How Microsoft handles bots clicking on ads

There’s been some recent discussion in the SEO blogosphere asserting that Bing clicks its own adCenter ads. This has created some misunderstanding. Let’s take a moment to clarify what is actually happening, and what this really means for webmasters and advertisers.

The Bing team is aware of an issue shared by all search engines: paid advertising links on sites are, on occasion, crawled and indexed by search engines. Standard practice in the search industry is to scan web pages for the purpose of indexing and understanding the site’s content, and to determine which ads match best the destination site. Microsoft adCenter does not charge an advertiser for clicks generated by any known search engine bots, including our own.

AdCenter uses a variety of techniques to remove bots, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Spiders and Robots protocol.  The IAB provides a list of known bots, and Microsoft bots are a part of that list. As a result, any activity generated by bots will not skew AdCenter data because it will be categorized as low quality in AdCenter Reports. You can view the Standard Quality and Low Quality data by accessing the AdCenter Reports tab.

In June, 2009, Microsoft received Click Quality Accreditation from the IAB, which holds the industry’s highest standards in click measurement. The IAB and independent third-part auditors verified that adCenter meets their requirements for Click Quality Accreditation, which includes not billing for our search bot’s ad clicks. For more information, visit the adCenter Blog, or the IAB site.

This issue exists for all search engines, and we all follow the practice of not charging for bot-driven ad clicks. We maintain the integrity of our engine and our advertiser’s experience as a very high priority, and welcome your feedback. Please visit our Webmaster Crawling/Indexing Discussion forum to leave your comments and questions.

— Rajesh Srivastava, Principal Group Program Manager, Bing

Join the conversation

  1. Anonymous

    It's true, there is a lot of methods to split different bots and real users. (The most simply method is run JS, which bot an not execute.) But as I can see my sites statistic, sometimes each method is making mistakes. For example, seems, real user visit site, an click in 1 second on 20 links from homepage, but Ad client is count (not all, but 10). Then, each software is fault, question, how often and how much time developers spent on software debugging.

  2. miles2go

    thanks for the info.

  3. carter.cole

    good to know i didnt know there was a protocol for bots ill have to go read some more good to see yall are on top of things

  4. Anonymous

    Yes this can be a very useful information for all the webmasters to know about the bots clicking over ads. There was some misunderstanding over this issue and this information may probably clear it.

  5. Anonymous

    nice information


    Nice information.


  7. Quality Directory

    I personally don't believe that Bing clicks its own ads. And I haven't seen any proof to support such allegation.

  8. Anonymous

    Hey good to know that Microsoft is on top of it, thanks for the info!

  9. tu2004tu


  10. Andreas Pfister

    Thanks for clearing that. Good to know that the search engines don't contribute to click fraud 😉

  11. njeppo

    Hopefully that works… i have seen quite a lot clicks generated by bots and i never really knew how to prevent this. Denying the bot to crawl via Robots.txt is on the other hand also not a good solution, because otherwise your websites content won't be crawled… Hopefully Bing rolls out its location-based service also in Europe and many more countries soon!

  12. Webhostuk LTD

    This is truely a good article to all those who need to know why there site is not list on bing or any other search engine.

  13. Anonymous

    Quite informative, good to know.

  14. zhangmin_iichiba

    I think bing can handle it well

  15. Anonymous

    This can be for all webmasters very useful information to understand the advertising clicks robots. There is some misunderstanding on this issue, the information is likely to clear it.

  16. aunur82

    thanks for information !!!

  17. Anonymous

    Really a nice post.Thanks for sharing this information with us.

  18. nexcheck

    Thanks for the updates.

  19. Anonymous

    Is there a specific way for an attorney to be categorized on Bing?  If anyone knows, please share.

  20. novintabligh

    thanks. quite informative.

  21. suparposter

    Thanks for anti bot clicking stuff.

Comments are closed.