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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]

12:48 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Stargeek it could be great to have a few banners there, but I just can not make it - I suggest any one that is hit now starts to find internet news websites, send them a email about this post, it just have to be a few lines then they can look for themself whats going on, there is no crime in that to offer some info which is very real.
12:50 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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an organized aproach on many fronts would be best i think, emailing to smaller news sources, contacts and the bigger ones and a few protests, banners are nothing, if they have to bring cops in to remove people and lock them up for a few hours it would definetly get press.
12:51 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I want to believe Google is working on this problem. One positive is that I have seen the number of tracker2 urls (blamed for most of the hijacking) dwindle. In November, over 400,000 were indexed in Google. Today, only 12,000. Maybe the repair process is just a very very slow one, but I am still very frustrated and very skeptical that my site will ever reappear.

C

1:06 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you are looking for Wall Street exposure, here is a link to well known financial analyst with a daily column who has made a name for himself pointing out that the crowd is wrong and why. He may be interested in saying that the crowd is wrong about google due to technical issues (plus he is on the MSNBC payroll, which may help)

[moneycentral.msn.com...]

1:29 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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google is using 302 redirects from thier SERPs. does this mean something?

is this a slap in the affected webmaster's face?

[edited by: stargeek at 1:46 am (utc) on Mar. 10, 2005]

1:31 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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also, someone should write a press release that we could take a distribute, someone with press release writing experience to write something simple that clearly and dramtically explains the issues.
1:55 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think the problem with press releases is lack of factual information. While we believe most of what we are discussing to be fact, editors may view it as hypothetical/theoretical. I am not sure how I view it. I certainly feel there is enough evidence to support the hijacking claims. The question in my mind is why would Google simply not do anything, and brush it under the rug? Yahoo was able to resolve the problem in a matter of weeks in early '04.

[edited by: crobb305 at 2:11 am (utc) on Mar. 10, 2005]

2:04 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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the plot thickens
2:07 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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302 hysteria heightens - block all 302s, forget links from Yahoo, Google and MSN will sustain you.
2:32 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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IncrediBill,
Good point. I was hoping nobody brought Yahoo into this, This does seem at first glance to contradict all of what this thread is about. and it was inevitable that a keen eye spotted it. But wait, there is an explanation.
All the more reason that google should rectify its problem with the 302. And certainly remove any undue penalties for duplicate content regarding innocent websites.
I have not seen any damaging yahoo redirects. In fact, Yahoo acknowledged and took steps so I would imagine that their scripting is efficient and done in a proper manner. Not only that, they would use industry standard servers or better with programmers who are aware of serverside issues. Most of the damaging redirects emanate from independent servers where anybody can haphazardly manage them with websites residing in them in the hundreds. Each within the server can push out damaging directives. I don’t think Yahoo is out to cause any damage. In fact, at the moment Yahoo is the only real big noise that has addressed the issue of the 302 redirects.
Back street hosting companies with fancy looking websites that give the impression that an army of server engineers work there providing a 24 hour service are the places to look for badly configured serverside issues. When you try to contact these busy looking hosting companies many are manned by a sleepy single individual who may not even know that googlebot has a problem with 302. Talk to them about this issue and the reply maybe “you what mate”. You would most certainly have knowledgeable people at Yahoo who would reply that they are well aware of the issue and their system is checked out by the best engineers in the business.
I created my server myself and it is old and totally customized to conform to no standard. God only knows how it keeps going, day and night.
I would not expect to see yahoo create a meta refresh and a deliberate attempt to manipulate googlebot. I would however expect them, being a big and trustworthy company, to generate all sorts of things during a click process. This is not an issue and they have every right to run their business they way they want to. This forum also uses a redirect process where needed, I have never come across a problem associated with it, though it may not have been exploited. And who is to say that Yahoo’s method of redirect is not exploitable. So long as website owners are not damaged by it nobody will raise any dust. We may find that there exists a loophole in the Yahoo system, time will tell and maybe some blackhat gurus are already on the job.
For instance, draw results in yahoo if indeed a 302 benefits the target site with a multiple keyword that draws the most results for a given website, submit the results address to googlebot if it benefits your site. We all knew that one years ago so don’t try it, penalty may await and an automatic dismissal of your entire site. Don’t try to do it to a competitor it will not work.
Well, let us also see, looks like there may be cracks in Yahoo’s armour and it gives results for surfers with all sorts of weird looking redirects that ultimately end up at the target site. Put a wedge in the crack, hammer it and it will split in two.
The internet takes no prisoners, if Yahoo thinks google is having a problem with the 302, well draw your own conclusions.
Addendum to the above.
Let us not drift from the issue at hand. We are talking about deliberate redirects with meta refresh designed to kill sites, and indescriminate and unintentional scripts using go-php, cgi, asp, tracker2, meta refresh, frameset and other destructive elemets and the manipulation of googlebot to create duplicate content pages.
3:28 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Its time to organize an attack. I'd suggest a mailinglist for people affected by the 302 bug but I don't want to be seen as spamming or promoting any other site, if people are interested, please sticky me, thanks.
4:14 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well i cant believe this but one of my pr6 websites which has dmoz and yahoo links and tons of authority and is 4 years old just got nailed by this.

Not only has it lost 50% of its traffic 30 days ago which I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out why but it has now dropped down in ranking as well going to a pr 5.

The exact string you specified actually was found

www.blank.com/d/p.php?url=http://www.blank.com%2F

The homepage is gone from all rankings and gone from the allinurl command so now i know where the traffic drop came from. Worse yet when I click his link it shows my homepage with a pr0 which but is my website.

What can I do about this guys, I am really really upset right now.

Drall

4:15 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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japanese - you seem to know this thing inside and out.
Do you have any advice for webmasters to protect themselves from this type of attack?
Or for ones who have already been hijacked if there is anything that they could do?
Or is the ball completely in googles hands?

editd for speeling error

[edited by: Reid at 4:18 am (utc) on Mar. 10, 2005]

4:17 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I just found the registrant of the site knocking my site down with this, it is a SEO Firm!
4:25 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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By all rights, one should be able to sue G for this nonsense. Post-IPO, I'm sure they're neck-deep in lawyers, of course. No problems here, yet, but I follow all these hijacking threads expecting it to suddenly hit us too. McGoogle, the McMonster of search engines.

Any chance of google-bombing Google? How about everyone put a few links on their sites to <a href="http://www.google.com">Spam Engine</a>

Maybe Y and MSN will at least do something with it.

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