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What to Do About Malicious 301 Redirects

     
7:45 pm on Aug 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I just discovered that there are some malicious 301 redirects pointing at pages on my site. One of my pages, which used to rank in the top 5 on google for its main keyword, has tanked to page 26. I just learned about the concept of "negative seo" and have been doing some research. I signed up for a free Ahrefs account and discovered that one of my pages has a 301 redirect from a page on <another website>, which is a white supremacist website. This redirect is aimed at the page that is now ranking on page 26. Horrified, I have been searching the web trying to figure out how to undo or disavow this redirect. I know I can disavow links but what about 301 redirects? I am also noticing other redirects on other pages of my site so I hope there is a way to fix this!

[edited by: aakk9999 at 8:20 pm (utc) on Aug 22, 2015]
[edit reason] Exemplified, please no website names [/edit]

8:58 pm on Aug 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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After looking at it again, it looks like that is how the other website deals with links in their forum. Even so, can it hurt my site since it is a white supremacist site?
10:39 pm on Aug 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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that is how the other website deals with links in their forum

Clarify, please. Are there two unrelated sites-- the ugly one and the forum-- or is it the ugly site's own forum? Is it one of those "Leaving Facebook" type setups where their internal link points to their own site, and then there's a second link taking users to the real target?

Since they're coming from a forum, do the unwanted requests always have the same referer? (Hostname, that is, not necessasrily the specific page.) Are you purely concerned with the search-engine aspect, or would you also like to prevent unattractive humans-- that is, the real-life forum visitors-- from seeing your site at all?
11:03 pm on Aug 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If the site doing the redirecting is a "real website" one possible solution is:

Move the content from the current page to a new URL -- No redirect.
Update all internal links and external links (if possible) to the new URL of the content.
Replace the content of the page you moved with a page of content about equality.
If necessary, be an "innocent visitor" who sends an email and wants to know why the site doing the redirecting sends people to a site about equality from the forum.

Wait for the redirects to be removed and/or pointed somewhere else.
5:40 am on Aug 23, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Well done TMS.

There are a ton of nuances as you well know, but I'd do something very similar except for the "innocent visitor" email. It's a secondary step that has a lot of associated overhead.

Whenever possible, I like to minimize impact and exposure.

Sincerely, people need to start stepping up and doing what you just did.
That is the point of the forum after all.
8:23 pm on Aug 23, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Move the content from the current page to a new URL -- No redirect.
Update all internal links and external links (if possible) to the new URL of the content.
Replace the content of the page you moved with a page of content about equality.


Yes, this will solve the problem.

The question now is: does the page will regain its ranking in Google? And if so, how soon?

To OP... do you have any reason to believe that this was done with the deliberate intention to harm your site?
12:39 am on Aug 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the replies. I got a reply on the Google Webmaster forum that it shouldn't hurt my site because it is a nofollowed link, which I didn't realize.
3:08 am on Aug 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'd still move the content of the page and switch it to a page about equality based on general principal, because I don't play the "skin color" or "nationality" games, in fact, I think they're complete BS, especially when people think about it a bit -- I mean, yeah, it's fun to compete and "talk some ish" about who's better than who, but the reality is, there's not a "born difference" and the ish talkin should all just be fun-and-games -- People, regardless of race, religion, nationality, whatever, can do what they can do and can't do what they can't do... Race, skin color, nationality, [any other bs "born better" variable here] doesn't matter, because it's been proven time and time again if people of any race, nationality, religion, [whatever] take the time to look and actually think a bit, none of that ish matters a bit.
5:44 am on Aug 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm currently trying to figure out what the offending site itself gains by redirecting links that will presumably be clicked by their own human users. Won't they get mad? I'd be plenty ticked off if I went to the garden-supply store, bought a sack of steer manure and took it home only to find it full of rose petals instead.