Bing Toolbar Could Index Private URLs

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Microsoft recently confirmed that the Bing toolbar does in fact discover and index URL’s of the users who have a Bing toolbar installed. This can turn out to be an issue in case of secret URLs that are available only to selective users and can get indexed in case the Bing toolbar is installed and have an adverse effect on the intended SEO strategy. Let’s look at this using an example. If a user is viewing a privately shared video on YouTube with another user who has the Bing toolbar installed, the video will then get discovered and indexed.

This can have an adverse effect on several campaigns. One such example is if the user’s Adwords tracking URL gets crawled. This could lead to the special ad URLs being listed in Bing and the campaign receiving heightened clicks that are not relevant to the campaign.

Advertisers can manage their campaign by using robots.txt to use disallow rules. Bingbots do not crawl pages with robots.txt implemented and this is the ideal way in ensuring privacy of your pages.

Search engine optimization experts might be familiar with Bing being in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. About a year ago, Google accused Bing of copying their search results. It is important for webmasters to be aware of the possibility of their private URLs getting indexed and the need to take measures to ensure that the privacy remains intact.

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