It seems that an issue with a single page can result in a whole website being deindexed from Bing! This is the brief story of how one of my websites got completely deindexed by Bing and how I got it reindexed again.
Bing reindexed after over 3 months
So, I woke up this morning (August 9th 2022) to find a series of emails from Bing Webmaster Tools telling me that my website has been reindexed and is back in the search results again.
Bing seemingly randomly delisted my website from their index
This follows on from Bing deindexing my website in mid-May 2022.
This resulted in a slight but noticeable decrease in traffic, however, it did not really impact revenue all that much, so I didn’t spend a lot of time on it – I only made minor changes at a time, and I think I’ve been able to pinpoint exactly what caused the problem.
Emailing Bing Webmaster Tools
After trying the obvious, my primary strategy was sending a boatload of support requests through Bing webmaster tools. In total, I sent about eight messages to them every ten days during a 3-month period. Until today I’d only ever received one reply to my messages (even though they say that they will respond within ten days). The useless reply was a generic response basically telling me to check Webmaster Guidelines. In the final message to them, I requested that they don’t send me a boilerplate response and instead either fix it or escalate it to somebody that can actually help.
Whilst I don’t think the messages I sent had really very much impact at all on getting my website reindexed, I believe that it is important to make a note of it just in case it had it was a factor.
The single page that was causing the issue
The website in question has about 1000 pages of content, and one of the more recent articles resulted in Bing deindexing the whole site.
The page in question was a long informational article of about 3000 Words that referenced several academic textbooks. At the end of the article, I provided links to the source material that I had used. About 6 of these sources were Amazon affiliate links.
The other day I was making some unrelated changes to the website, and I thought I’d remove the Amazon affiliate links because they weren’t generating any revenue at all. Lo and behold, a day or two later, the whole site has been reindexed by Bing.
What I have learned
So there you have it. Even if you have a high-quality website, one single page that is flagged by Bing’s oversensitive spam filter can cause the whole website to be deindexed.
I don’t think that the support requests that I sent had anything to do with it, but I’m not ruling it out completely. This particular website does not get updated very often, so the fact that it was reindexed within a day of removing the Amazon Associates links makes me pretty confident that this was the issue.
If this happens to me again in the future, what I would do is look at the latest content I’ve added and either remove the content altogether or remove any affiliate links in the content to see if that makes a difference.