’s interesting and there must be a reasonable explanation. Are you (or WP or plugin) submitting an anonymous sitemap by chance? https://searchengineland.com/microsoft-bing-drops-anonymous-sitemap-submission-due-to-spam-issues-385178

    Not sure why that would bring you down to zero visits, though. Unless blacklisted over sitemap. My second guess is that they’re down-ranking peeps running Google ads now. Because that’s something they’d do, In My Opinion.

    Like

  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Ula – No, I am hooked up with a meta tag ID code for Bing Webmaster Tools, so I should be totally legit on that front.

    I did think about the ads. I am not sure who provides them, WP is who I contract with, though it could be through Google at least some of the time. But I’ve had ads for 7 months now.

    I suspect it is either something dumb, like thinking I am a dupe of the Tumblr page that I IFTTT a headline and a snippet to or that they are just purging sites that they deem “low quality” because we’re not buying page positioning for specific search terms.

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  5. PCRedbeard

    Hey, at least you get that. If you type in “Parallel Context” you get a lot of sites about parallel programming and quite a few sites about scientific endeavors.

    Like

  6. evehermit

    My Evehermit WP blog is also not listed, but my YouTube and Twitter (which are unused) are in Bing. I was going to say limiting search results would kill businesses like that – but the amount of dumb in the world continues to increase at alarming rates, so maybe they can get away with it.

    Like

  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    I have tried a few other wordpress.com sites, including my own EVE Online Pictures site, which is also setup in the Bing Webmaster Console with all the correct information and has gotten traffic before, and they all seem to have gone missing. Looks like a deliberate decision. If I can remember how to get to the WP.com forums, I’ll see if anybody else is complaining.

    Again, as with TAGN, the Tumblr version of my pictures blog comes up in the results, but not the main blog.

    Edit: I didn’t see anything about it on the support forum, so I made my own post asking about it. We’ll see what comes back.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Jack Yan

    Bing, and therefore Duck Duck Go, Yahoo, Qwant, Ecosia and its other clones, appears to have collapsed around the time you say. I’ve been tracking them as well, and the index plunged mid-2022. I doubt they have more than 2,000 million pages, which is fewer than what search engines had in the early 2000s.

    Try doing a site:domain.tld search on each of the search engines. Bing’s numbers are tiny. Don’t believe what they say when they claim to have x results on the first page. Flick through each page, and you’ll find about 40 per cent of results repeated. If Bing says it has 100 results for you, I doubt it’ll show you any more than 50, with those repeats in there.

    We switched to Mojeek, which has the largest index in the west outside of Google. Yandex is still pretty good, too. But Bing is DOA, and the crazy thing is, outside of us webmasters, no one is talking about it. Not even Duck Duck Go or the other licensees.

    Like

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