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.ru backlinks making odd sites rank for a short time



6:19 pm on Nov 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've been noticing some very strange type of results in google over the last few weeks. Not sure what to make of it.

For very competitive terms, I am seeing multiple new domains pop in the index that share these traits:
- completely unrelated domains
- still have original topical content subpages visible & indexed with the site: command
- replaced homepage with <competitive widget kw landing copy>
- .ru backlinks

I've seen a lot of things come and go, but not quite anything like this.

It's interesting -- there are no other first page sites in these spaces with less than thousands of backlinks and years under their belt. They are all genuinely authoritative sites. These new sites are ranking with a few hundred .ru links and what looks like almost hijacked domains.

They seem to pop up on page 1 or 2 out of nowhere, float around for a week or so then vanish just as rapidly. I really wish we could see what kind of filters are being tinkered with to cause this.

I've seen this in a couple of different verticals that I monitor closely(US Markets). Anyone else noticed stuff along these lines?


6:42 pm on Nov 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

Rather than being the turn of a filter at Google, I think this phenomenon is related to a relatively new kind of website hack. The newer crop of hacks embeds scripts that alter pages selectively - according to the user agent and/or referer. If I'm right, you won't see the altered home page if you type in the home page address, only if you click on a Google search result.


8:23 pm on Nov 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

tedster, I was actually hoping this thread would get your attention. It's not any kind of cloaking as best as I can tell. Did a direct type-in from a couple of IPs(including different UA's and ip's that I had not previously been refered by a search engine) and looked at google's cache.


9:43 pm on Nov 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

Then it's not the most sophisticated "state of the art" spam-hack going. But it clearly depends on a server hack, since the home page for these domains is turned into a landing page.

Most likely the rankings come about through some kind of botnet leverage. However, the specific methods that they are using to force a quick ranking are not all that important - except to Google who needs to counteract them en masse rather than piecemeal. If you want to give Google feedback about what you see:

  1. Use the reporting feature in your Webmaster Tools account. Because your account authenticates you, Google tends to give this communication higher priority and credibility.

  2. Use this form for giving more anonymous input: Google: Search Quality and Your Feedback [google.com].

  3. At the bottom of every search results page, use the link that says "Disatisfied? Help us improve."

  4. Google offers an online discussion group for webmaster help [groups.google.com]. Your questions - with specific identifying details about your site - are welcome there.

Be precise but brief in your message to Google. Report both the actual search keywords and explain the problem you see.

Google Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com]


1:52 am on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

I reported the use of one of my secure Control Panel URLs to google several weeks ago. Dumb customer had compromised it through a public computer. The URL, without periods and slashes, was listed in several hacked forums - hundreds of domains/urls in all including this one.

I told google exactly what the phrase was - it was exact in every instance I saw - and told them it would never be used and that, in fact, the domain was never used publicly so all references could be blocked.

The hacked forums are still being listed. Never even got a copy of the message, never mind a reply.

There is a lot that google could do to remove hacked sites (and a lot they can't, I suppose). It would be nice if they would try a little harder.


9:38 pm on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have been looking into sites doing this in my industries an they have the top results bolted on. Can name many sites doing it and controlling some top 40k a month terms.

would love to discuss this more as its puzzled me for a while. Seems to work on aged domains and rather than a hack ooks like google glitch to me.

[edited by: tedster at 11:28 pm (utc) on Nov. 29, 2008]


11:32 pm on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

I don't think you're seeing the same thing as the opening post describes, unless those top results you mention as "bolted on" are benefitting from links form hacked sites. That seems unlikely because those links only have power for a short period, then Google zaps them.


2:38 pm on Nov 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I know that one. It is an ru backlink network. Works quite well. No google glitch, google's algo works on links and these link nets give backlinks. Pretty simple really, if real sites join then you would get links from real sites.

[edited by: Crush at 2:39 pm (utc) on Nov. 30, 2008]


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