The New Leaf Journal has been hidden from Bing’s regular web search results since mid-January 2023. As a consequence, we have also been unsearchable in Bing-dependent front-ends such as DuckDuckGo. During this time, we very occasionally received hits from Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Qwant. I assume these were from image results, from which we were not totally blocked. I noticed an unusual (still small) number of Bing and DuckDuckGo referrals in our Koko Analytics referrer logs on Friday. I checked by Bing Webmaster account and saw that Bing had begun adding our pages to its index on July 26, 2023, although it does not show any search impressions until August 17. I checked and confirmed that New Leaf Journal pages are indeed showing up in regular web searches in both Bing and DuckDuckGo, and we have seen a slight increase in our referrals from both in the past few days.

Is our Bing saga over? I am optimistic, but I think that it is too early to celebrate. Firstly, I have not received any substantive updates from my contact at Bing (I finally reached a human being at Bing after five months of trying on June 19, 2023). Secondly, while Bing shows a large number of our pages in its index, it is still noticeably less than what Google and Yandex have, so even assuming that our return sticks, it may be some time before our indexing and ranking status return to what it was prior to our January 2023 Bing ban.

For those of you who are curious, I did not make any significant changes to the site recently. While I did have a brief meta tag issue around the time of the Bing ban (which came from switching to using a child theme and missing a toggle in the theme settings), I stand by my position that we had no issue serious enough to warrant a shadow-ban, much less outright de-indexing. We had no issues with Google, Yandex, Brave, or Mojeek, other search engines with their own indexes and crawlers. This may be a case of Bing being Bing.