Also according to Internet Archive their robots.txt has changed in the last months.
This was a version that was archived:
At a glance, they are whitelisting some bots, including Googlebot, but not including Bingbot, and disallowing the rest.
You are right about the content type however.
Usually these posts are accompanied by a declining traffic graph for Bing referrers. That would give us more proof and a timeframe to work with.
The post gives two options for their absence in Bing results: a fault at Microsoft or as a punishment. With their history I think a fault on their own part is a more likely option. I can't rule that out.
In 2008, kogan.com was a parked domain. It has nothing to do with the current owner(s).
I thought kogan.com was around in 2008 as the blog goes back to 2008.
The robots.txt is whitelisting bots with agents like "No" and "Due to a deficiency in Java it's not currently possible to set the User-agent." but then blocks all other known crawlers (like MSNbot and Yahoo Slurp).
I was not trying to be deceitful. IMO: Deceitful is a PR stunt arguing it is the fault or an evil plan of Microsoft, when you don't present anything to substantiate your claim, and it is a fact the webmaster is at fault in the vast majority of these cases.
As another commenter suggested, I would not put it past him that he blocked bing somehow just for a publicity stunt. The wikipedia article hasn't even caught up with last week's stunt (or there are just so many that it cannot list them all): http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/07/kogan-launches-campaign-to...
Seems to me that these guys are great marketers.
It's possible they did this and they were cunning enough to turn back the last-modified clock.
$ curl -I http://www.kogan.com/robots.txt
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2012 18:48:34 GMT
Last-Modified: Fri, 04 May 2012 18:58:02 GMT
They don't say explicitly, let alone prove, that the result ever appeared on Bing, while "stopped" would imply that.
If the comments about the wrong robots.txt got it right, it is well possible that the website was never indexed by Bing, and they just noticed it (or decided to talk about it) now.
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Also, I made myself sad when I typed "kogan.com" into the address bar to test DDG and was shocked when the actual web site came up. Didn't think that one through...
I have no idea what consequences this might have since I've never seen another site which does it. Some quick Googling turned up nothing.
Maybe Bing choked on the wrong content type and decided to blackball their entire domain in order to avoid indexing the unindexable?
EDIT: It was the kogan.co.uk and not kogan.com since my country/region = UK
I've seen a few threads on HN where someone claims that Google has removed them from the search results (often after a Google update) and it turns out that the site had a weird set of errors. (mix ups about http and https, and about including or not the www.)
This may throw the search engines away, because you're "de-SEOing" your content
Given that Kogan.com advocates upgrading and all the linking to their website which occurred recently, perhaps it seems possible that a Microsoft algorithm designed to avoid similar SEO manipulation was triggered.
In other words, the way in which the Kogan.com story unfolded was sufficiently similar to the PR move by Google, that it triggered a Microsoft safeguard.
Maybe so, but the splash says "Use a better browser" and lists Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. It would be ridiculous for Microsoft to remove the page from their search results because of this, but at just a glance, and maybe to the untrained user, it could look like the are waging war on IE as a whole, and not just trying to get users to "simply upgrade their browsers."
But I think MS's algorithm would have de-ranked the site because any IR algorithm considers the content of the page too - if the web page served to IE users is about redirecting to browser download pages, their crawler (which may identify itself as IE) might not consider it to be the best result about 'Kogan'.
They probably shot themselves.
Kogan.com is completely gone from their resultset.
In short, there's no legal precedence for filing damages if you're dropped by a search engine. It would be hard to imagine what, if anything, Kogan would argue successfully.
I'm all for using any browser that you'd want, but why go through elaborate lengths to put Microsoft down? Especially on a version of IE that's 3 iterations in the past.
I understand that IE7 may not be as great as the other browsers. I'm fine with being annoyed by that. But what about the other versions of IE? Why isn't there a link for IE9 or IE10?