Bing Site Indexing Issues

Hi fellow Bubblers,

We have been unsuccessfully trying to get our kids activity marketplace site indexed on Bing Search for several months now.

We have tried the following:

  • Manual Indexing requests (successful for about 20 pages, then several weeks later removed)
  • Tweaking our pages to be friendlier for indexing (We don’t have any issues with Google at all with over 10,000 pages indexed)
  • Reaching out to Bubble support to confirm Bing Bots aren’t being blocked (still in-progress)
  • Inspecting the Live Urls in the Bing webmaster tools (noting that they do not render completely and also return that several bubble servers can’t be accessed which dynamically create the bubble page content. This has been reported to Bubble, but is likely a Bing Bot issue)
  • Create a Bing AdWords account and launch an Ad (No issues reported with the Ad linking to one of our site pages)
  • Reach out to Bing Ads support for investigation (still in-progress)
  • Checked for other Bubble sites being indexed on Bing (inconclusive)

Unfortunately through all of our investigation we are no closer to understanding why our site isn’t being indexed by Bing.

With Microsoft releasing AI into their browser, I suspect that Bing’s market share for search will increase so it would be ideal to not miss out on the search volume via this channel.

So, my questions to the community are:

  1. Has anyone else experienced these issues?
  2. Has anyone successfully on a large scale indexed their site using Bing?
  3. Is there something obvious we might have missed? (the guidelines for Bing webmaster tools we believe we meet)
  4. Any pointers that anyone may have?

I will endeavour to share any updates we have on this as this may affect more than just our site using Bubble.

Thanks in advance for any comments on the topic.

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Hi Adam,

Firstly, let me just say that you’ve done a great job with Kidsbook. It’s by far and away the most “website like” I’ve ever seen a Bubble app be. Really well done! Now, to your questions…

Has anyone else experienced these issues? Yes, I’ve experienced the same when it comes to Bing. My theory is that Bing struggles to render Bubble apps, and whatever logic is used to pre-render it for Googlebot does not seem to work for Bing. I’ve done a series of experiments around this and Bing consistently fails to index my Bubble app (Traindrop). I posted a thread on this here.

Has anyone successfully on a large scale indexed their site on Bing? I guess it’s possible, but I haven’t been able to find a single case of to prove that. The most successful (though perhaps not at scale, with around 700 URLs) example I’ve found in these forums is a recipe site that has had tremendous success in Google, but they do not have a single indexed URL in Bing. I won’t namedrop them, but I am not exaggerating when I say they’ve been doing well in Google.

Is there something obvious that we’ve missed? No, I don’t think so. While there are differences in the ranking algorithms used by Bing and Google, the indexing procedure is the same at a high-level, and they’re both using a Chromium-based engine which should be equal in terms of rendering capability. Hence why I believe it may be down to Bubble rather than Bing.

Any pointers that anyone may have? What I did in the end was to setup a barebones Wordpress instance and copied the bulk of the content there, with canonical URL set to the Bubble app. My thinking was I’ve got nothing to lose since I have nothing indexed in Bing, and I can always 301 them to Bubble if/when Bing can index my Bubble app. A few of these URLs got indexed in Google, but most of the time it followed the canonical signal, and thus had no impact. In Bing, however, I’ve gone from zero presence to a few thousand URLs so net positive, although this is very much a terrible and hopefully temporary workaround.

I’ll also note that I’ve noticed the same behavior with Bing indexing some URLs and then dropping them promptly from the index. I’ve seen than on about 300 URLs, however, when inspecting more closely they haven’t actually ranked for any keywords at all, which leads me to believe that Bing never actually sees the content, but just reads the meta title and description.

Furthermore, the pre-rendered or dynamic rendered version is an official but undocumented feature of Bubble, and it should not be a necessity to get indexed, but assuming there may be a timeout or something similar, which JS-heavy Bubble apps may hit, it may still prevent indexing if it fails.

Thanks @johan2 for the valuable comments.

As it turns out, Microsoft Bing had a permanent block on our domain name which had to be lifted, in order for our site to start indexing. Why? Who knows…Microsoft take the liberty to give no explanation as to why.

How did we find out? Well, we actually created a Microsoft Advertising account and then used the Advertising support team to question why the site was not being indexed. Jumped a few hoops they gave us and ended up having our Ads account manager escalate through to the their internal technical team for a site review. 72 hours later, we received notice that the site would start indexing again now the block was removed.

I am pleased to say that we are now being indexed in Bing, albeit very, very slowly. We are currently at 375 pages indexed in just over 2 months (compared to Google where we have 10’s thousands of pages indexed).

I agree though that the Bing Bot really dislikes dynamically rendered pages. Rendering time is definitely a large contributor as you suggested. Bing certainly prefers what it calls “quality pages” eg. fast to load and preferably static pages and also preferences site content such as blogs etc over directory style pages. The Bing page quality score is hard to predict and impossible to measure. The guidelines Microsoft give around this are also loose at best. Unfortunately, Bubble doesn’t render pages fast enough I believe to pass the first stage of the quality score consistently, hence the slow indexing of pages.

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