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Accidental Site Hijack - via 302 redirect

   
7:30 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



A few days ago I noticed that an unrelated domain was ranking in place of my friend's site for search terms in Google.

Turns out that a rather large company with an old domain, let's call it unrelateddomain.com, had moved their site and miss pointed the old domain to my friend's dedicated server.

Basically, this meant that going to unrelateddomain.com showed my friend's site. It also meant that Google decided my friend's site was not the content originator and they listed unrelateddomain.com in its place.

The company that owns unrelateddomain.com has since fixed the pointing issue and 302 redirected unrelateddomain.com to their new site, but Google still lists them in place of my friend's site.

We have asked the owner of unrelateddomain.com to remove the 302 redirect in hopes that this might help. However, I am curious to see if anyone else has any suggestions.

2:25 pm on Sep 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Wow that sucks. Have you tried submitting a request within Google's Webmaster Tools?
2:43 am on Sep 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hi alrightpeter,

I recently went through the same issue, two weeks ago. My site is an authority site and a small domain decided to highjack us. Everything that you said happened to us; the hijacked site was ranking in place of our site. This happened on September 2nd on the 4th we filed a Google Spam report via webmaster tools. On September 10th Google dropped the hijacked site for the index. 7 days later which was yesterday Google brought my site back in SERPs and index.

I suggest that you file a Google Spam report and then wait. If your site has also been dropped from the index you will need to file a reinclusion as well and explain the situation, just wait for a few weeks and things should return to normal.

It really sucks when this happens also I would block the proxy site meantime and others. This seems to be an issue with Google from what I know.

4:27 pm on Sep 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I just do not understand why Google even pays attention to 302 redirects. It would be a very simple fix to just ignore that content especially if that original content was already in the serps.
4:56 pm on Sep 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Agree, but it seems like Google has issues knowing which document was the original, which is plain dumb because what ever was there first is the original.

I would go ahead and file the spam report if you haven't already.

5:15 pm on Sep 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



@SEOold:

Could you elaborate about how exactly did you find out that the offending site is "taking place" of your site and not simply rank higher after a routine algo change?

Did you watch SERPs for an important keyword, several keywords, your own domain name or something else?

Did your site completely drop out of the SERP (index?) or simply moved down? How far down?

Thanks!

7:40 pm on Sep 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member




Could you elaborate about how exactly did you find out that the offending site is "taking place" of your site and not simply rank higher after a routine algo change?

Did you watch SERPs for an important keyword, several keywords, your own domain name or something else?

Did your site completely drop out of the SERP (index?) or simply moved down? How far down?

We get hourly traffic reporting for my site which is broken by page type, ex. homepage, categories, products. We get about 7K clicks to the homepage and the day this happened our homepage traffic dipped to like 500. When checking for our traffic volume keywords (several of them) in Google SERPs we where no where to be found. Within the SERPs we saw our Title and Meta tags but for another domain. When we checked the site they basically had all our content and the URL looked like the following example.com/www.mysite.com. Our homepage was dropped from Google index as well due to duplicate content. Now to answer your second question the proxy site was ranking for all our terms that we were ranking for. Technically we were still ranking but they were getting the traffic.

Our homepage dropped immediately out of the index and SERPs. Our site pages will still performing fine as they were not affected.

We immediately filed a Spam Report. When researching the issue I was amazed to see how many people have had this issue and this is only an issue with Google.

7:46 pm on Sep 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



you want to try putting that <base href= tag in,
there was a long thread about it last month, talking about proxy hijacks
10:03 pm on Sep 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



It's like 2004 all over again.

Can't believe this is still happening.

10:13 pm on Sep 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Yeah, all because Google only wants to index pretty URLs [mattcutts.com].