Google Dropped Bing Discover Pages From Index But Was There Traffic Drop?
The SEO community is buzzing about how Google seems to have removed Bing’s Discover section from the Google search results index. Edd Wilson tweeted about it on July 4th and then several sites picked it up. Bing Discover is a portal on Bing.com that had a lot of Google referral traffic.
Here is the tweet:
@matthewbarby Do you know what happened to Bing’s discover section? Organic traffic seems to have just fallen off. I understand there’s a redirect on the main discover section but all subjects are still hosted under there and are no longer indexed… pic.twitter.com/d7zZPdXJfW
— Edd Wilson (@EddJTW) July 4, 2019
Now, the issue was something I mentioned back in April when I linked to How Bing Discovery “Steals” Organic Traffic from Google Search from Roey Skif.
So either Google decided this was a bad search experience and dropped the pages or something else is going on?
When I tested some queries out to see if there was a huge shift in traffic for those types of queries to Bing, I noticed that while bing.com/discover was no longer ranking in Google and the page were removed, that it was replaced. Instead, bing.com/images/explore is ranking in its place.
Let’s look at the SEMRush charts….
Bing.com/discover visibility drop (click to enlarge):
Bing.com/images/explore visibility increase (click to enlarge):
Overlay the two together and what do you get (click to enlarge) – I should add that this overlay can be confusing because Bing Discover had millions of rankings while Bing Images Explore pages have only hundreds of thousands:
Bing is 302 redirecting bing.com/images/explore to bing.com/discover. For example, when you click from the Google search results on a keyword ranking that shows bing.com/images/explore, it will redirect you to bing.com.discover. Here is the output of one https://www.bing.com/images/explore/animals 302 redirect to https://www.bing.com/discover/animals.
So you have this ranking in Google:
But Bing Discover is no where to be found:
We know Google for a long time doesn’t want to index search results pages and that is essentially what these pages are.
So what is going on here? Any thoughts?
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Update: Maybe this is why?
Mystery solved? Bing discover was cloaking his pages (against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines). While users were redirected to the main search page (302), Googlebot returned 200 header. This had been resolved in the last minutes @CoperniX @rustybrick @mattgsouthern pic.twitter.com/sCfqvH5rAS
— Roey Skif (@roeyskif) July 9, 2019