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Google Pulls Plug on "onmouseover" Pages

     
7:08 am on Jun 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Along with todays PR update, I've also noticed that several sites that used the increasingly popular tactic of creating keyword stuffed entry pages that forward to the true home page via the onmouseover javascript command are no longer found at all in the index.

This tactic has been discussed here for a number of months now. Nice to see that these sites are no longer appearing in the SERPS.

The sites that were doing this seem to have been completely booted from the index, too. Toolbar shows a gray PR.

9:02 pm on June 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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There are several spammy SEO companies that have used them.

Several threads full of tales of woe on a number of fourums.

9:06 pm on June 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I suppose its against TOS, but a lot of people would probably like an example URL they can click on, to see what the issue is all about immediately. - LH
9:06 pm on June 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Several threads full of tales of woe on a number of forums.

Because no WW members would ever do such a thing... ;)

9:28 pm on June 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Nah. The threads are mostly from people who hired the spammers, got good results for a few months, and now find that their sites are banned from search engines.
9:48 pm on June 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>> I've also noticed that several sites that used the increasingly popular tactic of creating keyword stuffed entry pages that forward to the true home page via the onmouseover javascript command are no longer found at all in the index

I haven't checked them in a long time until now, but 2 sites that I know of that use this are PR0 and zero pages in the index. They are using trash domains with the mouseovers forwarding to the real domains. However, the real domains aren't apparently affected at all.

If this is algo-intentional, nice job Google! :)

11:18 pm on June 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I was hoping Google would catch this crap..
This is blatant browser side cloaking....
though a bit clever....easy to spot...

LarryHat..

The trick was depoyed in the <body> tag...when you opened the page and as soon as you passed your mouse anywhere on the page you would be redirected to the target site..
so the 'mouseover' command was embedded such that the entire page was active when the mouse first hit the page...

The only way to see what was happening was to open the link in question from the SERPs and then use your keyboard to navigate to pull up the source code..and see the blatant 'mouseover' code with a destination url embedded in the <body> tag...

Good job Google...

11:55 pm on June 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I know that we pulled the plug on some specific spam pages recently. If you paid an SEO and they somehow convinced you to put spam like sneaky redirects using an obfuscated JavaScript onMouseOver on the body tag on your pages, or other stuff like links to their doorway domains or their other clients, please make sure that you read [google.com...] and [google.com...] before contacting Google. First, you need to make sure that you've removed any redirecting/spammy pages that were on your site. Make sure that every junky page like that is completely gone before you write, then you can send an email to webmaster [at] google.com with the subject line "reinclusion request" as give us as much detail as possible about the situation.

I believe that one SEO had convinced clients either to put spammy Javascript mouseover redirects, doorway pages that link to other sites, or both on their clients' sites. That can lead to clients' sites being flagged as spam in addition to the doorway domains that the SEO set up.

Again, make sure you completely remove any doorway pages or links to spam that an SEO convinced you to put on your site before you write to Google about reinclusion. It reflects badly on your site if you write about reinclusion and then we check and the spam pages are still live on your site.

12:04 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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If Google would just give a little extra boost in the SERPs for any SEO pointing out the guidelines suggested above, then this stuff may go away.

Seriously: If an SEO company is brave enough to point out the guidelines that Google suggests, then they are playing the game fair, as far as Google should be concerned.

12:23 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>I know that we pulled the plug on some specific spam pages recently.

That sounds 'manual' but there's no way with the sites I observed (chump-change) unless someone else did a report.

Did Googlebot ace the JS final? ;)

12:26 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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As a user I think it's about time. However I do feel sorry for those who have used this method (with great results) in the past. RIP. *sniff*
12:52 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Good job Google.
1:13 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Agreed, nice work on that... if they managed to deal with the *technique* and not just a few sites.
1:31 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Can't say that I feel sorry for any company that willingly lets a spammy SEO do this. They either know what they are doing or should have at lest done a little research on the company they hired. they would have very likely found some "bad press" on them

Way to go Google for paying some attention to this trickery.

It would be nice that any page with an JavaScript mouseover redirect be removed from the index along with the sites they are represented with as there is no need to do that but to hide something.

1:55 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>any page with an JavaScript mouseover redirect be removed from the index along with the sites they are represented with

That won't work, and from my tiny sample the domains being redirected to have retained their PR and general ranking, which is good because apparantly one cannot harm another's site with malicious domain level "onmouseover" redirects.

Additionally, even though my samples are doing it intentionally, as it would be obvious to any manual review, their real domains are innocent, have good content, and are as of yet apparently unaffected.

2:05 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Good work indeed...and no 'sniff, sniff's' here. Just a "bravo"!
2:49 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Careful all- you'll hurt many WW members feelings.
3:12 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Do a search for <snip> and look at result 3 and 4 and you'll see that they haven't gotten all of them...

[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 5:07 am (utc) on June 28, 2004]
[edit reason] no specifics please [/edit]

3:30 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yes, that search shows some that got through. Is this done by a program? Every time I see a site using it the filenames are always keyword_a.htm, keyword_b.htm, keyword_c.htm.
11:28 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I wrote several sites in my Keyword SERP that was doing this telling them they would soon go down. Nice to see Google has our back.
11:45 am on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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[google.com...]


Fiction: A competitor can ruin a site's ranking somehow or have another site removed from Google's index.

Fact: There is almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. Your rank and your inclusion are dependent on factors under your control as a webmaster, including content choices and site design.

This contradicts what GoogleGuy is saying:


I believe that one SEO had convinced clients either to put spammy Javascript mouseover redirects, doorway pages that link to other sites, or both on their clients' sites. That can lead to clients' sites being flagged as spam in addition to the doorway domains that the SEO set up.
12:12 pm on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I still see redirect pages at the top of the Google results using code like:
<body onMouseOver="eval(unescape('%6C%6F%63%61%74%69%6F%...
...6E%2E%68%72%65%66%3D%27%68%74%74%70%3A%2F%2F...
...%77%77%77%2E2E%63%6F%6D%2F%27%3B'));">

[edited by: barbos at 12:36 pm (utc) on June 25, 2004]

[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 7:22 pm (utc) on June 25, 2004]
[edit reason] Side scrolling [/edit]

12:24 pm on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I'm sure Google just uses the equivalent of the IE javascript engine to determine what a page does.

Dayo_UK

12:54 pm on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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This is all above me (good - dont really want to know how people even do a OnmouseOver redirect!)

Probably a stupid question:-

I take it all us people who do Onmouseovers to change the text in the statusbar need not worry about this?

12:57 pm on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I take it all us people who do Onmouseovers to change the text in the statusbar need not worry about this?

Right.

1:15 pm on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo! should take a page from Google's book. Way to go Google.
1:26 pm on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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That's how I saw it too, Blaze. Kinda worrying, if you ask me...
1:34 pm on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I take it all us people who do Onmouseovers to change the text in the statusbar need not worry about this?

Right.


That's no good. Dynamic menus use onMouseOver event too :(

Dayo_UK

1:45 pm on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Barbos

I think "right" means - need not worry! :)

1:58 pm on June 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Doh! 8-o Thanks, Dayo_UK :)
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