Bing Sends Mixed Signals on Directory Indexation and NoFollow Rules

In a Bing community forum for Web publishers this week, a community member asked what he should do to get Bing to index his site pages more quickly. Program Manager Brett Yount verified an answer that advised community members to create backlinks to the Web site from sites that are indexed daily. He then posted this addition:
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“If your site pages have good content, submit them to buzz and dig. Both have a high chance of getting your page indexed.”

Yount’s advice started making the rounds on Twitter, and the post was later edited – perhaps due to objections from Bing execs – to read as follows:

“Okay, the original post didn’t work out so well. While the ideas were sound, they were, apparently, a little too specific [sic]. On that note, if you are looking for link building ideas, I suggest reading our blog posts which may provide you with some ideas for developing links”

It’s clear that the advice wasn’t too specific for Web publishers and search marketers – any facts regarding how Bing generates search rankings is welcome. Unfortunately, his comment was too specific for Bing itself, which could be a sign that the company plans to be more cryptic about what Web publishers can do to participate in Bing’s rankings than even Google.  In the past, Google’s Matt Cutts has gone on the record about specific directories and news aggregation sites that meet with the search giant’s approval without censorship from Google execs.

The comment may also shed light on Bing’s treatment of nofollow markup. In 2009 it was widely observed that Bing, like Yahoo, did not seem to observe nofollow. At that time, Yount commented on Bing Community that it was a “known issue that we are working quickly to resolve.”

But if Yount’s comments about indexing links from Yahoo Buzz are correct, then perhaps Bing has rethought the issue. Yahoo Buzz contains nofollow on seemingly every outbound links. This begs the question: do Twitter links count? Do Delicious links count? Since Bing’s policy will affect how Web publishers handle their content, including outbound links, it seems only fair to state definitively what the company’s stance will be.

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