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How to prevent Site and SERP Hijacking by proxy services?
Yet another nefarious tactic; how to combat it

 2:52 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

<proxy service> site has a simple CGI which acts as proxy. It displays other sites in a frame, with its own ad on top. Not only that it also throws in a popunder. But that is not all.

Additionally it somehow (guessing through seeding pages) populated yahoo and google with tons of these pages.

You can do a site search of this domain to find around 15, 000 such pages in its index. Same with Yahoo.
For example lets look at a site:

This url causes the site to be visited in a frame. Unfortunately search engines are considering the content to be part of the framed page ie. (in this example) <snip>
So now your sites may get easily supplanted with theirs, specially if yours have a low PR.
In any case they are showing up (rather high) on search results of your sites.

It appears search engines consider keywords from component sites, even from different domains, as belonging to the frame index page.
This doesn't look right.

What actions do you suggest (other than JavaScript frame buster) to prevent this? Frame buster script doesn't affect search engine AFAIK.

I am now returning a 403 when my site is accessed from their frames. However I am not sure how that will affect my SERPS.

Any suggestions?

[edited by: Jenstar at 3:47 am (utc) on July 16, 2005]
[edit reason] No specifics or outtings please, as per TOS [/edit]



 3:08 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Specifically try this on Google:

The problem is that these dummy sites are showing up in search results for terms which are unique to a site.

BTW: I joined this group today, even though I have followed quite some discussions as a non-member.

[edited by: Jenstar at 3:48 am (utc) on July 16, 2005]
[edit reason] No specifics or URLs please [/edit]


 3:26 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

When you say "ads" are you referring to up in the top frame, or do you mean in the main frame where the stolen content site is displayed?

<<So now your sites may get easily supplanted with theirs...>>

I've had a site doing this to me in exactly the same way (.cgi) for several years and it hasn't hurt my site at all. Of course THEIR page is a low PR internal page and mine is a PR6 page, so that may have something to do with it.


 3:37 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

No, in the top frame. Also they display a popunder. Ugh!
As you said, having a high PR site may not affect you much. But imagine those with low PR. I have seen sites which have been replaced by this site in this manner.

Also I have seen several sites with AdSense on them are being hijacked this way. They also use AdSense. Isn't showing other's adsense ad without explicit permission on your site against google tos?

That they are showing it in the frame isn't as despicable as actually allowing such links to be indexed by search engines. There are about 9400 such links indexed by google.

I am currently returning 403, if my site is being displayed in their frames. However I have no idea how it can affect my SERP.
What do you think?

[edited by: Jenstar at 3:49 am (utc) on July 16, 2005]
[edit reason] No specifics as per TOS [/edit]


 3:54 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

<<However I have no idea how it can affect my SERP>>

Don't know for sure, but the links I clicked on were either low or no PR, so if your site has any PR to speak of, maybe it won't be affected at all.

Also, I would think that Google can readily tell what's going on with these set-ups...I mean, the link to your page would be pretty obvious to Google in the frame-set. I had a frames site for years and Google indexed it correctly. They indexed the content frame and disregarded the rest.


 5:22 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Would denying access to page requests with <snip> (the offending site) as referrer affect in any way my SERPS?

In other words does Google include Referrer information while indexing a page?
I would think not but just to clarify from the experts here...

I have some PR on most pages (4-6). However few newer pages have PR 0 too.

[edited by: Jenstar at 5:50 am (utc) on July 16, 2005]
[edit reason] No specifics, as per TOS [/edit]


 5:49 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

You should go over to the Google News forum and read some of the hijacking threads there. This can theoretically cause problems for you and there are several strategies that can reduce the risk.

Note that Googlebot does not send a referrer, so you are not accomplishing much by banning that traffic. You might as well use a simple "framebuster" Javascript snippet to bust any human surfers out of that frame instead.


 6:01 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

BTW, welcome to the forum.

Break out of frames will work on search engines as Ask Jeeves is doing it and that was the first place I tested when I put mine on.



 6:35 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks Ann.

Thanks for all the responses.

Lets look at this question from another angle.
There are several url, as I mentioned before, which displays adsense from another site without their explicit permission(in a frame). It doesn't however display their own Adsense ads on these pages. However it does include links to these pages somewhere so they are indexed by google and yahoo and appears as their pages with others ad on them.

The offending site uses adsense in many of its own pages including its home page.

Does that constitute Google TOS violation?

And why Google and Yahoo recognize individual frames keywords and also the keywords of the frameset set, even if they are from different domains?


 6:56 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

"The offending site uses adsense in many of its own pages including its home page." :

Yes, u can and Must report to adsense.
Also send a complain to spam report on google and yahoo.


 4:44 pm on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sorry, you don't need permission to frame someone else's site. AskJeeves, About.com and even Google (Google Images) do it. It does not sound like a TOS violation at all. While you might conceivably get somewhere complaining about it to the framing site, isn't it easier to simply use Javascript to stop it once and for all?

What you need to worry about is the redirect that the framing site is apparently using. If the content of your pages is showing up under a redirecting URL then you need to address potential problems that could arise. Again, see Google News for many threads on this.


 6:04 pm on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

The problem is that Google and Yahoo are showing their (offending sites) pages for unique keywords for which only my pages should have been displayed. If my pages(and I speak for all) have low PR, I have observed that their pages comes before mine!

If you do a google search you will find around 10, 000 such url's for which google thinks that their site has the same content as the site which it is framing.

Doesn't that raise the possibility of trigering duplicate content filter of google?

Even with the javascript block I cannot prevent google, yahoo bots to understand that.

At the heart of the problem is two issues.
1. That site is submitting pages in bulk to search engines (possibly through a backdoor page) which are nothing but simple frameset around content pages they do not own.

2. Unfortunately Google and Yahoo *thinks* that their frameset page contains the same content as the page it is including in its frame. This is possibly happening because the search engines made an effort to understand framed pages in the past. However what they should have done is ignore framed page contents which belong to different domain or even sub-domain.


 7:23 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sorry, you don't need permission to frame someone else's site.

Sorry, but the courts say otherwise. In a 1997 lawsuit, TotalNews was forced to stop framing pages from CNN, USA Today and Time.

In a similar case, the courts ruled that Applied Anagramic, Inc. had to stop framing pages from their competitor's site because it was copyright infringement.

You can easily find these cases by searching Google.


 7:46 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the references.

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