Bing Bans Content “Thin” Sites

Last holiday season, US retailer JCPenney landed on the wrong side of Google when their link scam was exposed.  As another Christmas rolls around, so too another controversy.  Search  engine Bing has banned sites that they deem “thin” on content, many of them holiday deal sites.  This is in contrast to Google, which will drop a page’s rank and make it more difficult to find.  With Bing, you cannot get to the site at all via search engine.

Among the sites blocked was CyberMonday.com.  This is the original Cyber Monday site; in fact, its creators created the phrase in 2005.  It appears first in Google’s results for “Cyber Monday.”  It is interesting to note that Bing’s owner, Microsoft, is a member company of Shop.org, which owns CyberMonday.com.  This didn’t curry any favors with the search engine that has built its reputation on being the anti-Google.  Bing’s own deals pages, however, did see some benefits.

A Bing spokesperson said the move was intended to deliver better results for users.  “[W]ebsites that seem to rely mostly on affiliate content or that offer only thin content don’t deliver the value searchers are looking for…”  And yet, as SearchEngineWatch points out, there are ads on Bing that lead viewers directly to these sites.  Their “thin content” is not turned down as a revenue source.

This comes as both search engines gear up for the lucrative holiday season.  People are flocking to engines to find gifts, gift ideas, entertaining tips, decorating tips, party supplies, and more.  More traffic, more ad exposure, more willingness on the part of advertisers to pay a bit more for space.  Both Google and Bing are running intensive campaigns to target users, and Bing has appropriated the classic Rudolf to lead their team.  The results?  It seems Google is still in the lead; when asked about their response to Bing’s ban, CyberMonday.com officials had no idea they were blocked from the site.

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