Is Microsoft biting back after Kogan set penalties for IE7 users? Is it a mad publicity stunt? Either way, the Kogan Australia website is mysteriously missing from Bing search results.
Bing search results for "Kogan" using the Chrome browser.
(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)
The blog draws a clear parallel between the two incidents, saying:
This is very strange, considering we are big Microsoft fans. We love what Microsoft have contributed to the personal computing space over several decades. We never waged war against Microsoft over IE7; we simply wanted people to upgrade their web browsers — we even mentioned many times in the media how the latest versions of Internet Explorer comply with the latest web standards and are suitable browsers.
We were baffled and shocked to learn that in the aftermath of introducing the IE7 tax, our website stopped appearing in search results in Bing, Yahoo and other search engines in the Microsoft Network.
Google search results for "Kogan".
( Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)
It goes on to suggest that the missing website could be a glitch.
"We hope Microsoft were not too offended by what we did with the IE7 tax, and this is just a temporary glitch," the blog post said.
But users on the Y Combinator forums are sceptical, citing Kogan's history for marketing stunts, Microsoft's push to get users to upgrade from IE6 and a robots.txt file that could possibly block the site from the Bing search engine.
One forum member even suggested that perhaps the Kogan website never appeared in Bing, since we have no proof that it was listed in the search results prior to Kogan's announcement yesterday.
Microsoft is denying any such action, telling News.com.au that Microsoft absolutely does not manually alter search results on Bing.
The ranking of our results is done in automated manner through our algorithm, which can sometimes lead to unexpected results.
We always work to maintain the integrity of our results to ensure that they are not editorialised; our results come from our algorithms, not from humans. For example, if a site contains certain characters, words or phrases, that site may rank higher in a query for those words or phrases.
What do you think? Is Microsoft getting payback? Is it a website glitch? Is it a marketing stunt? Let us know in the comments below.