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302 Redirects continues to be an issue

 6:23 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

recent related threads:

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]



 7:25 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well at least some of the press have picked up on it.. any one want to post on slashdot as well?



 7:35 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

want to know how bad this problem is?
google 'intitle:302 found'

Only 17,700 results.
Not all are jackers but most of em are.

[edited by: Reid at 8:03 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2005]


 7:54 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

It was a nice article until they just started making junk up....

sites began masking outbound links to prevent PR "leaking" from their pages and "reducing" their pages' importance to the Google algorithm. <snip> The main ways they did this was by cloaking the link in javascript (which Google wasn't parsing), but larger and more sophisticated sites used cgi and php scripts to redirect users to the final destination. Big sites like the Yahoo directory are good examples.

Yes, Yahoo is a serious cloaker, it's called CLICK THRU TRACKING.

You can teach someone to write, just not write right.


 8:01 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Reid, are you suggesting that any of those listings could be 'hijacking' another URL?


 8:04 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I do think at least 100.000 sites are affected by some kind og googlejacking.


 8:06 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

sorry CIML I edited it to narrow down the results.

take a look intitle:302 found tell me what you think.


 8:13 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ha I was just browsing through them - looking at the cached pages.

One url from a geocities page has a META refresh pointing at Google's homepage.

Your right cmil A LOT OF them seem to be legit but others...


 8:18 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think that about 70 of them are WebmasterWorld threads. :-)

Seriously though, a URL that has 'hijacked' another URL doesn't show in Google with '302 Found' in the title.

So we're seeing pages that:

a) have 302 in the title, because they are information or discussion on the subject or:

b) have 302 in the title, because they were intended to be redirects but for some reason they return 200 or:

c) have 302 in the title, are 302 redirects but Google interpreted them as normal pages

Note that a page that redirects now, may not have done when it was crawled.

By the way, allintitle: is sometimes more useful than intitle:


I'm very keen that Google should should treat a link to a 302 redirecting URL as a link to its destination, but Google still has quite a lot of Web sites so I don't think it's dead just yet.


 8:27 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you're referring to the fact that we redirect before the site leaves Alexa.com, but still deliver the visitors to the site in question, it is our right to use redirects to track where people go on our site and that
behavior will not be changed.

Message to Alexa: You can do whatever you want on your own site, AS LONG AS IT DOESN'T CAUSE DAMAGE TO ANOTHER SITE. As the owner of my domain name, I determine how it is used, who uses it, and how they use it. If I feel anyone is unfairly using my domain to their advantage and my detriment, you MUST remove it from your site if requested.

Got this bit of info from my Attorney...


 8:33 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)


I sent Brett a sticky. That may have the proper button to push in it.

And to all folks who think that all inurl: entries are hijackers if they aren't from your own site should go back to school.

ie: inurl:example.com returns:

Free Resume Example Learn how to write your own resume. Welcome to Free Resume Example. "For with God nothing shall be impossible." - Luke ...
www.domain.com/job-seeker-guide/ free-resume-example.htm - 12k -

Which has a standard html static href to a site that has example.com as part of its name.

example.com has not been hijacked by www.domain.com nor does it have any actual links of ANY type to example.com.


 8:41 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

And to all folks who think that all inurl: entries are hijackers if they aren't from your own site should go back to school.

I agree with that.
I think the test to see if you are being hijacked is site:mysite hijackers will show up here. These should ONLY be pages from mysite with myurl.

also link:mysite none of my own pages should show here as inbound links. This is the site splitting phenomena.


 8:44 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ried link:mysite.com should even show your internal site pages if they carry enough weight to be worthy.

The site split will like the page insertion show up in a site: search and maybe in a link search depending on the weight of the page.


 8:46 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Now this desn't take into account other means of copyright infringment which may be taking place.


 8:49 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is googles answer right there.
They already can tell me in site: which pages are indexed from mysite.
all urls here should be from the same domain.


 8:55 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I personally know a website owner who for 2 years ranked number 1 for is keywords in google, yahoo, msn etc etc. His site went into "total oblivion" in google and msn simultaneously after 6 hijackings of his site appeared. 2 in google and 4 in msn 4 months ago."

woudl he go on the record if a reporter wanted to talk to him? We need real names, real stories to make this work


 8:55 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes from your domain and your domain is:

everything but someone else's domain

so if you are www.example.com you are also example.com and by extension the ip addy and port on the server .... so now you see a so called split site.

In addtion you can park a domain which is what folks normally do when they buy the .com .net .darnx's huh Brett versions of their site name.

This can lead to many sets of duplicate content if the site is built using relative hrefs.

[edited by: theBear at 9:00 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2005]


 8:56 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would love to know what has happened to all the information Googleguy requested. All of the examples that were mailed to the special Google Groups location at his request. Why has nearly a year gone by since my site was originally hijacked by tracker2.php urls? Why do several UNRLEATED urls still show in site:mysite.com search? When are they going to do anything? Will it take a major news story to get the attention of their investors for Google to start listening to webmasters -- the very group of people who make them money? Is there no hope for any resolution to this problem?


[edited by: crobb305 at 8:59 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2005]


 8:58 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

thanks for the clarification about link: Bear but am I right about site:?


 9:01 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)


Yes, you are correct about site:mysite.com. That command should ONLY show pages that are truely part of your site. In my case, that search (for my homepage) still shows 3 unrelated urls (redirect urls); at one point, there were as many as 20 redirect urls showing. My site was hijacked by malicious tracker2 scripted urls last May and subsequently disappeared from Google serps 2 weeks later. It had previously disappaered in Yahoo because of the same problem. But, thanks to their quick action, the problem was resolved within 3 months.




 9:15 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Reid site:

Should show pages that belong to your site but I suspect this shows what google thinks belongs to your domain.

Domain and site aren't really the same thing.


 9:35 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think I might have hijacked myself!

Anybody familiar with PostNuke/PHPNuke open source content management/portal system? Well in it's links module it uses, guess what 302 redirects. When I look at site:myurl I find one of my nuke sites listed in with the other site and sure enough the cached page brings up the page from my (hijacked) site.
When I look in the code the redirect is done using the php header location:... method.

So, this shows how you don't have to be a nasty scraper site to **** things up for someone you're actually trying to do a favour.

Does anyone know how to create a 301 redirect using the PHP header?


 9:36 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I suspect this shows what google thinks belongs to your domain.

That is exactly the problem - when an unrelated domain shows up in site:mysite google 'thinks' this page belongs to my domain ie. hijacked


 9:42 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

what gets me is why on these unrelated pages in site:mysite are not updated. The cache shows an old outdated page (my homepage) from last November but my real homepage is updated in the cache last week.


 9:45 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Again - read claus

Claus Wrote:

Related Threads - topic: Redirect bug
I've collected a few related threads, please contribute if you see one that i haven't mentioned. Do list name of thread and starting date:

  1. Is there a new filter? [webmasterworld.com] (May 4, 2004)
  2. Big problem with Yahoo [webmasterworld.com] (Apr 30, 2004)
  3. PR 7 - 0 and Address Nightmare [webmasterworld.com] (Apr 28, 2004)
  4. Problem with Googlebot and robots.txt? [webmasterworld.com] (Apr 12, 2004)
  5. Meta Refresh leads to ... [webmasterworld.com] (Mar 18, 2004)
  6. weird link showing up for my site in Web results [webmasterworld.com] (Feb 10, 2004)
  7. Google indexing redirect pages [webmasterworld.com] (Jan 31, 2004)
  8. free hosting sites banned from google? [webmasterworld.com] (Jan 31, 2004)
  9. Is using a redirect to track outward bound links bad? [webmasterworld.com] (Jan 27, 2004)
  10. Our company Lisiting is being redirected. [webmasterworld.com] (Jan 5, 2004)
  11. 302 Redirects showing ultimate domain [webmasterworld.com] (Dec 21, 2003)
  12. Strange results in Allinurl [webmasterworld.com] (Dec 20, 2003)
  13. Domain name mixup [webmasterworld.com] (Dec 9, 2003)
  14. Using Redirects [webmasterworld.com] (Nov 17, 2003)
  15. redesigns, redirects, & google -- oh my! [webmasterworld.com] (Oct 22, 2003)
  16. Google Partial Indexing? [webmasterworld.com] (Oct 21, 2003)
  17. Not sure but I think it is Page Jacking [webmasterworld.com] (Oct 9, 2003)
  18. Unindexed URL Google Ranking Trick [webmasterworld.com] (Oct 9, 2003)
  19. http://click.fastsearch.com.... [webmasterworld.com] (Oct 8, 2003)
  20. Duplicate content - a google bug? [webmasterworld.com] (Sept 26, 2003)
  21. Banner ad redirect-page indexed as mirror site by Google [webmasterworld.com] (Aug 13, 2003)
  22. Indexed AlltheWeb pages causing Google duplicates [webmasterworld.com] (Aug 14, 2003)
  23. Banner ad redirect-page indexed as mirror site by Google [webmasterworld.com] (Aug 13, 2003)
  24. DeepFreshBot's 301 Handling [webmasterworld.com] (June 16, 2003)

Okay, i admit, the last one might be a litlle too old by now, but it seems the problem goes back to August 2003 at least.


 9:54 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)


[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 2:21 am (utc) on Mar. 17, 2005]
[edit reason] no specifics please. [/edit]


 9:59 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)


Sending request:
GET /links/link.php?id=622 HTTP/1.0
Host: www.example.net
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)

• Finding host IP address...
• Finding TCP protocol...
• Binding to local socket...
• Connecting to host...
• Sending request...
• Receiving response...

Total bytes received = 659
Elapsed time so far: 0 seconds
Header (Length = 555):

Content (Length = 104):
Elapsed time so far: 0 seconds

[edited by: lawman at 11:46 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2005]

[edited by: ciml at 10:15 am (utc) on Mar. 17, 2005]
[edit reason] Examplified [/edit]


 10:00 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

In answer to my question about Postnuke websites, the web links module can be changed to not use 302s.

If you add:
Header('HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently');

before the:
Header('Location: '.$url);
at around line 285 this does the trick.

Does anyone know if this is a good solution?


 10:35 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

what gets me is why on these unrelated pages in site:mysite are not updated. The cache shows an old outdated page (my homepage) from last November but my real homepage is updated in the cache last week.

Yes! I don't get this either. There are three urls that once pointed to my homepage via 302 that are STILL showing up under a site:mysite.com. These urls are NOT mine, and they have NOT redirected to my home page in 5 months! They were last cached on November 2. Until Google revisits the site, the bot will never know they no longer redirect to me. Google IS aware of this because I have emailed them 10 or 12 times with the same information. The fact that they let their cache go this stale is just pathetic. It has an influence on all other aspects of the search engine.


 10:41 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

has anyone else been seeing the serps on google.com switching between an index with at least a few unrelated instances of redirect hijacking fixed in a new index (not pre-allegra) and then back to allegra?


 10:58 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

> has anyone else been seeing the serps on google.com switching between an index with at least a few unrelated instances of redirect hijacking fixed in a new index (not pre-allegra) and then back to allegra?

I see that something is going on. I'm not sure I like the new stuff better than Allegra. I'm doing well in both except that the new stuff has the DMOZ description instead of my own meta description. Also most of my competitors are missing. Good for me but bad for the users.


 11:11 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

This has been going on for over a week. It's mentioned a while back in this thread and here:

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