So the other day, I was trying to access some data in Bing Webmaster Tools for one of the sites that I manage, and I noticed that all of the sites had become unverified. I tried to re-verify the sites, but it kept timing out with the following message:
If you were adding a site or sitemap, we timed out trying to talk to your site. Please make sure the web page is up and visible on the web. If not, this may be a momentary issue; try again, or check back later. ”
What was puzzling was that both the sitemap and the meta tag for verification were still present on our site, and the site was obviously up and running. I double checked to see if anything was blocked by robots.txt, but nope that wasn’t the problem either. I tried adding another site to BWT, and was successfully able to do so, so the issue wasn’t Bing either.
At this point I reached out to Bing to see if they could fix the problem, but received a response in broken English that didn’t really address the problem.
I sent a message to IT, and it turns out that our firewall was the culprit here, blocking Bing from re-verifying our site. We were able to track down the Bing IP by combing through our log files, and once the Bing IP address was added to our whitelist, I was able to re-verify the sites with no problem.
Bing Webmaster Tools’ IP address is 126.96.36.199, if you’re curious, although I’m not sure if they use multiple IPs. So there you have: if you’re having verification trouble in Bing, check your firewall.