I normally don't get upset when I report about bugs with search engines, it is what I do. But I am really getting upset with Microsoft and their webmaster support with Bing, really. For the umpteenth time, Microsoft said they fixed the fake referrer issue that has been plaguing webmasters since 2007 and they have lied again. Well, maybe the word lied is a strong word, maybe Microsoft simply has no idea how to manage a search spider or crawl the web?
The day after Microsoft said they fixed the issue with fake referral data showing up in log files, webmasters said the issue is still there. We have updated threads at Bing Forums and WebmasterWorld, the issue is still going on.
I am sorry for being so upset about this, but this is seriously a bit out of hand. Why? Well, we reported this issue so many times, here is an archive:
- Microsoft Claims To Fix Fake Referrals or "Single Word Query" Complaint, August 20, 2009
- Bing Classifies Cloaking Detection as "Single Word Query" Issue, August 10, 2009
- More Cloaking Tests In Form Of Fake Referrers From Microsoft Bing?, August 5, 2009
- Microsoft Disables Fake Referral "Feature" Temporarily, April 29, 2009
- Microsoft To Fix Fake Referrer Data From Live Search, April 22, 2009
- MSN Live Sending Odd Referrals -- QBHP -- to Websites, July 24, 2008
- Microsoft Live Search Continues Referral Spam Tests With MSLIVSOP?, January 14, 2008
- Live Search's Spam Fake Referrals Were Cloaking Tests, Says Microsoft, December 4, 2007
- Microsoft Live Search Spam-Like Referrals Are Still Occurring, November 19, 2007
- Microsoft Live Search's Strange Spam-Like Referrals Are Official Tests, September 6, 2007
- Weird Referrals From Microsoft's Live Search?, August 17, 2007
Now these are only issues specific to fake referrers clogging up our log files. This doesn't mention the issues with Cashback rewards, or Bing clicking on their own search ads, or NOODP tag, the geotargeting issues, crawling too fast, adding pound signs to URLs and much more.
So I am a bit upset with Bing Webmaster support.
Update: After much pushing here and other blogs I write on, Microsoft has said they finally fixed the issue. They didn't explain why there was an issue, but they did say they fixed the issue. More details over here.