Finding your website traffic from Bing / Yahoo organic dropping dramatically can be alarming. What is one to do?
First Step: Don’t Panic!
There is always a logical explanation for everything – the key is knowing where to look.
Step Two: Start Looking
First thing is to determine the possible causes:
- Link Penalty
- On Page Optimization Penalty
- Untagged Paid Traffic
- Indexing Issues
I always recommend starting with “Indexing Issues” as it is the most likely problem compared to the other possibilities. We will save the other possibilities for another post.
Go to bing.com and search “site:samplewebsite.com” and take note of how many pages are in their index. If you notice a sharp drop off of the amount of pages indexed, or none at all, then you know this is your issue.
How to Check For Indexing Issues In Your Site:
To figure out what might be causing this sharp drop off of pages being indexed, you need to look at these various sections of your website:
- Robots.txt – Is it blocking search engine crawlers with Disallow:/
- Meta Robots.txt – Review your on page code and see if you have the following code blocking the spiders<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX”>
These first two will most likely be the problem, but in rare instances it could be a server or hosting side problem.
Server / Hosting Issue:
MSN/Bing Bot and Yahoo Slurp bot are both notoriously known to be aggressive crawlers and commonly spoof their IP addresses. This wreaks havoc with many hosting companies and they will automatically block all requests coming in from those IPs. In turn, this blocks Bing from accessing the site; therefore not indexing the site.
- Ask you hosting company
- Use a http head reader like http://www.rexswain.com/httpview.html and change the User-Agent to “bingbot”. Then look for the response code. If it is anything other than 200 then you have a problem. Proceed to solution number 1.
- If you have any questions about indexing with Bing/ Yahoo comment below or reach out to us.