Kogan Australia website missing from Bing

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

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)

Recently, according to a post on the Kogan blog, the seller imposed a tax on users shopping with the Internet Explorer 7 browsers. Now, the Kogan store is absent from Bing search results.

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.

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rambotrader posted a comment   

I have been dealing with this company for a fortnight and have come to the conclusion that the employees of this company are brain dead, that they are from an Indian Call Centre or both.

The issue related to a quote for a camera. When I stated that the unit was much cheaper from other suppliers I got back several emails which keep stating that "........we offer the best prices available in the market for all products that we sell......". So I provided the store/price/postage to demonstrate that this was not true. But all I got back was the same rubbish.

I would not buy a paper clip from anyone which displayed such behaviour as any business which employs morons is heading for extinction sooner or later. Avoid.


ChrisG6 posted a comment   

Most search engines nowadays include some sort of mechanism to decide if a webpage is trying to display a different page to humans vs. crawlers. Maybe this is a manifestation of that.


Dunners posted a comment   

Just proof that Bing is no where near as good at searching the web compared to Google ;p


Im Batman posted a reply   

I was thinking that Microsoft can use this to clearly shows that Bing does not copy Googles search results..

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