This report covers new developments on chrisbocay.com, including policy decisions on content and design, results of website testing, and various SEO issues.
We’re now in the beginning of July 2023, and time has passed very quickly here at chrisbocay.com. So it’s time for a recap what’s been going since our last report, more than a year ago.
- PART 1: HAPPINESS FIRST
- 1.1 Work Hard?
- 1.2 Is ‘Happiness First’ Easy?
- PART 2: NEW MOBILE-FIRST POLICY
- PART 3: DROP IN INDEXING AND RANKING
- PART 4: BING WEBMASTER TOOLS
- 4.1 Indexed or Not Indexed?
- 4.2 Bing’s Software Problems: Indexing Redirects
- 4.3 Bing’s Software Problems: Not Reporting Correct HTTP Codes
- 4.4 Bing’s Software Problems: Inconsistency
- 4.5 Bing’s Software Problems: Deadlock
- 4.6 Microsoft’s Response
PART 1: HAPPINESS FIRST
As you will discover below, I have had major “issues” to deal with. But since I am a student of the Law of Attraction, I am always thinking “happiness first“.
Thus the challenge is always the same: “How can I stay happy when all these things are happening around me?” So whether these “issues” are related to one’s website, or to one’s body, or to one’s girlfriend, etc., it’s all the same thing: We cannot be consumed by worry or anxiety on a REGULAR basis.
Our job here on this planet is to face contrast (“problems”) but then QUICKLY recover to regain our positive emotional composure. And we should not be “working hard”, but instead modulate our work so that it becomes inspiring, interesting, and fun.
This practically means that we must allow ourselves to take the time to NOT work so hard (unless we are inspired to do it, of course). So if it feels like it’s hard work, then it’s time to relax and watch a movie, go to the beach, or, why not, take a nap. Or maybe even a week’s vacation.
Is ‘Happiness First’ Easy?
So one would think that practicing Law of Attraction is extremely easy. For if the main rule is “happiness first”, who can resist following such a rule? Isn’t that what everyone is looking for?
Well, it turns out that most people really can’t follow such a rule very well. And that is, essentially, the problem in a nutshell. We must prioritize happiness, and be less interested in being “good citizens” or “responsible adults” or “well-respected business owners”, etc. So instead of “working hard, playing hard” we need a better a motto, such as “work less, play more” or “work soft, and have fun”. You get the idea.
So although my last report was more than a year ago, I am very pleased with myself for having waited this long to publish this new report. For I now not only have lots of interesting information to share, but also a joyous mood. And the future looks very bright.
PART 2: NEW MOBILE-FIRST POLICY
Before we come to the main issue in Part 3, I would like to introduce one of my new decisions that I made during the spring of 2023, and that is that chrisbocay.com now is on the way to a mobile-first platform.
This transition has been going on since about April 2022, and many important steps have already been completed. The extent of this new technology platform will be described in a more detailed way in coming reports.
PART 3: DROP IN INDEXING AND RANKING
Although it is not very “impressive” to report about, the fact is that chrisbocay.com has lost more or less all traffic, compared to a year ago. There are no visitors coming from Google or Bing right now.
This is presumably because of my site-wide “permalink scheme” at the end of last summer (August 2022), after which both Google and Bing started to deindex and derank my site.
Since then, the basic “mode” of operation here has been to figure out exactly how to recover from that, so that a state of “normalcy” could be reinstated.
So although I certainly have produced some “milestone” articles during 2023, such as “Religion and the Law of Attraction: The Ultimate Guide” and “Science and the Law of Attraction: The Definitive Guide“, most of my focus here has been on the technical aspects of the site, which indeed have been very tricky.
However, because of the limited space in this report, I will not describe all aspects of this issue. Instead I will limit my discussion here to what has been going on in relation to Bing and its Webmaster Tools site, and discuss other experiences with Google and WordPress in upcoming reports.
PART 4: BING WEBMASTER TOOLS
As I have already indicated, Bing did not like the idea of moving the address of my articles and posts. So it gradually deindexed and deranked all of my articles during the fall. This was completed approximately in October 2022, at which time there were zero pages indexed.
Indexed or Not Indexed?
Nevertheless, Bing keeps crawling my site. And it still keeps reporting about two dozens URLs and their status.
Bing Webmaster Tools has many good features. But “user interface consistency” is not one of them. For some URLs are categorized as “indexed” in one type of report, but categorized as “non-indexed” in another report. How can that be?
Here is what the “Search Performance” view shows us:
But when we go to the “Site Explorer” view, we see the following:
So how do we explain this? The answer is simple: Bing is reporting two different things in these two views — a fact that is not clearly communicated in the user interface.
In the “Search performance” view, the information is correct. There are currently zero indexed pages on chrisbocay.com. So what is displayed in the “Site Explorer” view, then?
Well, in the “Site Explorer” view, the focus is not on “pages”, but on “URLs”. This is important, since URLs do not have to lead to a functioning page, for example if a whole site is no longer active, or if the pages have been moved to another URL.
So the “Site Explorer” view therefore reports to us that Bing currently has registered six URLs as indexed, but that there are some problems with them, so that they cannot count as “indexed pages”, only as “indexed URLs”.
Bing’s Software Problems: Indexing Redirects
The question then is: What are those problems?
Well, there are many. But one of the main issues is, as you can see in the following screenshot, that Bing has indexed a URL that is NOT a real page, but an old URL that no longer leads to a page (for I moved the page to a new URL: Dear Chris: My Husband Is Cheating On Me):
And the interesting thing is that Bing has indexed that URL, even though Bing thinks that URL is a 301 redirect.
And that is, of course, nonsense. No respectable search engine would ever index a URL if it is redirected to somewhere else. So Bing just doesn’t work properly.
Bing’s Software Problems: Not Reporting Correct HTTP Codes
And it gets worse. For that particular URL we are talking about is NOT, in fact, a 301 redirect either, and hasn’t been for a very long time. As of mid-December 2022, there is no redirect.
So even though Bing says it has crawled that URL on 31 May 2023, it still reports that URL as a redirect, not as a 404 (which it actually is). Thus, Bing seems incapable of even detecting a correct HTTP code. And consequently, the whole Bing search engine more or less falls apart.
Bing’s Software Problems: Inconsistency
Because of the above problems, I started a more detailed analysis to try to figure out exactly what Bing does in between each crawl. And I discovered that Bing seems to be a very confused search engine. For it jumps from state to state in a seemingly illogical and inconsistent manner.
What I expected to see was a consistent, repeatable sequence of states when the search engine discovered a URL on a “decommissioning” path. So I expected to see that a page that had been moved from its original URL to a new URL would be going though three or four different phases.
So my idea was that it most probably would first assign that URL some type of “404-detected” status, after which it (a few weeks later, perhaps) then reclassified it as a “404-soon-to-be-deleted-from-index” state, after which it would finally reach a “not-listed” status, where it would not mentioned at all in the report.
However, I did not find any such organized progression of states. What I found was a strange mix of states which seem to have no logic to them at all.
So when I was looking at all of those URLs that have been 404s since mid-December (all of which were previously 301s), I got a very strange picture. They do not share the same sequence of events, as can be seen in the screenshot of the Excel spreadsheet I did to get an overview of the situation (gray color: not listed; red color: 404-warning; orange color: 404-excluded; green color: 404-indexed; blue color: 301-indexed; yellow color: 200-excluded):
Some old URLs have disappeared from the report, but nevertheless reappeared as “404-warnings”. Some have gone through a few crawls with a “404-warning”, but then have become unlisted. Some have been registered as a “301-indexed”, after which they later have become unlisted, only to be resurrected again as a “301-indexed”.
And it doesn’t stop there. We also have URLs that transition from a “404-warning” to “301-indexed”, although the real HTTP status is that they are all 404s. And then we have others that transition from “301-indexed” to “404-excluded” status, instead of becoming unlisted or getting a “404-warning” status. And in addition to “301-indexed” status we also have “404-indexed” status in some cases.
So all in all, it’s a big mess.
Bing’s Software Problems: Deadlock
And the problems don’t end there, either. For it seems that the REAL problem is that Bing erroneously has indexed the “http” variety of my home page, not the “https” variety, as can be seen in this screenshot:
And the problem with this, of course, is that, once again, this indexing is not of a real page, but of a 301 redirect. The difference in this redirect, compared to all the other I have talked about previously, is that this redirect is active now, and will not be removed.
So the status then is that Bing has erroneously identified a 301 redirect as the home page, but nevertheless regards it as “301-indexed”. So it’s not really an indexed page, just an indexed URL, without a page.
And because of this error, Bing now apparently decides that all REAL pages on my site (i.e., all URLs with a “200” HTTP code) now are NOT indexable, because they don’t have the same prefix as the “http” URL that Bing erroneously has selected as the home page URL.
So Bing has put itself in a “deadlock” position. Without abandoning that faulty “301-indexed” state of the “http” variant of my site, the “https” variant may never be indexed. And if the “https” variant is not indexed, then it is unlikely that any of the “https” articles will be indexed.
I have contacted the Bing Webmaster Tools team on two occasions: once in the Fall of 2022, and once in the beginning of April 2023.
Regarding my email in the Fall of 2022, they simply said that the deindexing was a result of that my pages were “of bad quality” and “not up to standard” or something to that effect. But it was clear to me that all my pages had previously been indexed and ranked by Bing in a very nice way, as the screenshots in my May 2022 report demonstrate.
Nevertheless, my theory is that the “bad quality” of my pages was due to the redirection plugin that I installed during the Fall of 2022, to handle the WordPress permalink scheme change, which gave all my articles on the site a new URL. For Bing reported “malware” in the Fall of 2022, so that could have been the reason for the deindexing and deranking.
However, since my removal of that redirection plugin resulted in an automatic reindexing by Google in mid-December 2022 (i.e. without any manual submission of URLs to try to trigger it), my interpretation was that also Google previously had detected that something was wrong with my site. And I concluded that the issue was now solved.
However, Bing did not do as Google did. Bing continued to have my site unindexed.
And when I contacted them in the beginning of April 2023, I wrote a very long and detailed analysis of what’s wrong, and requested simply that they made some kind of “reset” to let Bing discover my site anew, in order to find the “https” home page instead of the “http” redirect.
However, it has now been three months (90 days) since I sent that email. And there is no response from Microsoft. And there is also no change on Bing, so they apparently haven’t made any reset of Bing in relation to my site.
So it seems that Microsoft has no intention (or competence?) to solve this issue. For it might be so complicated to rewrite Bing that it may be easier for the engineers (and the managers above them) just to avoid the issue altogether.
In any case, if Microsoft doesn’t fix it, we are good anyway. We are not dependent on Microsoft’s “mercy” for our happiness.
There has been lots of progress on chrisbocay.com since last summer. But most progress has been invisible to the reader.
However, the plan is to continue writing excellent and interesting articles on this site, and simultaneously also to continue with my Law of Attraction practices.
Ultimately, we cannot be dependent on search engines (or external circumstances, or other people) for our happiness. We must find happiness unconditionally, for no good reason.
We must generate our happiness BEFORE we have a “good reason” to be happy; BEFORE “reality” presents us with a “good” condition that we can be happy about.
For as I have pointed out earlier, pre-manifestation positivity is the only hard currency in the universe. It is one of the most important skills for a student who is determined to excel in the art of manifesting with Law of Attraction.