Last week we reported on a significant drop in Bing organic search referrers, which concerned many webmasters. In short, we found that analytics tools showed a widespread drop in traffic being reported from the Bing Organic Search source. At the same time there was a spike in Bing referrers coming from referring sites, as opposed to organic search.
A Bing spokesperson finally got back to us claiming this is caused by Bing’s gradual move to encrypt their searches. A spokesperson told us:
Our move to encrypt search by default as reported here — and which is currently ongoing — combined with how search traffic is being identified has likely contributed to the issue becoming more noticeable in recent weeks.
I asked for further clarification, specifically if Bing is going to enable these clicks to be reported as organic search versus referrer traffic but I have not heard back.
As you know with Google, they remove the keyword data but they still pass that the traffic came from search. Bing on the other hand seems to removing the fact that the traffic came from organic search, in addition to removing keyword data.
This may be an unintended consequence of this Bing HTTPS change. I suspect this will change over time. But Bing did tell me to expect this to increase over time and they migrate more and more users to HTTPS.