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Dealing with hijacked sites
what preventative measures can I take?
norton j radstock

 7:16 am on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Having lost rank considerably with my travel related site around 17th December, I followed up on the subject of duplicate content and found that my site had indeeed been hijacked.

In fact it was one of hundreds of travel related sites duplicated by one company with a number of websites. Every page has a different copied website with a very fast redirect back to the same site -blink and you will miss it (You can see them by searching on google for the terms "active-holidays-malaysia").

I know that I should report this to Google, but my question is what else can website owners do to prevent this sort of abuse affecting their rankings in future?



 11:26 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the report. I discovered that he also had hijacked several of my pages and reported him to Google.

Spammers repeatedly succeed in getting listed in Google under someone else's established page names with deceptive redirects to their home pages. Google seems unable to catch them until the victim webmasters complain.

I hope a solution is on Microsoft's agenda for improving web search.


 12:13 am on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well I have not seen any trouble on MSN, only on Google, they realy have a lot of bugs these last month. It remind me of Altavista on there way down, more and more good pages was not found and the same is happening on Google a lot of sites are gone from the index because they cant see the different between a real site and another that is redirecting, that way the real is out of the index and the user cant find that site, ok then they go to MSN/Yahoo


 12:26 am on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have recently had sites frame hijacked by a 'hobbit' and 'gnome' (same company).

They are framing other peoples content and presenting it as their own.


 12:51 am on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am sure that I am not the only person wondering this! Maybe someone can explain to people how to look for or detect if their pages or site is being hijacked or duped?

Is there a way to search or a unique identifier/pattern in ones logs that would indicate this sort of abuse?


 12:55 am on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

The worst thing is that a lot of spammers and hijackers, know by now that Google have a problem with normal redirecting and some script links, so it has become much easier to steal content/PR and destroy the competition, they dont new special scripts anymore, they use the Google bug.

We will see alot more sites in trouble here at the next update, because there has been 0 changes to this problem from googles side.


 1:46 am on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Zeus ... Google must be looking at this by now, as the issue is getting more and more exposure, for our part we need to keep posting about the issue. I'm staying optimistic at the moment ..... logic is telling me this must high on their list of to do's and will be fixed soon!

..... please let it be true!


 3:26 am on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>Is there a way to search or a unique identifier/pattern in ones logs that would indicate this sort of abuse?<<

Here's one thing you can check in Google:

inurl:tracker2.php yourdomain.com

Anyone who ranks top 3 for ANY search phrase remotely similar to "foo hotels" is an excellent candidate to get nailed.

norton j radstock

 8:04 am on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies.

However what I was hoping was for some way of making it difficult to hijack a web page in the first place. Perhaps this could be something within the html?

My concern is that the hijacker will be able to do it again in the future.


 11:01 am on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Norton, you can not do anything about it and the said part is that nost of the sites that are hurting you dont even know it because, they are just using another linking system, but Google just issent as advanced, so they think its yours.

The only thing you can do is wait


 5:00 am on Jan 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK, I'm trying to understand this hyjacking topic. I found a link to my site on a page that uses tracker2.php to redirect the link. When I click the link it goes to my site, but from what I'm reading here, it is only redirected to my site form some other site.

What is the purpose of this? I'm assuming it something to do with passing PR, but how?

And what should I do? The guy seems to run his own server as his name servers are the same as his domain name. There is an address for him in whois, so I can write him direct, but before I tell him to remove my link I'd like to understand more about why he's doing it in the first place.


 8:11 am on Jan 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

The tracker2.php is a php click tracking script. It tracks clicks so you can keep track of what links get clicked from your site.

The click tracking script uses a 302 redirect to your page on your site.

When google crawls their site and follows the tracker2.php link to your site, it sees the 302 error and thinks your page has been temporarly moved from your page to their page.

Then it thinks your page is not on yoursite.com temporarly. So it assumes it's on hijacker.com/tracker2.php?yoursite.com temporarily. And google takes the PR for your page and counts it for the hijackers page twmporarily.

The keyword here is "Temporarily". When google doesn't find the link to your site anymore with the 302 error, you will be back ranking where you were before.

There is also another bug where someone links to your page wrong like yoursite.com%20/ and google is for some reason indexing these wrong links which causes your home page (Or whatever page) to be listed with no title or description?

This causes your pages (index count) on your site to drop substantially in the serps over a week or 2 and most of your pages to become "supplimental results".

There are 2 different things going on here.

Then the other is the so called "sandbox" which is just google using 2 different databases because of it's capacity problem.

But I am sure they are working on the problem right now and building a better system as we speak.

Of course it sucks waiting for them to get'r done.

Any day now google! Wait for it.......


 8:11 am on Jan 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

To kwasher (although his comment isn't perfectly on-topic):
I'm having the same problem (being frame hijacked) and posted a question at:

In more than a week I got only one single suggestion (which could be a useful one, however): to use a "break out of frames" script. I have not been able to try that yet and presume scripts do not always work.

Now I found another site frame hijacking mine. kwasher's case may be worse than mine - it depends on how the hijacked site is presented. It would at least be good to know if frame hijacking only represents a threat to reputation, or if it could affect search engine results as well. But most experienced webmasters keep quiet.


 8:46 am on Jan 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

[Post deleted: idea doesn't work]


 10:00 am on Jan 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I found that the guy that was using a hijacked link to my site had linked to me from 9 different pages on his site. Every one of those pages were almost duplicate lists of links. His site has 7330 pages of nothing but hijacked links and Adsense ads. I reported it to Google - think they will do anything? Scary thing is that this guy has links to just about any category you could imagine - I'd venture to guess many of you would find yourself listed in his "Hot Discount" directory of hijacked links.


 5:39 pm on Jan 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

We continue to have a problem with the track2.php script and have not found a technical solution. If you are dealing with intransigent or malicious webmasters using this script the only solution may be a DMCA action in federal court. And from what we see this problem, far from getting better is growing more widespread. My opinion is that from G's point of view this is a more pressing problem than the s/b (which I think is quite pressing in its own right) since it threatens the core integrity of their index.

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