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Hi-Jack Help Required
Sites out of Google SERPS due to Hi-Jack

 11:49 am on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

Our primary site recently fell out of Google serps
We desperately looked at every possible reason for the fall out from the index but our site is blue chip, PR6 quality content -- Clean Site

We then noticed in our site stats loads of hits from adult sites, gambling sites, banned sites, you name it all sorts of undesirable sites you could think of that were visiting us. We couldn't understand this.

Thanks to the advice from G1smd on looking into copyscape, it put us on the trail of checking for sites stealing our content.

Today we discovered to our horror that it is due to a HiJack!.

Our entire site has been copied in addition to some specialist sub domains of ours and is in some way being used in undesirable ways. We are absolutely devastated by this. We have found the site doing it and have found that the pages are cashed in Google.

We need to know what to do about it.

Should we get the UK Police involved with this? In our mind its content theft and has been done with the intent of damaging our business.

DNS files show the site is based in the US and we notice it has copied some other sites also that the webmasters perhaps don't even know about which have also been cashed.

Also, is their anywhere at Google we can report this site obviously we would like their site taken down and our site put back in the index along with others it will have damaged

Any Advice you could give us would be much appreciated.

[edited by: tedster at 6:13 pm (utc) on April 22, 2007]



 6:32 am on Dec 1, 2006 (gmt 0)


Try this thread hopefully this will help.




 6:04 pm on Dec 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Someone please help us?

We have spent so far over five years and dedicated our lives to
building our business and website in line with googles guidelines and since the site was hijacked a couple of weeks back have been absolutely devastated.

Its like owning a shop and turning up the next day to find
it burnt to the ground!.

We dont know what to do next. This is the action we have taken so far:-

1. We have since reported the matter to the local UK police for what its worth, who can do little to help although they are looking into it.

2. We have found the offendings site IP address and blocked them from
visiting - although thats like shutting the gate after the horse has

3. We have emailed the webmaster from whois information but that has
done nothing but we think they know we are onto them.

4. We have filed a DMCA report with Google inc. sent last
week by air-mail, fax and email but no news yet.

Meanwhile we are gone from Google search, we guess due to duplicate
content issues because google thinks the Hijacker is us and it looks
like we cant do a blinding thing about it. Many pages of our site are now in the suplemental bin as a result

I realise some here might not be that interested but i cant sleep at
night over it, i feel genuinely sick and im now under the doctor for
stress. Its an absolute nightmare and i just dont know what else i can do. It feels like our business and livelyhood are damaged beyond repair.

In google the Hijackers rank above our site when you do a search on one of the title tags from our site

Every page of our site including our specialist niche sub domains has been copied by the hi-jackers, using a simple ID redirect technique - the urls look like these:-


and many, many more pages.

Since i contacted this site and informed them of police involvement,
yesterday when i clicked on their links rather than it being my home page or
what ever site page it is they took it displays a load of code like the


Today, they have removed the copied content so it returns a 404 page cant be found error but the pages are all still in google cashe and our original site is still out of the index. We still have hits in our logs from adult/ diet/ gambling spam sites as well - no idea why?

Can anyone here help us. What can we do to get rid of this site and get our site back where it was previously?. Can we recover from this?

Any advise or anyone with experience of this please reply to me

My nerves just cant take much more of this to be honest




 6:21 pm on Dec 4, 2006 (gmt 0)


Every page that was formerly showing other sites pages in that "proxy" like site are now returning 404's.

As for Google, I'd ask for reinclusion. That would be the only way to speed things up.

For others reading this that site has over 75,000 pages in its index, yes that is more than just Rich's sites.

The method they were using is very simple, they were not using any 302s.


 7:09 pm on Dec 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is an old trick and should not be causing the issue as explained, are you sure there isn't another reason such as a real hack and this is why you are getting hits from all thesw other sites.

Read Mat's blog today as it talks about this today. I tend to believe this is more than a simple hi-jack

Search for Matt cutt in google ok you will find it


 7:35 pm on Dec 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

When you manually type in...


...what comes up?

(Don't click on a link or a bookmark, but type it in manually)


 7:44 pm on Dec 4, 2006 (gmt 0)


Consult with an attorney, if the company that was hijacking you here in the US you can file a civil suit. They scraped your content to profit. You do have recourse, but you will need to file a civil suit in US federal court. I would suggest you find an attorney in the US who specializes in copywrite laws. If you can prove fraud, it can also become a criminal case as well. Search around the internet for attorneys who specialize in this field, they are out there.


 9:37 pm on Dec 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

To all of the folks who seem to think that the "proxy" owner copies the pages, they don't the only places that the content resides is:

1:On the server that owns the content.


2: On Google's servers.


3: In the browser window of the viewers computer and its associated hard drive caches.

It is a straight passthrough.


 12:04 am on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

the bear,

regarding your point about asking for a reinclusion - the google bot is at our site everyday spidering the content - its just the content doesnt rank, i suspect due to this duplicate issue the hi-jack has caused.

IF following the DMCA complaint the hijackers site is removed (pages returning a 404 now helps) do you think it is possible we will come back in the index or is that just wishfull thinking? - does this need someone at the plex to either lift the filter or is going for a total reinclusion request the only way forward? Webmaster tools say "your site is in the index"


regarding a real hack going on. Yes im at a total loss why i should see in my logs referals from sites that are banned, adult, diet, gambling etc etc when we run a clean site in a safe sector and dont link to anything of this nature - How can i tell if something else is going on? - what are the signs? - this issue remains unexplained.

I would hope and prey that with things being as bad as they currently are that something else cant be added to this nightmare - its like returning to my burnt out shop to find burglers trying to steal whats usable in the wreckage!


[edited by: RichTC at 12:05 am (utc) on Dec. 5, 2006]


 12:18 am on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

regarding a real hack going on. Yes im at a total loss why i should see in my logs referals from sites that are banned, adult, diet, gambling etc etc when we run a clean site in a safe sector and dont link to anything of this nature - How can i tell if something else is going on? - what are the signs? - this issue remains unexplained.

Referer spam maybe?

Best of luck Rich. I too have bombed completely in just the past week although I don't think there is anything sinister in play. I like your burnt out shop metaphor BTW :)


 2:14 am on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

why i should see in my logs referals from sites that are banned, adult, diet, gambling etc etc when we run a clean site

Referer spam? Check those IPs in your logs to see if they are really human, you know. Also by any chance are your logs or analytics spiderable? That could make you more of a target for referer spam.


 2:20 am on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Rich,

Sorry that happened to you. I have a site out of Google right now too, I know it hurts. But I was wondering about the reinclusion request - as I understand it, you can only make a reinclusion request if you have a site that has violated Googles quality standards AND is now no longer in vioaltion. Is that correct, or is there a different way to do it outside of the webmaster central webmaster tools?


 3:23 am on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

You have my sympathies Rich. Someone did that to one of my clients a couple years ago and I know how frustrating it is.


 7:16 am on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

A couple of things...

1. For anyone who missed it, this was also hashed out in the AdSense forum in a previous thread. This is a more appropriate place for the discussion, though.
[webmasterworld.com ]

2. I just did a server header check, and the proxy site in question seems to return a 404 status code if the requested page is not found. That suggests to me that you could use the .htaccess file to force 404 errors for your pages whenever requested by the proxy server's IP address, and then use the removal tool to get the pages out of Google's index. I don't know exactly how to serve all 404's to a particular IP address, but I imagine it's possible. Note to all: If this idea is not workable, feel free to chime in.


 7:45 am on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

RichTC posted this above, on Dec 4:

Today, they have removed the copied content so it returns a 404 page cant be found error but the pages are all still in google cashe and our original site is still out of the index.

When Google crawls them again and gets the 404, several times perhaps, those cached pages will not be returned in the main search results anymore. They may be kept in the Supplemental Index for a while, but they should be out of your hair. Congratulations on tracking that one down and getting the urls to return 404.

If this is indeed the source of your problem, I think you are close to a resolution, maybe just a few days. The odd hits in your server logs from unrelated p-p-c sites maynot be in play in your current loss at all.


 10:26 am on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)


Do you think i have a chance that once these pages are gone our site will return or do you think i need to go for a re-inclusion as our pages will still be supplemental due to the duplicate content issue this has caused?

My concern is that even with the cause gone - how long will the penalty still apply?

Regarding reinclusion, on the advise of other webmasters this may well be the route we take on the basis that i understand it will reset the clock so to speak, but as stated by the earlier poster thats like saying that as webmasters we have done something against googles terms and conditions which we havent.

As i dont know the answer to this im looking for the fastest route to get the business back to normal.

Kind Regards



 11:12 pm on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's not like saying that you've done something wrong, it IS saying that you've done something wrong...you can't submit for a reinclusion unless you tick a box that states:

"By submitting this form, I acknowledge that:
I believe this site has violated Google's quality guidelines in the past."

Is there another way?


 12:13 am on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is there another way? A very interesting question.

Have you got the time and money to do something other than "cop" a plea to something you may or may not have done intentionally or otherwise?

That is however a bit of presumption on the part of Google. I don't think their AI rises to the level of a living thinking being yet and the last I knew all software has undiscovered flaws in it.

But heck, what the hey, at this point one has nothing to lose.

Now to make some biscuits to go with the stew.


 12:55 am on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)


Thanks for your feedback on this issue - Action to follow (sum up) to get back ranking i guess would be:-

1. Make sure that all the hijackers pages are gone or return 404s - DMCA filed should deal/ take care of this issue

2. Check every page on site to ensure no hacked links / perfect code and that site is 101% squeeky clean in every way.

3. Submit a re-inclusion request via webmaster tools

I read matt cutts blog on re-inclusion requests and as i understand it if a site gets compromised by a hack or any other issue a re-inclusion request needs to be done regardless of cause.

This has been one heck of a learning curve i can tell you - I will let you know how things turn out.

Anyone know from experience following a reinclusion request being submitted approximately how long it takes for it to be processed and providing its sucessful how long it takes your site to start ranking again as it was prior to the problem?


 5:41 pm on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't ask for reinclusion as I don't think you've been removed. Does your site appear if you turn the duplicate filter off?

Google's duplicate handling is just standard procedure, your site has not been penalised, Google just lists the version which it believes has the higher reputation.

Many, many sites have duplicates and there's nothing wrong with that. There's no penalty you are just being filtered out from the normal Serps.

Once you have configured things so that the proxy returns different content to yours, Google will stop seeing a duplicate site and will list yours again. I don't know how long this will take though, I'd have thought 4 weeks max.

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