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Many unethical webmasters and site owners are already creating thousands of TEMPLATED (ready to go) SKYSCRAPER sites fed by affiliate companies immense databases. These companies that have your website info within their databases feed your page snippets, without your permission, to vast numbers of the skyscraper sites. A carefully adjusted variant php based redirection script that causes a 302 redirect to your site, and included in the script an affiliate click checker, goes to work. What is very sneaky is the randomly generated meta refresh page that can only be detected via the use of a good header interrogation tool.
Googlebot and MSMBOT follow these php scripts to either an internal sub-domain containing the 302 redirect or serverside and “BANG” down goes your site if it has a pagerank below the offending site. Your index page is crippled because googlebot and msnbot now consider your home page at best a supplemental page of the offending site. The offending sites URL that contains your URL is indexed as belonging to the offending site. The offending site knows that google does not reveal all links pointing to your site, takes a couple of months to update, and thus an INURL:YOURSITE.COM will not be of much help to trace for a long time. Note that these scripts apply your URL mostly stripped or without the WWW. Making detection harder. This also causes googlebot to generate another URL listing for your site that can be seen as duplicate content. A 301 redirect resolves at least the short URL problem so aleviating google from deciding which of the two URL's of your site to index higher, more often the higher linked pagerank.
Your only hope is that your pagerank is higher than the offending site. This alone is no guarantee because the offending site would have targeted many higher pagerank sites within its system on the off chance that it strips at least one of the targets. This is further applied by hundreds of other hidden 301 permanent redirects to pagerank 7 or above sites, again in the hope of stripping a high pagerank site. This would then empower their scripts to highjack more efficiently. Sadly supposedly ethical big name affiliates are involved in this scam, they know it is going on and google adwords is probably the main target of revenue. Though I am sure only google do not approve of their adsense program to be used in such manner.
Many such offending sites have no e-mail contact and hidden WHOIS and no telephone number. Even if you were to contact them, you will find in most cases that the owner or webmaster cannot remove your links at their site because the feeds are by affiliate databases.
There is no point in contacting GOOGLE or MSN because this problem has been around for at least 9 months, only now it is escalating at an alarming rate. All pagerank sites of 5 or below are susceptible, if your site is 3 or 4 then be very alarmed. A skyscraper site only need create child page linking to get pagerank 4 or 5 without the need to strip other sites.
Caution, trying to exclude via robots text will not help because these scripts are nearly able to convert daily.
Trying to remove a link through google that looks like
new.searc**verywhere.co.uk/goto.php?path=yoursite.com%2F will result in your entire website being removed from google’s index for an indefinite period time, at least 90 days and you cannot get re-indexed within this timeline.
I am working on an automated 302 REBOUND SCRIPT to trace and counteract an offending site. This script will spider and detect all pages including sub-domains within an offending site and blast all of its pages, including dynamic pages with a 302 or 301 redirect. Hopefully it will detect the feeding database and blast it with as many 302 redirects as it contains URLS. So in essence a programme in perpetual motion creating millions of 302 redirects so long as it stays on. As every page is a unique URL, the script will hopefully continue to create and bombard a site that generates dynamically generated pages that possesses php, asp, cigi redirecting scripts. A SKYSCRAPER site that is fed can have its server totally occupied by a single efficient spider that continually requests pages in split seconds continually throughout the day and week.
If the repeatedly spidered site is depleted of its bandwidth, it may then be possible to remove it via googles URL removal tool. You only need a few seconds of 404 or a 403 regarding the offending site for google’s url console to detect what it needs. Either the site or the damaging link.
I hope I have been informative and to help anybody that has a hijacked site who’s natural revenue has been unfairly treated. Also note that your site may never gain its rank even after the removal of the offending links. Talking to offending site owners often result in their denial that they are causing problems and say that they are only counting outbound clicks. And they seam reluctant to remove your links....Yeah, pull the other one.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 9:49 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2005]
joined:Dec 29, 2003
"Someone linked my site in a funny way and google is <messed> up!"
[edited by: ciml at 10:24 am (utc) on Mar. 17, 2005]
[edit reason] Language. [/edit]
Anyway, Japanese, i hope you will reconsider and continue to post about this, just without the specific URLs. I can see that a lot of people have found your posts very informative, and information as well as increased awareness about this topic is badly needed, as the problem is all around.
>> RewriteRule ^example\.html$ h**p://www.example.com/example.html [R=301,L]
Reid, i posted something very close to that earlier. Unfortunately it will throw your server into a loop.
>> Something Im confused between 301 Redirect / 302 FOUND
kila_m, if you don't want to read the whole thread, do at least read my post #54 [webmasterworld.com] as that one will spell it out nicely for you. It's all about 302s, not 301s.
Also, if you want to help spread awareness, feel free to republish that specific post on another site as per post #279 [webmasterworld.com] - you don't even have to mention my name.
I have a server running the same Apache version. However, that one puts this out as page content with the 302 (Apache 2.0 output is very similar):
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
The document has moved <A HREF="http://www.example.com/folder/file.html">here</A>.<P>
I.e. not this:
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;url=http://www.example.com/folder/file.html">
I think the servers putting out the above in stead might just make the problem worse, as i have also seen hijacks being performed by meta refresh alone. (without 302, just the meta)
I also think the above is non-standard, at least it does not conform to the RFC which requires a hyperlink to be output on the page.
Added: I have just double-checked a few cases. You don't need to hack the Apache server to both send a 302 and a meta refresh in order to make a hijack. Just using one of them will do the trick.
Others are still there - it's only some that have gone, so it could be a coincidence. There are still lots of meta hijacks to be found. This is the exact same issue, it's only the method that's different.
[edited by: claus at 10:11 am (utc) on Mar. 17, 2005]
RewriteRule ^www\.example\.com$ h**p://www.example.com/index.html [R=301,L]
If the request is for w*w.example.com it would get a 301 redirect to h**p://w*w.example.com/index.html which would then return a 200 OK.
I'm not sure how this is done normally by the server but would this override it and stick the 301 in there?
In any case, sabotage is a concept joe public can understand, so maybe that would be the best way to spin this story into the news.
Reid, Google doesn't fetch /index.html any more.
"GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 7987 "-" "Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.google.com/bot.html)"
so what Im thinking is if I rewrite "/" to /index.html with a 301 then it will fetch /index.html and get a 200 OK That protects my homepage from 302 redirects.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.
however some internal pages have a recent cache
They even say there they will remove access to comply with the act and if enough people file DMCA's they will have to sit up and take notice of the extent of the problem