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Did Bing just learn how to handle 301s?
Major, and very positive improvements if so

 7:23 am on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

MSN/Bing appears to have finally figured out how to follow 301 redirects, discarding the old URL and indexing/not-penalizing the destination URLs.

This has lead to a lot more URLs from older authority domains coming into the index, and a pretty huge improvement in Bing's results, including ranking the best pages for a domain for a query instead of second and third choices.

If this continues I see it as a fix of one of the two main weaknesses of Bing compared to google (with the other being a smaller index of obscure stuff).

Finally, some very significant positive news from Bing... unless it all reverts again one of these days and all these 301 destination pages disappear again.



 4:50 pm on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Major Improvement? Not for me maybe.

About six months ago removed 301 redirects non-www to www from all of my websites after being dropped almost completely out of Yahoo! index. Now both SE's index new pages almost instantly.
BTW Y! most definately prefers non-www.

Not only did Live/Bing referrals skyrocket, Yahoo! did as well.
Go figure. Easiest SEO trick for those two out there(in my case).

Also did some experimenting with 302 redirects with very good results.


 3:33 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Interesting observation Steveb. Were any sites that used 301 redirects at all were previously penalized? Some of my sites did use 301 redirects, but the whole sites had been penalized, not just the 301ed pages, and now overnight they have good rankings in Bing. It had been a mystery to me as to why they had ever been penalized. They were all clean sites that did well in Google and Yahoo.


 7:49 am on Nov 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

MSN/Bing had been penalizing sites in the sense that the 301ed pages disappeared etc, so they passed no link value, etc. And if you had say three pages in a folder that had 35 301s in it, those 3 real pages would be looked on as #*$! pages by Bing, guilt by association.

The change in results has been huge in some places, while some queries you can't notice, but overall it's a 100% positive to have authority pages from older domains appearing where they always should have been.


 12:27 pm on Nov 19, 2009 (gmt 0)


You are saying Bing is treating 301s somewhat like 404s? They are removing the URL from their index and not passing the link juice on to the new URL?


 1:36 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

The change in results has been huge in some places, while some queries you can't notice, but overall it's a 100% positive to have authority pages from older domains appearing where they always should have been.

I have at least 3 of my older sites that went from almost zero Bing traffic to many #1 rankings and even multiple first page listings. I'm sure not complaining, but the extreme rankings changes overnight on multiple, unconnected sites was pretty unusual.


 1:52 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ah, you made me check. Yes, I have a site that has risen 10-20 spots across a number of one and two word terms. I suspect steveb's analysis may well be correct.

All in all (and taking my own self interest out of it) the results in my niche's look much better, largely overlapping with Google's now.


 2:21 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

"You are saying Bing is treating 301s somewhat like 404s?"

No, they used to (sometimes) do something like that.

Now they are treating 301s like Google (basically correctly), and hence the improvement of results, especially for internal pages on older domains that had a lot of 301s.


 2:41 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well, good sleuthing, SteveB. I never would have thought of that as the problem but the sites of mine that did bounce back were the larger, older domains that had had accumulated a fair amount of replaced pages with 301 redirects over the years. My smaller and newer sites that didn't have any 301s always ranked fine in Bing, so for me the 301 issue could logically explain things.


 4:52 am on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Steve, I am noticing the same thing. A whole slough of 301'-ed pages that had links to them but were previously stuck in the abyss have suddenly gained the credit that they deserved and have moved forward.


 9:10 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

just sharing my experience:

- moved to a new shopping cart platform
- domain remains the same
- site structure is completely different, directories and page names changed
- 301'ed all legacy URLs with IBLs to most relevant page on new platform

results: over a month later, ranking in bing has dropped almost completely minus keywords linking to the homepage. page are indexed.

i am beginning to see improvement but my guess all along is that bing (and yahoo) are having troubles w/ the 301s. google handled the migration with minimal impact.

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