Bing's Traffic Spike From Fake Spam Tests?

Jun 25, 2009 • 8:23 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Bing Search

There has been a lot of Bing buzz on how the 'new' search engine is competing in the search landscape. But is that traffic all legit?

Remember, since April 2007, Microsoft has been sending weird referrals to many webmasters. They were known as internal cloaking tests designed by Microsoft's search quality team. But even though they promised to cool it with those visible tests, it came back time and time again.

Today, we are seeing new reports from a respected webmaster at WebmasterWorld, who noticed a huge influx in referrers from Bing. The issue is, as the WebmasterWorld moderator said, the referrers are porn related and totally not relevant to his web site. This, to me, implies, Microsoft is starting their spam tests again and messing around with the analytics webmaster rely so heavily on.

The moderator said that he normally gets about a "few dozen visitors per day" from Bing, but now:

But suddenly, Bing traffic has shot up sharply. Yesterday Bing sent 2015 visits, today 1829, and the day is not over. The problem is that the traffic is coming from p--n searches which are absolutely not relevant.

The number of 404 errors is up sharply, as well. One or two dozen per day would be normal, but yesterday there were over 2600.

We have no word from Microsoft on this as of yet, but I am a bit suspicious of all these recent search share reports.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: In this case, it was not a Microsoft issue. The thread has been updated noting that the site in question was hacked and injected with spam. This is what caused those referrals.

Previous story: New AdWords Interface Training Webinar


Arsham Mirshah

06/25/2009 01:29 pm

Microsoft could be sending out crawlers without disabling their javascript - thus analytics picks them up. I'm thinking they are trying refine their algorithm, because when I search for my clients with relevant keywords, I am unable to find them... whereas in Google, they are first page every time. Long story short, don't use Bing, it's worthless for now - IMO Question to my people with high traffic clients --- which search engine sends the most traffic? Google? That's what I thought :)

Michael Martinez

06/25/2009 05:20 pm

It's just silly to blame Microsoft for porn searches that lead to a non-porn site. The search engine MIGHT be malfunctioning but there is more likely a better explanation than "it's Microsoft's fault". The second poster in the thread at WMW suggested some prudent examination of the Website in question be conducted. BING right now serves far better search results overall than Google. It's just plain stupid for people in the SEO world to be beating up on BING because they threw all their eggs into the Google basket.

Barry Schwartz

06/25/2009 05:27 pm

Yea, but Michael, Microsoft has history with this.


06/26/2009 04:51 pm

That's another rumour now. How do you guys publish these reports without evidence ? This could have a big impact on the market share of Bing. Google fanboys...


06/27/2009 04:07 am

This is entire site is so slanted to the Google fan boys, almost every post is nothing but Google. I used visit often, now maybe pop in for a few seconds once a week. I'm not a google fanboy so I don't really care to read about google.

Abhineet Shukla

06/25/2010 05:40 pm

A respectful entity like Microsoft cannot develop such crap there must be some error. I think must need some rethinking or there may be some sort of error.

SEO Services India

03/01/2011 04:52 am

Thats why Google is the best among all search engines in every regard. Thanks Google for your existence. Mr. Bing you have to go a long way to come closer to Google:(

blog comments powered by Disqus