A post by blogger/webmaster Dariusz Więckiewicz about his site being arbitrarily banned by Bing inspired me to share our own Bing ban story. His post made waves on Hacker News, and he explains that those waves may be washing away his issue in a new post titled Escape from Bing Jail (which kindly shares our Bing story). Bing suddenly began corresponding with Mr. Więckiewicz after his story received attention, and it sounds like Microsoft is moving to lift the block on his site (all while refusing to disclose what caused it). There was another point about Microsoft’s correspondence with Mr. Więckiewicz which caught my attention: It’s love of the passive voice. See, for example, its first email:
Firstly, I am happy to provide you information that our Product Review Group succeeded in resolving the issue which prevented your site from showing in our index. After submitting your site to be reviewed, the team has decided to lift the block. Allow up to two to three weeks for your site to be crawled, indexed, and serving again.
It is not at all clear who is doing what in this email. “[O]ur Product Review Group succeeded in resolving the issue which prevented your site from showing in our index.” Assuming arguendo that Microsoft’s position is that there was a problem with Mr. Więckiewicz’s site, why would the so-called Product Review Group need to resolve the issue? Is Microsoft saying that it was at fault? “After submitting your site to be reviewed, the team has decided to lift the block.” Who submitted the site? Is Microsoft referring to Mr. Więckiewicz’s support request or some action by the so-called Product Review Group? Who knows!?
Mr. Więckiewicz sought answers, but Microsoft was less than forthcoming:
I am unable to provide you the specifics of the block, as our Product Review team does not share the details of the block. However, I wish to help you with a few links and help docs, which will not only help in avoiding blocks, but also help you to rank better in the Bing index.
Here it sounds like Microsoft is blaming Mr. Więckiewicz while condescendingly referring him to its useless documentation. However, its first email could be read as if Microsoft was stating the issue was on its end? Which is it? Who knows!?
Microsoft’s subsequent condescending boilerplate emails to Mr. Więckiewicz appeared to place the blame on him, suggesting that his site was banned for lack of quality (his site is high quality, performant, and ad-free) and directing him to refer to the Webmaster guidelines “to avoid this in the future.” Of course, the question is what is this? Why did Microsoft suggest that this was its problem at one point before blaming Mr. Więckiewicz? Who knows!?
In any event, it looks like Microsoft is removing the block, but the jury is still out for 2-3 weeks. I suppose we shall see if the issue is resolved for him. My fingers are crossed (and I hope we see some positive signs in the near future too).