Bing Search Traffic Declining? You’re Not Alone — It May Be An Analytics Issue.

Did you notice a huge drop in your Bing search traffic? You are not alone. It may be an analytics issue.

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The webmaster community is buzzing about a steep decline in the organic visits they are seeing coming from Bing Search.

At first we thought it had to do with a Bing Search algorithm update, but after a deeper look, it had to do with Google Analytics tools not tracking Bing organic traffic as search traffic, but rather as referral traffic.

I analyzed dozens of sites within Google Analytics and noticed the same pattern — about 20% declines in Bing Search organic traffic, while a huge 200% or so increase in Bing referral traffic to the sites.

Here are four large site profiles I checked, showing week-over-week changes with organic and referral Bing traffic:

  • Organic Bing Traffic Down 20%, But Bing Referral Traffic Up 350%
  • Organic Bing Traffic Down 5%, But Bing Referral Traffic Up 145%
  • Organic Bing Traffic Down 10%, But Bing Referral Traffic Up 265%
  • Organic Bing Traffic Down 22%, But Bing Referral Traffic Up 230%

I contacted both Google and Microsoft yesterday; both are still investigating the issue.

We suspect it has to do with how Bing is sending over the referrer; it could be that something changed with that, confusing Google Analytics and other tracking tools.

About the author

Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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