Microsoft Claims To Fix Fake Referrals or "Single Word Query" Complaint

Aug 20, 2009 • 8:31 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Bing Search

Last night, Microsoft Bing representative, Brett Yount, said that they have rolled out a fix for the fake referrals or single word query issues people have been noticing. Brett said:

We released a fix last night that should take care of these issues. If you are still having problems, let me know and I will investigate.

I am just not confident that this is resolved for the long haul. Why? Well, history shows that this has been going on since 2007 and has popping up time and time again since.

Plus, I was hoping for an official explanation on what this issue was, and I have yet to see one.

Forum discussion at Bing Forums.

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08/22/2009 05:03 am

I have no doubt that this is their attempt to crawl/scrape to determine if sites are cloaking. But it messes with sites' log files and they got caught doing so. MS doesn't want to admit it, otherwise they'd have responded two years ago. I doubt they have "fixed" this - but maybe they have determined a better way to hide their actions. I suspect we'll see this issue again soon.


08/23/2009 07:20 pm

They did not fix it. Webmasters are still reporting this problem.

Brett Yount

08/28/2009 04:01 pm

Hi, Thanks to our webmaster community and followers we are happy to share an update to the referrer issue that you may have heard or read about recently. First of all, we’d like to express our sincere apologies that this referrer issue continued past the August 20th date when we explicitly stated that it was fixed. With the support of many webmasters' data, our crawling team was able to pinpoint the root cause and deploy a new fix to stop the referrer string in production. This fix has been verified in all of our production beds. Thank you for your patience. Brett Yount Program Manager | Bing Webmaster Center LG Consulting at Microsoft Webmaster Forums | Webmaster Blog

Lea de Groot

09/05/2009 01:25 am

Well, the referrer is gone, but they are still spoofing user agent - there is no way that I believe that has a user agent of Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.2 ... While it doesn't ruin the stats in quite the same way, it does still increase the number of 'real people' views unjustifiably. MSN - you are quite welcome to come crawl. But don't lie like a telemarketing scammer. Say who you are when you knock on the door.

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