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Listing Google ads in Live Search (doh!)

Some of you may have noticed Google advertisements showing up in Live Search results today. We have identified and resolved the issue, and you should see these disappear over the next couple days.


The issue stems from the way Live Search handles content disallowed by the Robots.txt file. We regularly check the robots.txt file of a site to ensure that we don't index and cache pages excluded by the webmaster. However, if we do find a link elsewhere on the web pointing to a page excluded by the robots.txt file, we may include the link and the anchor text in our index if we think it might be valuable to our users. Yesterday we accidently began including the links from the ads of Google AdSense customers. The issue has been fixed, and you should see the results disappear from our search results over the next couple days.

We'd like to thank Search Engine Land and several customers for contacting us earlier today, your feedback is much appreciated and helped us quickly identify and resolve this issue.

--Nathan Buggia, Live Search Webmaster Center


  • That's an amazing way to celebrate Chiristmas... Giving away audience and clicks to the market's main competitor! Jesus!


  • hehe, that is quite funny if you think about it. I can imagine this issue got some priority when they found it out.

  • That was scary for a minute !

    Anyway, its really great that you have a fast response to urgent issues/problems.

  • my question is did google change something in the adsence to prompt the indexing

  • Live search now is so fast, no ads.

    As an audience, I'm looking for quality results.

  • right, as a user, i just want to find what i need when i seach on the seach engine.

  • Whoops, small error.

    This happens to webmasters all the time, making small errors, only when it happens to such big search engines everyone directly sees it.

  • I want to see both Ad and results in the result pages but Ad is Ad and must be kept seperate from the result.

  • That would constitute to a fraudulent click. I wonder if Google detects any of that.

  • I think that it's better if Ad is seperated from the results in any SEs.

  • I'm sorry about the ads accident. However, you mentioned something that intrigued me- about including external links pointing to a section of a site the webmaster has instructed in robots.txt not to be indexed. Doesn't that seem tantamount to exposing the webmaster's privacy? I think I need more insight on this issue.

  • I don't think it's cool to include a link to a page a webmaster has excluded by the robots.txt file, even when you think it might be valuable to your users.

  • Great information. Thanks