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Google Warns Webmasters: Deceptive or Manipulative Browser History Insertion May Result In Action

     
3:46 pm on Jul 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Our quality guidelines prohibit manipulative or deceptive behavior, and this stance has remained unchanged since the guidelines were first published over a decade ago. Recently, we’ve seen some user complaints about a deceptive technique which inserts new pages into users’ browsing histories. When users click the "back" button on their browser, they land on a new page that they've never visited before. Users coming from a search results page may think that they’re going back to their search results. Instead, they’re taken to a page that looks similar, but is actually entirely advertisements...Google Warns Webmasters: Deceptive or Manipulative Browser History Insertion May Result In Action [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]
To protect our users, we may take action on, including removal of, sites which violate our quality guidelines, including for inserting deceptive or manipulative pages into a user's browser history.
4:33 pm on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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this tactic has been around for years. it is annoying!
5:12 pm on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Glad they're going after these; I've been honking about it for at least three years now.
5:18 pm on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like a lot of saber rattling from here. This issue, to me, seems like it is out of the control of google and maybe they should be asking an authority (FTC?) to do something about it instead of making empty threats as if they hold some sort of power.

google: is someone violating your trademark/copyright by doing this? Then handle it. Otherwise you haven't a leg to stand on, it's not your interwebz, get over it.

Oh, and your threat of removing these sites from your index (please note that you forgot to add that little tidbit "from our index", obviously to try and portray that you have more power than you do), well, I'd love to see how you tackle that given your track record of late (how are those loan thingys coming along?). There's nothing algorithmic that could possibly scale to deal with this issue.
5:39 pm on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Sabre rattling or not, the warning is out there, and if you're caught, you'll have to face the consequences.
5:49 pm on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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you'll have to face the consequences.


That's kind of my point, what are the consequences? There are none in the real world, worst case scenario is that a site gets de-indexed from google, worst case.

And for the record, *I* will never get caught, this is not a practice we participate in. My biggest concern would be getting caught up in some collateral damage from whatever algostein google comes up with to deal with people that do do this.
5:53 pm on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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That's kind of my point, what are the consequences? There are none in the real world, worst case scenario is that a site gets de-indexed from google, worst case.


And that's the point. If google is important to a site, don't get caught or deindexing may occur. The concern ought to be about any other sites owned, too. They may be investigated and penalised.
6:02 pm on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I have to imagine that the type of sites doing this sort of thing don't much care about being de-indexed in the long run. I'm sure they are turn and burn.

I just looked at the post again on google's blog, I see their concern now, the faked results are much better than google's serps...
10:30 pm on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I just looked at the post again on google's blog, I see their concern now, the faked results are much better than google's serps...


If Google doesn't do anything about this now, the complaint will be, "Why isn't Google doing anything to deindex sites doing this? It can easily be used for phishing."
11:47 pm on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Google Warns Webmasters

I doubt that the average webmaster ever does this kind of thing. For the most part, these are professional con artists. It might not be so easy for Google to stop it.
2:42 pm on July 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Never had this happen to me...But, it's not really a search engine problem, more of a web browser exploit. Maybe it only works with Chrome?
6:57 pm on July 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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it's not really a search engine problem

Since Google Search is the original source of the traffic, it could be regarded as part fo the problem. In fact, I think the sad state of Google's current search results probably makes it easier to make money with this scheme, because bad and irrelevant pages have a better chance to get traffic.
7:07 pm on July 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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And for the record, *I* will never get caught, this is not a practice we participate in. My biggest concern would be getting caught up in some collateral damage from whatever algostein google comes up with to deal with people that do do this.


You are assuming your site will never get hacked, then.