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Traffic diverted by host when server is down good or bad?
Diverted traffic

 8:32 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a popular eight year old niche site on what is usually a reliable low cost host, (offers free hosting with ads or paid, I'm paiding) but every so often they blow a server or something and take my site and account access with it. This time the ping service says the site went down Thursday 4:05 AM, support tries to sell me the usual bag of nonsense I must have done something and they have put in an "escalated" service request for my site. Support sounds like it is located in India. It's now Sunday 4:02 PM 84 hours later, still down no progress reports as promised, they don't work over the week end. Is this unusual?

Anyway while the site is down, instead of getting a 404 error page, my traffic is being redirected to a url I suspect my host owns or subscribes to called www . not hyphen found hyphen entry . com loaded with yahoo sponsored ads. Across the top is a yahoo search box and it says "Sorry, 'www. XYZ .com' does not exist or is not available." They pretend to offer an opt-out but your traffic is then redirected to the same site domain ending with 404error.html Whois is blocked by domains by proxy.

So ok, they are high-jacking traffic I wasn't going to get anyway, my question is this. Which is better for my site's search engine position? For the site's link to take people to the standard 404 error page which most search engines seem to ignore instead of replacing your listing with, or is it better to have my traffic redirected to this not-found-entry location? Should I be yelling at them or thanking them for the redirect?



 1:26 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would be moving ASAP this is totally unacceptable and whats make you think not planned......

Far a SEO a total killer as now google will cache the redirected site and maybe put your site under a filter due to this type of behavior.


 1:42 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

That's right. Stop paying today and move the site. Even if you've paid up front for a year, move it.


 7:39 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

84 hours is unacceptable. I've had 4-5 hours downtime on a very rare worst case scenario. And that might happen once every 3 years.

Move hosts as soon as you can.


 7:59 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

The redirect you are talking about is most likely happening on your browser and not at the site itself.

IE in many cases will not show 404 and will redirect you to a search results page with the URL as a search term, this is to try to "help you"

Yahoo toolbar and other crap that does this and will not be seen by everyone and not by Google as they won't get the same redirect you are getting.

Try it in FF or see if you can find the option to just display 404 and not to redirect and turn it off.

Although lots of people have that crappy redirect turned on and like you don't know the difference..... down time is always bad for SEO redirect or not.

[edited by: Demaestro at 8:02 pm (utc) on Sep. 29, 2008]


 9:46 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't have FireFox and use no tool bars. Same thing happens when I try to visit the site through Netscape and when I try to login to my account which makes me suspect my web host. The xyz site my traffic is now going to offers to turn it off, but then you get an xyz. 404 error . html not a true 404 error page. Today support tried to claim it was my domain host. My domain host checked and could only see my index page without background or images, my menu links went to error pages, domain host said it wasn't them.


 10:22 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just to rule one more thing out, check that it isn't your ISP. Some have started to intercept 404s and serve their own "error" pages.


 10:44 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I suspect my host owns or subscribes to called www . not hyphen found hyphen entry . com

Robert are you by any chance on satellite Internet, the big one with an H? Everything here smacks of the same problem I had with them as jimbeetle says - THEY are the ones doing the hijacking, not the host.

I recognize that not-found url.

It started in 2007 with this thread [webmasterworld.com] in which I incorrectly though it was FireFox. It wasn't. It was my provider.

Continued here [webmasterworld.com].

The good news, I suppose, is that your site really wasn't down during that time, it was your ISP's service or proxy server - which is still ridiculous.


 11:03 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Our ISP's in France have been doing this for a couple of years now ..typos in the address bar or "non existants" go to their page ..full of links straight to "suggested alternative sites" or parked site pages full of ads by google ..you can actually see the request go out to google when it happens ..I tackled "Adam" about it a long while back here in a thread ..he pretended not to see the post ..


 11:47 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

just a reminder here that the Webmaster General forum Charter [webmasterworld.com] prohibits discussion about specific hosting providers...


 4:53 am on Sep 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the heads up Rocknbil I suspect that's exactly what I'm dealing with as an adjunct to my site being down. I emailed a web traffic high jacking complaint to domains by proxy who is hiding the identity of the people doing this.

My intended plan is to open an account on a low cost web host and move the dns to them while I see what developes, then keep the cheapie account as a life boat I can switch to if this ever happens again regardless of what I elect to do. Glad I didn't buy my domain through my web host.

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