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Sometimes, an HTTP status 302 redirect or an HTML META refresh causes Google to replace the redirect's destination URL with the redirect URL. The word "hijack" is commonly used to describe this problem, but redirects and refreshes are often implemented for click counting, and in some cases lead to a webmaster "hijacking" his or her own URLs.
Normally in these cases, a search for cache:[destination URL] in Google shows "This is G o o g l e's cache of [redirect URL]" and oftentimes site:[destination domain] lists the redirect URL as one of the pages in the domain.
Also link:[redirect URL] will show links to the destination URL, but this can happen for reasons other than "hijacking".
Searching Google for the destination URL will show the title and description from the destination URL, but the title will normally link to the redirect URL.
There has been much discussion on the topic, as can be seen from the links below.
How to Remove Hijacker Page Using Google Removal Tool [webmasterworld.com]
Google's response to 302 Hijacking [webmasterworld.com]
302 Redirects continues to be an issue [webmasterworld.com]
Hijackers & 302 Redirects [webmasterworld.com]
Solutions to 302 Hijacking [webmasterworld.com]
302 Redirects to/from Alexa? [webmasterworld.com]
The Redirect Problem - What Have You Tried? [webmasterworld.com]
I've been hijacked, what to do now? [webmasterworld.com]
The meta refresh bug and the URL removal tool [webmasterworld.com]
Dealing with hijacked sites [webmasterworld.com]
Are these two "bugs" related? [webmasterworld.com]
site:www.example.com Brings Up Other Domains [webmasterworld.com]
Incorrect URLs and Mirror URLs [webmasterworld.com]
302's - Page Jacking Revisited [webmasterworld.com]
Dupe content checker - 302's - Page Jacking - Meta Refreshes [webmasterworld.com]
Can site with a meta refresh hurt our ranking? [webmasterworld.com]
Google's response to: Redirected URL [webmasterworld.com]
Is there a new filter? [webmasterworld.com]
What about those redirects, copies and mirrors? [webmasterworld.com]
PR 7 - 0 and Address Nightmare [webmasterworld.com]
Meta Refresh leads to ... Replacement of the target URL! [webmasterworld.com]
302 redirects showing ultimate domain [webmasterworld.com]
Strange result in allinurl [webmasterworld.com]
Domain name mixup [webmasterworld.com]
Using redirects [webmasterworld.com]
redesigns, redirects, & google -- oh my [webmasterworld.com]
Not sure but I think it is Page Jacking [webmasterworld.com]
Duplicate content - a google bug? [webmasterworld.com]
How to nuke your opposition on Google? [webmasterworld.com] (January 2002 - when Google's treatment of redirects and META refreshes were worse than they are now)
Hijacked website [webmasterworld.com]
Serious help needed: Is there a rewrite solution to 302 hijackings? [webmasterworld.com]
How do you stop meta refresh hijackers? [webmasterworld.com]
Page hijacking: Beta can't handle simple redirects [webmasterworld.com] (MSN)
302 Hijacking solution [webmasterworld.com] (Supporters' Forum)
Location: versus hijacking [webmasterworld.com] (Supporters' Forum)
A way to end PageJacking? [webmasterworld.com] (Supporters' Forum)
Just got google-jacked [webmasterworld.com] (Supporters' Forum)
Our company Lisiting is being redirected [webmasterworld.com]
This thread is for further discussion of problems due to Google's 'canonicalisation' of URLs, when faced with HTTP redirects and HTML META refreshes. Note that each new idea for Google or webmasters to solve or help with this problem should be posted once to the Google 302 Redirect Ideas [webmasterworld.com] thread.
<Extra links added from the excellent post by Claus [webmasterworld.com]. Extra link added thanks to crobb305.>
[edited by: ciml at 11:45 am (utc) on Mar. 28, 2005]
It definetly is the 100s of keyword combos that I could never think of that my site seems to be struggling on.
Good point. I tend to think in terms of pages, not keywords or keyphrases, and I often forget that people search not only on "red widgets," but also on "crimson widgets" or "widgets with red coatings" or "les widgets rouges."
Why is it that sometime I see in google.com.my my old rankings from before the hijacking/302bug its a little wierd and can I get anything out of this, like now I know that google is still filtering my site because it was hijacked...
Would not have thought so. Although Google is displaying the Meta description as the snippet if it includes the Keywords - I cant see this as a detrement so the rest of the content on the site does not get ranked.
A website under our control is on a Windows Server so we can not place in an .htaccess file.
The website is a allyoursite.co.uk but used to be many years ago allyoursite.com and was hosted in the States. As it is only strictly for the UK market we put it to .co.uk on the request of the request of the owners about a year ago. We gave .com a meta-refresh to .co.uk. We could not drop .com entirely as their email system is based on .com and they did not want to lose this for emails.
We notice lately strange things happening. (This is what you mind consider a well optimised site with a lot of really good highly relevant and quality inbound links because of the historical nature of the website. They spare no expense at doing the right thing and really support the ethical behaviour of good SEO work.)
We notice that no back links show up except for a few. We also notice a slip down the engines as a result. All inner pages are fine and rank quite well.
We decided that maybe the root of the problem is possibly the .com so as we cannot remove it entirely because of the email system we decided to give it it's own page and implement into this page NOINDEX,NOFOLLOW tags and a piece of text directing any would be visitor that they should go to .co.uk
When we did this we noticed that the .com had a page rank of 4/10 and so did the .co.uk have a page rank of 4/10 this set alarm bells off that Google had been indexing both pages.
The very next day, the entire index page had disappeared from Google and so had the .co.uk index page all that was left were inner pages that still held their rank and palce in Google.
We had no choice but to put things back as they were and sure enough it got back to normal the next day except that Google had decided to pick up the DMOZ description for the website instead. It eventually changed back to the right description.
There are still problems with this and the owner wants it fixed, we are out of ideas. Last page rank nothing happened for us and still none of the quality back-links are showing.
Today, I went back and implemented the separate page again this time without the NOINDEX,NOFOLLOW tags. I will find it out if this will help at all, but somehow we do not think so.
Would it help if I moved the .com to an Apache Server and implemented the .htaccess telling it not to index the .com but .co.uk - is this right?
Thanks for any help in this matter
Put "noindex,follow" on the ".com" page along with one single straight text link to the "co.uk". Don't do the meta refresh, delete that.
You might want to add a line of text for visitors stating that the new address is "co.uk" and that they should correct their bookmarks as well as links. In fact, not doing the meta refresh will make some people change links that otherwise wouldn't bother.
What about all the old pages on the ".com" domain - do they show 404 or what? If so, no problem. If they meta refresh to the front page of the new site (or any other page), change as outlined above.
... and no more than that. It's not the rocket science of SEO or web design, but it's safe.
I have a 301 redirect to 'www.mydomain' from 'my domain'.
The google bots are eating up all my pages - visited daily, and the logs show very thorough roboting of the entire sites.
My question is this: Is there anyway to actually GET indexed now, without waiting out the 6 months? (I did send an email to google asking this, but received in response a copy/paste that didn't address the question)
Also, since my site isn't new it has many incoming linke - when google does reindex, will it see me as a new site and penalize for so many inbound links, or will it remember that the site has been there a long time?
The quality of Google responses is abysmal. I have several friends who, upon having written to Google about a particular topic have received complete nonsense as replies. Not once, but a dozen times in the last 6 weeks or so.
As a test we set up four people to ask exactly the same question via their support form. The questions were word for word identical except for the URL in question. The four answers received (summarised here), ranged from "definately not", and "no", to "yes", and "absolutely yes".
I kid you not.
If a site owner had removed all the hijackers and 302, with the removetool or other way, why is it that the site dont reapeare or googlebot comes back.
Back in December 2004 I lost all my ranking and in a drastic attempt to address dup. content penalty I tried to get rid of all the pages indexed under wrong domain name (without www) using the infamous URL console. As I soon learned the URL console treats both domains w/ and w/o www as being the same. I can’t think of any reasoning used by google’s engineers in deciding to remove pages from both domains when in fact only one is submitted and all associations between the two (meaning 301 or 302 redirects) are non-existent. I wonder if there is something special about www prefix or the tool always removes pages from the root domain as a “feature”. If the letter is true then one would be able to remove some serious players who allow hosting under their root domain like dyndns. org for example.
Anyways, it is been more then 90 days and of cause my site is still out. GoogleGuy, I'll gladly give you my last name, forum handle, SSN and even my mother’s maiden name just to get my site re-enabled. Heck, I will even stop replacing google search with MSN as a home page on all the computers I can get my hands on :)
I’ve been sending re-inclusion requests every few weeks without any success. GG, many of us would greatly appreciate if you could post the exact steps/procedure to submit "accidentally" removed sites for re-inclusion
I got your sticky yday. About 80% of my pages were spidered between from the 22nd to 23rd. This is the first time anything other than index page has been accessed in at least 2 months. BUT, none of those pages are indexed with anything other than url. I would have thought those data would have been update to title/desc listings within 24 hours of the crawl.
Not sure what is up. But at this point I guess I am sorta giving up hope.
Another thing anyone here have a explanation SE related, why a site that has been hijacked or hurt by the google bug 302, dont get spidered by googlebot, when there is no hijacker/302 sites left in a site:search, I dont see any logic here, in a way I dont think its a dublicated filter, because as it looks there is no dublicated sites left in a site:search and contact google to request a respidering is a wast of time as crobb says. It can not be we have to wait to MSN takes over mid 2006.
Unless there is something I am not seeing, my site appears to be gone forever from Google. Although deep spidered last week, it has gone from pr7 to pr0. All duplications are gone, all 302s gone, content rewritten to account for content theft, etc. A 4 year old site that represents so much hard work and good content.
I have now implemented NOINDEX,FOLLOW and just a title.
I put in the body website has moved to its new address at allyoursite.co.uk
Is this what you emant or did you mean also add the .co.uk somehow to the meta-tags for it to follow, if so can you be more specific as I have never heard that one before.
Thanks again for your help.
" Is it okay to use redirects for statistics purposes when the redirect
link goes through your cgi-bin AND you block all robots from links to your
cgi-bin in your robots.txt file? "
Some sites use "statistical purposes" as an excuse to hog PR, and much
worse yet, to steal content credit from rightful sites with 302 redirects.
I'm not casting asparagus here, but disallowing the SEs to hide
redirects doesn't make the picture any prettier.
I have a "disallow cgi-bin" statement in my robots'txt file. Why?
It just looked nice, I never wrote a byte into the CGI directory.
I'm going to remove that immediately. I don't want the slightest
indiction that I am doing anything black-hat. -Larry
Let me say it so if I got a total spidering I would be happy, I know this is hard times, because there is not much help out there or folks think you are a spammer, but dont give up, keep a eye on your site:search for other domains or better look at inurl:search because google is now manupulating the site:search, so look in inurl for sites with your title and description and dont panic about all those other domains there thats normal, they just should not have your title and description, but you know that.
If you keep those hijackers/googlebug 302 out of the serps I think you will have good changes, but if nothing happens after that for lets say3-4 month, then its time copy your site to another domain and IP.
You could also be lucky that MSN has taken over by then, but I dont think so, first 2006, but thats a long time to wait.