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302 Redirects continues to be an issue
japanese

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 6:23 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It is now 100% certain that any site can destroy low to midrange pagerank sites by causing googlebot to snap up a 302 redirect via scripts such as php, asp and cgi etc supported by an unseen randomly generated meta refresh page pointing to an unsuspecting site. The encroaching site in many cases actually write your websites location URL with a 302 redirect inside their server. This is flagrant violation of copyright and manipulation of search engine robots and geared to exploit and destroy websites and to artificially inflate ranking of the offending sites.

Many unethical webmasters and site owners are already creating thousands of TEMPLATED (ready to go) SKYSCRAPER sites fed by affiliate companies immense databases. These companies that have your website info within their databases feed your page snippets, without your permission, to vast numbers of the skyscraper sites. A carefully adjusted variant php based redirection script that causes a 302 redirect to your site, and included in the script an affiliate click checker, goes to work. What is very sneaky is the randomly generated meta refresh page that can only be detected via the use of a good header interrogation tool.

Googlebot and MSMBOT follow these php scripts to either an internal sub-domain containing the 302 redirect or serverside and “BANG” down goes your site if it has a pagerank below the offending site. Your index page is crippled because googlebot and msnbot now consider your home page at best a supplemental page of the offending site. The offending sites URL that contains your URL is indexed as belonging to the offending site. The offending site knows that google does not reveal all links pointing to your site, takes a couple of months to update, and thus an INURL:YOURSITE.COM will not be of much help to trace for a long time. Note that these scripts apply your URL mostly stripped or without the WWW. Making detection harder. This also causes googlebot to generate another URL listing for your site that can be seen as duplicate content. A 301 redirect resolves at least the short URL problem so aleviating google from deciding which of the two URL's of your site to index higher, more often the higher linked pagerank.

Your only hope is that your pagerank is higher than the offending site. This alone is no guarantee because the offending site would have targeted many higher pagerank sites within its system on the off chance that it strips at least one of the targets. This is further applied by hundreds of other hidden 301 permanent redirects to pagerank 7 or above sites, again in the hope of stripping a high pagerank site. This would then empower their scripts to highjack more efficiently. Sadly supposedly ethical big name affiliates are involved in this scam, they know it is going on and google adwords is probably the main target of revenue. Though I am sure only google do not approve of their adsense program to be used in such manner.

Many such offending sites have no e-mail contact and hidden WHOIS and no telephone number. Even if you were to contact them, you will find in most cases that the owner or webmaster cannot remove your links at their site because the feeds are by affiliate databases.

There is no point in contacting GOOGLE or MSN because this problem has been around for at least 9 months, only now it is escalating at an alarming rate. All pagerank sites of 5 or below are susceptible, if your site is 3 or 4 then be very alarmed. A skyscraper site only need create child page linking to get pagerank 4 or 5 without the need to strip other sites.

Caution, trying to exclude via robots text will not help because these scripts are nearly able to convert daily.

Trying to remove a link through google that looks like
new.searc**verywhere.co.uk/goto.php?path=yoursite.com%2F will result in your entire website being removed from google’s index for an indefinite period time, at least 90 days and you cannot get re-indexed within this timeline.

I am working on an automated 302 REBOUND SCRIPT to trace and counteract an offending site. This script will spider and detect all pages including sub-domains within an offending site and blast all of its pages, including dynamic pages with a 302 or 301 redirect. Hopefully it will detect the feeding database and blast it with as many 302 redirects as it contains URLS. So in essence a programme in perpetual motion creating millions of 302 redirects so long as it stays on. As every page is a unique URL, the script will hopefully continue to create and bombard a site that generates dynamically generated pages that possesses php, asp, cigi redirecting scripts. A SKYSCRAPER site that is fed can have its server totally occupied by a single efficient spider that continually requests pages in split seconds continually throughout the day and week.

If the repeatedly spidered site is depleted of its bandwidth, it may then be possible to remove it via googles URL removal tool. You only need a few seconds of 404 or a 403 regarding the offending site for google’s url console to detect what it needs. Either the site or the damaging link.

I hope I have been informative and to help anybody that has a hijacked site who’s natural revenue has been unfairly treated. Also note that your site may never gain its rank even after the removal of the offending links. Talking to offending site owners often result in their denial that they are causing problems and say that they are only counting outbound clicks. And they seam reluctant to remove your links....Yeah, pull the other one.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 9:49 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2005]

 

pendanticist

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 6:05 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Perhaps we may think of a way to bring this thread to google's attention.

You can bet they know. Most all threads from WebmasterWorld hit the SERPS with uncanny swiftness. Yep, they surely must know.

walkman



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 6:19 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

they know, but either don't think of this is an important issue, can't fix it, or don't care. Not sure which one is worse.

GoogleGuy even said that he had brought it up in a G managment meeting....back in December.

"Perhaps we may think of a way to bring this thread to google's attention."

hdpt00



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 6:22 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Using googlerankings I put my url and search term in and the hijackers pages comes up, how delightfully wonderful. This is the highest PR (6) hijacker of my three freindly hijackers (I am PR 5). I just emailed google, hopefully they give me some sort of uncanned response. It would be nice to not have to use AdWords as much and have people stop stealing my site.

12monkeys

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 6:23 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

To prevent url-hijacking, please try <snip>.
the tool is new and ready to use. it checks the referer of your logfile and analyze the related pages for dynamic links with 302 or meta refresh which link to your site.

[edited by: 12monkeys at 6:47 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2005]

[edited by: lawman at 10:25 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2005]
[edit reason] No Specifics Please [/edit]

old_expat

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 6:27 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

"old_expat

The targetted site must be called by telephone .."

That *sort of* takes me out of the game as I am in Thailand and contacting the west (put on hold, etc) is rather expensive.

Wouldn't an email tell us much of what we need to know?

Kubano

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 6:27 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I will not give my logs to anybody.

slower but better: <snip>

[edited by: lawman at 10:25 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2005]
[edit reason] No URL Drops Please [/edit]

walkman



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 6:39 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

12monkeys,
you should remove the URL, I don't think it's allowed. Personally, I wouldn't upload my logs to another website, but that's just me.

Also, we can find out what site is "hijacking" us, the problem is that in many cases we can't do much about it.

12monkeys

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 6:42 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

The <snip> Tool deletes all referers after the checking process. we just developed the tool to help people prevent <snip> hijacking. that's the reason why it is free of charge.

the difference from <snip> to <snip> ist that there you first have to know the suspicious links, but with the <snip> tool you are able to identify it. I don't know another way to do this. Problem is that only dynamic links are dangerous and they are not shown in the backlinks when you search for "link:mydomain.com". That would be a lot easier... But unfortunately they don't show up and so you have to identify them on your own.

[edited by: lawman at 10:27 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2005]
[edit reason] No URL Drops Please [/edit]

claus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 7:06 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

<nevermind this post - just being grumpy about url-droppping>

[edited by: claus at 7:15 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2005]

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 7:12 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

In this thread, the best bids sofar seems to be:

always redirect non-www to www (or the other way round)

use absolute internal linking (ie. include your domain name in internal links)

include a bit of always updated content on your page (eg. a random quote, a timestamp, or whatever)

use the <base href=""> meta tag on all your pages

The kewords here are "In this thread, the best bids so far seems to be:"

There is no definite 'fix' or 'sheild' for this problem. These are only a collection of good suggestions that Clause gathered from the thread during our discussion.

They are all related to avoiding duplicate pages in google because it is the duplicate-content filter that is being abused in this case.

I was the one who sugqested the <base href=""> tag and I saw a few questions about it so I will explain it's function a bit and how it could 'possibly' prevent hijacking.

There are 2 ways to crosslink within your site.
1: Absolute links
2: Relative links
Absolute linking is when you use the full cannonical url in every single crosslink within your site. There is no question where any link points to.

Relative crosslinks: If the page examplea.htm is in the same directory as exampleb.htm you could make a link from a to b by simply typing <a href="examplb.htm">link on page a to b</a>
or if the target examplec.htm is in the directory above the directory holding a and b and yoou want to link from a to c you could use
<a href="../examplec.htm">Link from a to c</a>.
The link is relative to the page it points from.

The <base href="absolute canonical URL of this page"> is a header tag. If you use relative linking you really really should have a base href on every single page, even if it works without it, this gives the browser a reference to use regarding the relative links on that page. The links are relative to that base.

As far as using this META tag along with absolute crosslinks, kind of pointless but it MAY I repeat MAY help prevent hijacking, or at least cause the hijacker some work, because he would have to remove or alter that META tag in order to place the page in any other domain. Also he would have to fix all the relative links because they would mean nothing in another domain. And we all know hijackers avoid any kind of work for themselves, that is why they hijack.

As far as the 302 redirect problem this META tag "MAY" help. Because when google is deciding which page is the real page it also has this base reference which is absolutely clear that this page absolutely belongs at this canonical URL. But google only takes a 'picture' of the page so even though I use this META tag I'm seiously considering adding some dynamic content to my pages (a visible hit counter "MAY" work so that every visit to the page changes the content) that way every picture google takes is different in some way.

Welcome back to the 80's

idoc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 8:58 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Something is definitely up at the 'plex. I just looked at the server logs for this afternoon and I am back at #2 for a particular <snip> term on Google... just behind the behemoth that has the term as part of their name for the first time in over a year. I hope this is a sign of things to come. ;)

[edited by: lawman at 10:30 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2005]

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 9:51 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Something is definitely up at the 'plex. I just looked at the server logs for this afternoon and I am back at #2 for a particular <snip> term on Google... just behind the behemoth that has the term as part of their name for the first time in over a year. I hope this is a sign of things to come. ;)

Google did a rollback yesterday (march 10) see posts in this thread #198 to #270

edited in - especially #261 to #270

[edited by: lawman at 10:30 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2005]

Rollo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 10:12 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm sure this thread does have the attention of Google, they may not have a solution. I'm sure they don't want to respond as an outright acknowledgment would only add fuel to the brush fire burning here. I’m sure they’re hoping it will go out by itself as those affected will not know how to get together and push for action.

Exposing a major, widely acknowledged weakness in Google to the wider public could cost many millions of real dollars. With tech stocks, speculation pushes values up and can push share prices down just as quickly.

I'm sure that they're getting nervous as MNS continues to march forward while Yahoo/Ink seems to be improving as well and the last thing they need is to have their reputation come under attack.

I'm not sure if there is a society of professional webmasters or not, but a credible watchdog group comprised of disinterested industry professionals looking out for our collective interests would be a good idea and could have an impact - a webmasters union of sorts. Remember, none of the engines would make a dime if they did not have FREE access to the collective body of our sites and published online work.

I'll spare you the part where I quote Marx, LOL.

activeco

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 10:24 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Previous versions of 3xx redirects recommended maximum of five redirections.
Knowing that Google should be very resources thrifty, it wouldn't surprise me that they implemented the recommendation.

So, someone could try to make a loop of 302 redirections of his url where the end and final content should be on the fifth position.

Of course the offending site could start linking from the middle of the chain, but this too could be probably solved by frequent dynamic url name changes from the second position in the loop.

[edited by: activeco at 10:44 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2005]

sja65

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 10:29 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

It isn't just little sites this is happening to. With one
of the search phrases I monitor (exact title of a book that
I sell on my site), one of my competitors is the big store
named after a South American river (hereafter known as "big
book store"). Typically the results for the top 3 are two
from my site followed by 1 from big book store. Today, the
link to the big book store has been replaced in google by an
affiliate site with identical page title and description that
redirects to the big book store.

stargeek

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 10:31 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

So, someone could try to make a loop of 302 redirections of his url where the end and final content should be on the fifth position.

the best suggestion to protect your site yet.
its risky though if google decides to penalize 302's at some point you'd be in trouble.

this also probably won't fix sites that have already been hijacked.

activeco

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 10:41 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

this also probably won't fix sites that have already been hijacked.

Actually it should.
Most of the hijacked sites are still crawled and as soon as offending site lose "content", the real one should be back.

The main question remains if Google implemented it.

zeus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member zeus us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 10:42 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have been googlejacked for about 6 month now, I just want to know if your situation is the same, here goes:

Pages indexed droped 80%, ofcause visits also droped 98%, my PR came back 2 month ago, but no changes in serps, googlebot has also not seen much of my site, even if I have cookies for it :), I also can not see my site when I ad the 0filter, so I think I will first see improvement when googlebot coming back for good.

twist

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 10:43 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure if there is a society of professional webmasters or not, but a credible watchdog group comprised of disinterested industry professionals looking out for our collective interests would be a good idea and could have an impact - a webmasters union of sorts. Remember, none of the engines would make a dime if they did not have FREE access to the collective body of our sites and published online work.

Rollo in msg #:235 of this thread I made a brief reference to something quite similiar, although it recieved no response. Too many people trying to cut down trees in a forest of problems. We cant constantly wait for large corporations and politicians to get around to doing anything about problems they create in the first place. The idea of a union sounds pretty brutal but so does the idea of years of hard work and your livelihood disappearing in an instant.

It is quite a way to look at things, search engines would go out of business if we blocked them from indexing our sites. How about everyone in the theoratical union blocked all search engines but union certified ones, and of course, to become a union certified search engine you have to show union members websites at the top of the listings and not some fly-by-night scraper sight. Your right, were the webmasters, were the ones creating content, why are they the ones in charge. What right do they have to show our content under anothers name, none.

twist

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 10:50 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

sja65 - It isn't just little sites this is happening to.

Reading your post reminded me of something I had completely forgoten about. About 4 months ago I was looking around at DVD rental sites comparing deals and I came across one that had some other name but it was the blockbuster website. It wasn't at the top of the serps but about 20 down. I spent about 5 minutes scratching my head trying to figure out why blockbuster would allow someone else to use their name site that, seemed very odd. I had completely forgoten about it until I read your post about amazon, err, big river site.

donovanh

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 10:51 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

activeco, while the idea is a good one in principle, it falls down when you consider that it would have no effect on the google bot.

While the theory would be to redirect when the bot is arriving via a 302 redirect, google's bot won't have this referrer information when it views the page, and there's no way the server could detect that the link was using the 302 method.. AFAIK

activeco

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 10:57 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

While the theory would be to redirect when the bot is arriving via a 302 redirect, google's bot won't have this referrer information when it views the page, and there's no way the server could detect that the link was using the 302 method.

It has nothing to do with referrer or any other header info.
You simply do your own 302 redirects five times in the raw, with the last one having the content.
If someone does 302 to you he can't pass all the 302's in the loop, of course if "five redirections" rule being implemented.

donovanh

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 11:00 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the clarification.

This isn't something I'm expert on, but would there be any negative impact for the users / bots if they went through a 5 stage redirect for every page they accessed?

activeco

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 11:07 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some delay for sure, but I think it is a marginal problem.

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 11:23 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

also if the offending site did it's own redirect to the same page your five deep are redirecting to, then what?

activeco

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 11:24 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Please see above about dynamic url changes (#314).

stargeek

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 11:34 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

activeco: this seems like a very very good suggestion the more than i think about it.

has any testing been done?

Emmett

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 11:37 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't know if its related but after I emailed G last night, googlebot visited over 300 pages of my site at around lunchtime today. I thought it may have been because of an old sitemap that i uploaded but the only ip to access that file was mine.

*Crosses Fingers*

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 11:39 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the only thing google can do (and should do) about this is treat cross-domain 302's differently.
Sure there are a lot of people with multiple domains but they would just have to adapt, at least they have control of their own domains.

That would sure throw a wrench into the spammers/hackers works, they ALL have multiple domains with 302's all over the place. It's part of what they do.

Reid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 11:47 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

If they don't deal with this then we only need to wait for a few more big names to go down which is inevitable, and then they will have to deal with it in a hurry.

hdpt00



 
Msg#: 28329 posted 12:13 am on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the only thing google can do (and should do) about this is treat cross-domain 302's differently.
Sure there are a lot of people with multiple domains but they would just have to adapt, at least they have control of their own domains.

I like this idea and it is something that could be easily implemented I imagine. On a further update I got a canned response after complaining about three (3) 302s that said follow the google guidelines for good site design. They think I'm mental or something, that is an insult to send me that. I would have preferred no response.

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