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Hijacked for over 2 Years: - PR8 Authority site - What Can I do?
They've even takend the same domain name and just changed one letter

 6:22 am on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)


Please could the WW community share their experiences with dealing with a 302 PR Hijack. The site in question had multiple PR8s/PR7s, is a 10-year old authority site, and the hijacikng site has even used exactly the same domain name with just one letter changed. There must be a host of copyright & trademark infringements, but so far Google has not corrected this problem.

We're particularly looking for concrete steps we can take to rectify this problem, and would appreciate particularly a telephone number for Google rather than the standard email responses which can be difficult to get past.

Thanks for your help and have yourselves a very merry Christmas :),




 5:00 pm on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi jeremymgp,

This is not a matter for Google. This is simply copyright infringement and should be addressed firstly through your national domain registration authority (called a copyright/trademark dispute on Nominet in the UK) and then taken through the courts to have damages awarded. I can see your point that you want the situation sorted out ASAP, but unless this thing isn't addressed it will just get worse.

For far to long we have been calling this sort of activity nice little techie names and watching as these criminal destroy our businesses. Google, in my experience, don't listen ... Nominet have to act, it's their job to stop this from happening.


 9:42 pm on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Many people have found good response when following the steps Google outlines here:


I think you're right to use the copyright volation approach, rather than focusing on the 302 hijack -- which is a technical flaw at Google.


 9:47 pm on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Adding the <base href="http://www.yourdomain.com/"> tag to all of your own pages, as well as making sure that you have a 301 redirect from all of your non-www pages to the same requested page but at www.yourdomain.com instead, can also help a lot.

Using absolute links within the site, where you include the full domain name each time, have also been recommended, but the <base> tag can take care of that anyway.


 10:22 pm on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just a note about the <base href=""> tag. If you use the tag within a subdirectory, then that subdirectory needs to be in the path of the base url -- or else you create lots of 404s and wasted spider time.


 10:43 pm on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, you need the full URL in the base tag if you are using relative linking.

I use links that START with a trailing / (and hence count folders and structure from the root) so I only ever use the root domain itself in the base tag.


 3:26 am on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies, especially the <base> tag and absolute url tips, they're very useful.

I've just been told that the webmaster actually owns both domains, that is the original domain and the mispelt one, so that he may actually be hurting his own site. For some reason Google has either penalised his original site or got the mispelt domain confused with his original one, as the PR and backlinks for the mispelt domain are appearing for the main one.

For example:
Webmaster has authority site A: mysite.com
Webmaster also owns mispelling site: B - myasite.com

The links/PR for site B are appearing as site A, and site A's Alexa ranking has gone fromaround 7,000 - 30,000

What do you think might be the cause and solution to this?

Also it seems that whatever the problem the mispelt domain is behind it, so I'd say just get rid of the mispelt site completely. With the mispelt site gone so is the source of confusion and Google will hopefully see things right over the coming months. Any problems you can foresee with this?

Thanks again, merry Christmas,



 3:48 am on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

So he hijacked himself... quite ironic.

Yeah, I'd say dump the mispelt site and generally try to clean up his act. Any chance of him having any other clones lurking out there?


 6:55 am on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

In the end, natural selection will have its way.


 7:39 am on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

yea :) that natural selection means that more and more Good whitehat Seos will turn black. Its very hard to be white and not to spam, not to buy links, not to participate in any linking schemes. It is much easier to SPAM, to make doorways, not to care about anything, and harm competitors. Whitehat seo usually knows much more than typical blackhat, so if they will turn to the dark side it will be bigger and bigger loss to the internet.
Even now, most the results are garbage, it will be garbage even more. Look at the adwords advertisers, do most of these sites have any value, its doorway pages, spammy pages.

if you cant beat them, join them.
its very SAD, but its going to be the truth...


 9:41 pm on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is easy to fix. You own the mis-spelling too?

Set up a 301 redirect from that to the main site. Set it up for all requested pages, redirecting to the same page name but on the correct site.


 7:10 am on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone, I thought a 301 redirect might be the answer but I've got no experience setting this up and didn't want to cause more problems. If you could outline how to do this on an Apache server that would be very much appreciated.

Also two other things which might be related.

- 1. A new adserver was installed which crashed very frequently for around 2 weeks so pages never loaded as the adserver didn't respond. This was at least 6+ months ago.
- 2. The site is hosted across multiple servers which each seem to host various subdomains of the site. At the same time as the above one of the servers hosting a subdomain of the main site was moved to another company and a new ip address.

Thanks again I'll get busy seeing what the safest way is to do 301s.



 10:40 am on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Webmaster has authority site A: mysite.com
Webmaster also owns misspelling site: B - myasite.com

sounds like me :-)

our site runs 301 redirect for non www requests, so we serve only www.mysite.com

the misspelled domain is registered with networksolution with their redirect service. so all calls to misspelleddomain/any_page_any_directory lands nicely on maindomain/any_page_any_directory


 9:24 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

But is that mis-spelling merely pointing at the correctly spelled content, or does it actually issue a 301 redirect to take you there?

Test it. Access the mis-spelling using WebBug or similar. If you get status "200" then you do NOT have the redirect installed that you need there.


 12:11 pm on Dec 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

yes. networksolution redirection does issue a '301 Moved Permanently' response.


 10:26 pm on Dec 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

g1smd is right on there.

Apply 301 redirect from non www to www and from 'root/index.htl' to 'root' if needed. The help from forum members here has drastically helped me with all my sites in this regard. I have noticed an decrease in incorrect listings and such.

I removed 302's via the google removal tool (this is mentioned many times in this forum so I will not go into it)


 11:19 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Jeremy please be sure to follow up with a post here to see if the 301 redirect solved your problems. We've been unable to get out of the Google doghouse despite extensive 301 remodelling over the past 10 months.

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