CreateSpace vs. Bing — Fail Update
My quest to get Bing to be able to see two e-store pages on CreateSpace.com remains at an impasse. (You can see the pages here and here, and you can see Bing fail to find them here and here.) The robotic email tech-support droids at CreateSpace insist that everything is fine on their end and that the problem is with Bing. The robotic cut-and-paste email tech-support droids at Bing insist that CreateSpace has never submitted a sitemap by which they can index that site, and have repeatedly given me instructions on how I can do so even though I have repeatedly explained to them that I am not the site owner.
Now, I know there’s no joy quite like the joy of being crushed between two monolithic and ruthless companies like Amazon and Microsoft, each of which is 100% committed to pretending that it is customer friendly as a means of owning all internet traffic and content throughout the known universe. So it’s not as if I don’t appreciate how fortunate I am to still be alive at this point.
Having said that, if you’re Microsoft, and you’ve launched a search engine to compete head-to-head with the best search engine in the business — which, oddly enough, seems to have no problem finding the two e-store pages that Bing is resolutely blind to — you would think you might have a better approach to maximizing the efficiency of your search engine than adamantly insisting that people register and log into your Bing Webmaster Tools site so you don’t end up looking like an idiot.
(Have I mentioned that I’m not actually the webmaster or owner of CreateSpace.com? I keep forgetting whether I’ve mentioned that or not.)
If you’re Amazon, and you’re interested in making your CreateSpace.com site available via the smaller of the two dominant search engines in the US, it seems to me that at some point you might actually go ahead and submit your sitemap to Microsoft’s Bing search engine, even though you hate Microsoft as much as you hate Google and Apple combined. And if one of your customers wrote you multiple times to say that they couldn’t find their e-store pages via Bing search, you might actually do a proactive check on your own to figure out what the problem was, and work with Bing to resolve it instead of dumping it back in your customer’s lap.
Having put in multiple hours trying to get this problem resolved over the past week I am now giving up. A week ago I would have given CreateSpace an unqualified recommendation to anyone looking for a print-on-demand publisher. Now I’m taking a second look at other options myself, and I would encourage you to do the same. Having not used Bing at all since it launched I haven’t really had an opinion about it until now. My opinion now is that Bing seems to be incapable of doing the one thing it was designed to do.
As of 2/24, searching for my grandmother’s title on Bing now returns the correct link. My short story collection is still MIA.
As of 3/12, after several more tech support emails to and from Bing, the Bing search engine can now also reliably find the page for my short story collection. I have no idea what the problem was or what I specifically did to solve the problem. My only advice to anyone having similar problems is to be both persistent and patient.
– Mark Barrett