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302 Redirects continues to be an issue

     
6:23 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It is now 100% certain that any site can destroy low to midrange pagerank sites by causing googlebot to snap up a 302 redirect via scripts such as php, asp and cgi etc supported by an unseen randomly generated meta refresh page pointing to an unsuspecting site. The encroaching site in many cases actually write your websites location URL with a 302 redirect inside their server. This is flagrant violation of copyright and manipulation of search engine robots and geared to exploit and destroy websites and to artificially inflate ranking of the offending sites.

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]

7:41 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Oh yeah that thing I mentioned earlier about tracking referrers and banning 302 redirects (like shooting yourself in the foot).
It was meant in the spirit of 'if it were possible' it would be like shooting yourself in the foot.
7:44 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have a solid contact at the WSJ relating to my other business. I would be willing to give him a call and connect him to someone who is going to give him the whole story. Non biased. Truthfully. No plugs. IE: I don't want to link him to an idiot and make myself look like such.

I don't have the time (prob because I've gotten around the issue) to deal with a whole story like this.

PM me if you're interested.

7:44 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Can you harden your site against this attack by having some randomly generated content on every page? Your page would then be different from their page and google might not classify it as duplicate content. In that case you would still appear in the SERPs but so would the, as two separate entries. Still a problem but not as bad as losing your PR and your listing altogether.

Thoughts?

8:20 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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K, I have a solution for this, and it involves....oh dear - Yahoo!

Can someone tell Yahoo that by placing 302-redirect links on their main page (PR-10) to all but the main Google page, and then cloacking it for regular users to be sent to Yahoo.com, they can effectively highjack all but one Google's page.

Guys, it's not that simple. Not every 302 page is highjacked, in fact only a few are. I suspect, those are pages that have different checksums at the time Gbot fetches them.

[edit]added GBot-checksum comment[/edit]

[edited by: aleksl at 8:24 pm (utc) on Mar. 9, 2005]

8:22 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's not 'news' anymore, but I think it would still be good for a thread like this to be on the homepage of ww. Mainly because it contains good wrap ups of whats going on in a way that most anyone can understand and it isn't filled with too much clutter (compared to the other threads). In a way, the fact that this is old news and hasn't shown any signs of correction is news in itself, no?..
9:09 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google is not doing something "right". The explosive growth of the problem occured here: "Searching 8,058,044,651 web pages"

Google is incompetently calling URLs "pages". Google only dramatically and stupidly increased the URLs it "searches".

URLs in html code are not web pages.

(Pagerank is just assigned via href so redirects do nothing to hoarde pagerank.)

9:29 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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<<"Searching 8,058,044,651 web pages">>

Should read:

"Searching 8,058,044,651 URLs"

10:09 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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from reading this thread and other websites dedicated to exposing 'googlejacking' it appears that Google has been making changes, because a lot of people are reporting that these types of SERP's have dropped off considerably.
lets just hope the scumbags (ones who do it for a living) feel it too because (judging from the post that started this thread) this is going to be the next scumbag storm if Google doesn't deal with them in perticular.
10:29 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Reid - I just wait this month, if nothing is done by google I will change my way to make websites, so It follows the way google wants it redirecting links and good content. I have waited 6 month and nothing, many has waited longer.
11:30 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I posted about this in November. [webmasterworld.com...]

Since then, several emails to Google have NOT resolved anything. My most recent email in February again went unheard.

Incidentally, I don't think pagerank makes you less vulnerable. One of my sites has a pagerank of 7 and was successfully hijacked by numerous 302's with lower pagerank (even on the parent domain).

Google will NOT do anything about this. Sorry. Those of us who have been victims of hijacking for nearly a year are still gone from the index. At one point, there were over 40 redirects to my home page. I manually removed most of those using the Google url-removal tool and setting my robots metatag to 'noindex'. However, if I do a site:mysite.com search, there are still several urls that are NOT mine showing up even though those urls no longer redirect to my site. I can't remove these using the removal tool since they no longer redirect to me. Those urls were last cached on November 2, and until Google revisits them, gbot will never know they no longer redirect to me. Google has been informed, but they do nothing, and don't care.

Absolutely pathetic, and EXTREMELY disappointing. Google loses some great content by banning my site for the actions of other webmasters.

Chris

11:43 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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one more thing:

When I search inurl:example.com, several urls of the following form are showing:

www.example.com%20
http/www.example.com/

The second one above is not even a legitimate url. Why would Google index it? These urls point to nothing.

Google is full of useless urls that should not even be listed in the index. So I agree with the comments above about Google incorrectly referring to urls as pages.

I respect their policy of not manually touching serps to an extent. But the examples presented in this thread are ridiculous. They need to have some method of cleaning up serps without waiting for their algorithm to become "perfect" enough to detect this crap.

C

12:26 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Tose fake urls are from other sites that links that way, but ofcause you are right in this matter and I still think the only way to battle this is the NEWS.
12:34 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think it time to point other internet news -cnet, internet .... to this post its interesting news for them and webmasterworld also get a little popular.
12:42 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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well lets get on this, so far we have a WSJ contact, has anyone followed up with that?

are there any other people with press contacts?

does anyone else wanna do a little civil disobedience sit in at a google office with me?

12:47 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Helps to know people... esp in the media. And if investors knew Google was allowing their serps to be taken over by redirect/spammy urls and eliminating good content urls, things might change...but I doubt it. They are too arrogant.

[edited by: crobb305 at 12:48 am (utc) on Mar. 10, 2005]

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