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Microsoft Bing Webmaster Error/Warning Resolution

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I've been running site scans against our web site and Microsoft is kicking out errors about Http 400-499 errors that cannot be reproduced when accessing the offending URLs. Of course, Microsoft makes it harder by not telling you the exact response code, nor what part of the page retrieval gave the offending response code. Performing a URL inspection says the URL is known, but cannot be crawled. Requesting re-indexing doesn't appear to help. I'm at a loss as to how to resolve this, as Google's tools seem to have no issues with indexing the same page.

Regarding alt-text, it appears that Squarespace occasionally includes two alt tags: one that's populated, and one that's an empty string. This appears to throw Microsoft through a loop. E.g. https://poochkingdom.com/bark-n-play/p/chewver-clover-dog-toy

Look at the page source for this product, and search for alt="" and you'll see that there's two alt tags in some of the img entries.

Any ideas how to solve these two issues? Is the alt text a Microsoft being pedantic error, or should Squarespace fix this?

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Actually, I'm going to answer part of this myself. It definitely appears to be a Squarespace issue for the alt text. Although it seems that Chrome is ignoring the blank alt attribute (right-click Inspect Accessibility Properties shows the populated alt text), I'm pretty sure the HTML specification will not allow two alt attributes in the tag. I'll open a bug with Squarespace to address this.

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Well, I may as well update the thread for completeness. Part of my sitemap scan on Bing Webmaster showed that https://poochkingdom.com/contact was not indexed because it is a redirected page, which I'm pretty certain it isn't. I used the Bing Webmaster tool to send a support request asking why they think it is redirected. In return, I got a fairly generic message saying that https://poochkingdom.com is indexed so you're problem is solved. Responding to the email to ask why they didn't answer my question in the first place, I get the following:

550 5.4.1 Recipient address rejected: Access denied. AS(201806281) [BL2NAM06FT012.Eop-nam06.prod.protection.outlook.com 2024-06-06T04:30:08.708Z 08DC85DF80299C6D]

I guess that's Microsoft for "we don't care". So I'm left with a bunch of unsolvable 400-499 errors, and no way to understand why Bing Webmaster tools thinks this way.

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I reported to Squarespace support that Bing is most likely not indexing most Squarespace pages due to invalid HTML in <img> tags - where the user has taken the time to populate the alt tags in their images.

Squarespace includes two alt tags: one empty, and one populated. Bing doesn't like it, my research appears to show. Google ignores the issue; Bing does not.

I have asked for a high priority fix as this probably affects a large number of Squarespace users. You can only see the offending tags when you right-click -> view page source in the browser; it does not show in the developer consoles because the DOM is already fixed after page loading.

During the initial crawl by Bing and Google, they analyze the raw HTML page. Microsoft is generally more pedantic on standards, so my hypothesis is that Bing sees the invalid HTML and tags the error incorrectly. It appears as an empty alt tag warning, when actually there are two tags in the same element and this is invalid HTML.

Because of this, 100% of my product pages are not indexed by Bing. 

I encourage you to contact support if you're still having problems with your site.

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