I have a website that gets visits from BingPreview/1.0b*, which is likely a bot for Bing. I'm getting an error that looks like it

Bing Webmaster Tools Is Reporting ‘The inspected URL is known to Bing but has some issues which are preventing indexation’

There could be several reasons why Bing Webmaster Tools is reporting issues preventing indexation. Here are some potential causes and recommendations:

Potential Causes and Recommendations

  1. Robots.txt Rules: Check your robots.txt file to ensure it doesn’t inadvertently block Bingbot from crawling your page. You want to allow Bingbot access to your site’s content.
  2. Meta Robots Tags: Inspect the HTML head section of your page for <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> tags. If present, remove or modify them to allow indexing.
  3. Server Response Codes: Ensure your server responds with a 200 OK status code for the page. Any 4xx or 5xx errors could prevent Bing from indexing the page.
  4. Content Accessibility: Make sure the content is accessible and not hidden behind JavaScript that Bingbot might have difficulty executing. Although Bing has improved its ability to render JavaScript, it’s still safer to ensure critical content is available in the HTML source.
  5. Sitemap Submission: Verify that your sitemap includes the URL in question and has been successfully submitted to Bing Webmaster Tools. An up-to-date sitemap can help Bing discover and index your pages.
  6. Bing Webmaster Tools Configuration: Double-check your Bing Webmaster Tools settings to ensure there are no configuration issues preventing the page from being indexed.
  7. Content Quality and Uniqueness: While not directly mentioned in the report, ensure your content is high-quality, unique, and provides value to users. Duplicate or low-quality content can negatively impact indexing.
  8. Request Indexing: Since Bing Webmaster Tools offers a “Request indexing” button, use it after addressing any identified issues. This can prompt Bing to re-evaluate the page for inclusion in their index.

Next Steps

After reviewing and addressing these potential issues, closely monitor the page’s status in Bing Webmaster Tools. If problems persist, consider reaching out to Bing support or consulting the Bing Webmaster community for more targeted advice.

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Remember, search engine guidelines and capabilities evolve, so staying informed on best practices for SEO and specifically for Bing can also be beneficial.

Further reading ...
  1. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/bing/forum/all/why-is-my-website-not-indexing-in-bing-search/54abc6c3-9fc2-4cd9-a6c4-001d8d0464af
  2. https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-bing/discovered-but-not-crawled-url-cannot-appear-on-bing/td-p/3280623
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/TechSEO/comments/yunvl3/bing_not_crawling_and_indexing_site_properly/
  4. https://forum.squarespace.com/topic/302725-microsoft-bing-webmaster-errorwarning-resolution/
  5. https://www.bing.com/webmasters/help/URL-Inspection-55a30305
  6. https://moz.com/community/q/topic/29439/bing-won-t-index-site-help
  7. https://www.webmasterworld.com/msn_microsoft_search/5059610.htm
  8. https://moz.com/community/q/topic/53481/google-will-index-us-but-bing-won-t-why
  9. https://www.bing.com/webmasters/help/webmaster-support-24ab5ebf
  10. [10] https://www.damianwajer.com/blog/search-index/

Are there any specific JavaScript execution issues that Bingbot commonly encounters?

Bingbot, like other web crawlers, can encounter various JavaScript execution issues that may affect how it indexes and ranks web pages. Based on the information provided and general knowledge of web crawlers, here are some specific JavaScript-related challenges Bingbot might face:

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  1. Timing Issues: Bingbot might execute JavaScript before the DOM is fully loaded, leading to errors if scripts rely on elements that haven’t been rendered yet. This issue is highlighted in discussions around BingPreview bot, which suggests that timing discrepancies can cause problems [1].
  2. Limited JavaScript Execution: Some web crawlers have limitations in executing complex JavaScript or might not execute it at all. While Bing has made efforts to better handle JavaScript, there could still be scenarios where Bingbot struggles with heavily JavaScript-dependent sites [1].
  3. Viewport and CSS Properties: Scripts that depend on CSS properties or the viewport size might not work as expected when executed by Bingbot. This is because crawlers typically do not render pages in the same way a browser does, potentially leading to issues with scripts that rely on visual aspects or user interactions [1].
  4. Asynchronous Loading: Content loaded asynchronously (e.g., via AJAX calls) might not be properly crawled or indexed by Bingbot. This can be particularly problematic for Single Page Applications (SPAs) or sites that dynamically load content [1].
  5. User-Agent Detection: Some websites might serve different content or behave differently based on the detected user-agent. If Bingbot’s user-agent is not recognized or mishandled, it could lead to indexing issues [3].

To mitigate these issues, consider the following best practices:

  • Progressive Enhancement: Design your site to be functional with basic HTML and enhance it with JavaScript. This ensures that the core content is accessible even if JavaScript fails to execute properly.
  • Dynamic Rendering: Serve static HTML versions of your pages to search engines while providing the dynamic JavaScript version to regular users. This approach requires careful implementation to avoid cloaking penalties.
  • Pre-rendering: Generate static HTML pages for dynamic content at build time. This can be particularly useful for SPAs and improves crawlability.
  • Testing: Use tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or third-party services to simulate how search engines see your pages. While these tools primarily mimic Googlebot, they can offer insights applicable to Bingbot as well.
  • Monitoring and Reporting: Regularly review your site’s performance in Bing Webmaster Tools and address any reported issues promptly. If you suspect a problem with Bingbot’s crawling or indexing, consider reaching out to Bing support or utilizing forums for assistance [5].

Understanding and addressing these JavaScript execution issues can help improve your site’s compatibility with Bingbot and other search engine crawlers, ultimately leading to better indexing and rankings.

Further reading ...
  1. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/11396839/reproducing-bingpreview-javascript-errors
  2. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/bing/forum/all/bingbot-js-not-rendering/c8f92ec6-8478-4562-9c87-5d8d82c4e4a1
  3. https://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/139547/bingbot-issues-and-crawling-my-website-root-domain
  4. https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/bing-javascript/
  5. https://www.bing.com/webmasters/help/how-to-report-an-issue-with-bingbot-25c19802
  6. https://forum.infinityfree.com/t/bingbot-reading-https-robots-txt-incorrectly/73948
  7. https://www.bing.com/webmasters/help/crawl-error-alerts-e29a3f3e
  8. https://community.cloudflare.com/t/bing-bot-incorrectly-blocked/665932
  9. https://forum.edg.io/t/browser-challenge-in-bot-manager-has-infinite-fast-refresh-loop-and-fills-logs-with-each-refresh-edgio-support-says-this-is-normal-behavior-i-think-it-is-a-bug/1057
  10. [10] https://deciphertools.com/blog/2016-05-02-bingbot-sitemap-failure/

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