In my last post I dug around and found a crawl error in Bing Webmaster Tools…

The inspected URL is known to Bing but has some issues which are preventing indexation. We recommend you to follow Bing Webmaster Guidelines to increase your chances of indexation.

Awww yeah, you know what time it, Barry? It’s time for a good ol’ fashioned compliance audit for my small personal website blog. This is overkill, but the one clue I have to go off of at this point.

FY2023 Q1 Bing Compliance Audit for

Executive summary

While some actionable items exist (e.g. removing dead links, better meta descriptions) that would boost my quality and ranking, nothing stands out as severe enough to result in de-indexing. Recommendation is to keep making errors in Bing disappear.


I went through each section of the guidelines and wrote an honest 1:1 response to each guideline.

Complete audit

§1.1 Help Bing Find All Your Pages

These requirements are about making your content discoverable.

Guideline Status
Sitemaps ✅ 418 items in my sitemap, no errors, added to Bing
Use IndexNow or the Submission API ⚠️ Not using this, using sitemap instead per guidelines
Links ⚠️ Need to search my site for dead links
Limit the number of web pages ✅ 418 pages
Use redirects as appropriate ⚠️ Netlify handles redirects of slash-less URLs to slashed (e.g. /about → /about/, maybe this is a problem?
Let Bing crawl more ✅ Wide open
JavaScript ✅ 0 bytes on average
Remove content ✅ No takedown notices
robots.txt ✅ Bing can verify my /robots.txt
Save resources ✅ Using compression and have fast page loads

§1.2 Help Bing Understand Your Pages

Not all blog posts are bangers, but nothing on this site is spam. If anything, this site is a collection of posts that took months or years to draft and publish, but get 1 Like on Twitter. I expect ranking drops for quality, but not a complete de-indexing.

Guideline Status
Content ⚠️ I used to have Carbon Ads and have affiliate programs on my bookshelf and /uses page.
Create content for search users not search engines ✅ Only write for users
Create enough content ✅ 418 hand crafted pages
Make it unique ✅ 100% unique.
Images and Videos ✅ Only warnings for some alt text.
Optimize images and videos ✅ Squoosh before posting
SafeSearch ✅ No adult content
Make your content discoverable ✅ No flash
Make content accessible ✅ Good accessibility and easy to navigate

§1.3 HTML Tags

I could be doing better here, but nothing that I think would be a ban-able offense.

Guideline Status
<TITLE> ✅ Yup
<META name="description"> ⚠️ Fixed, very redundant and have “too short” warnings on some posts that have actual descriptions.
<META name="robots"> ‼️ This is missing, but it should be auto-discoverable at /robots.txt. Bing says it can reach my site.
<a href> ✅ Yup
<img src> ✅ Yup
alt attributes ⚠️ Have 15 warnings, will fix.
<H1> tag ⚠️ Have 3 notices, will fix.
<H1>-<H6> Header tags ✅ Try to have a good document outline
<P> tag ✅ All the time
<TABLE> tag ✅ Yup
Use HTML5 semantic elements ✅ Yup

§1.4 Other

JSON-LD and microformats are one place where I’m falling short, but this seems like a search optimization technique, not a violation that would get your site de-indexed.

Guideline Status
Microsoft Edge ✅ Yup, site works in Microsoft Edge, my primary browser until last month.
Secondary content (CSS, JavaScript) ✅ Yup.
Use Semantic Markup ⚠️ I’m not using JSON-LD. Some microformats, may need to check validity.

§2.1 Abuse and Examples of Things to Avoid

The one questionable offense is that I use affiliate links when making book and gear reviews. Five people with indexed sites who use affiliate links said this is not a problem. Unless there’s some je ne sais qoui or double standard I’m not understanding, I believe I’m adhering to these guidelines.

Guideline Status
Cloaking ✅ Never done that
Link Schemes, Link Buying, Link Spamming ✅ Never done that
Social media schemes ✅ Never done that
Duplicate content ✅ Don’t duplicate
Scraped Content ✅ All original
Keyword Stuffing OR loading pages with irrelevant keywords ✅ Never done that
Automatically generated content ✅ Never done that
Affiliate programs without adding sufficient value ⚠️ I do affiliate programs on my bookshelf and /uses page but I hope it provides value, at least people have told me it does.
Malicious behavior ✅ Never done that
Misleading structured data markup ✅ Never done that

Hopefully this round of due diligence will appease the Bing gods.