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  #1  
Old 11-29-2017, 01:18 AM
anandsoft anandsoft is offline
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Is it possible to hack a webpage ranking with off-page techniques?

Recently, one of our web pages was removed from Google search results (rest of site is still in google index) . Another site with the same title as ours is showing up in the results, though when you visit that spam site, its entirely a different sector (leisure).

On further investigations, we observed that google webmaster tools showed hundreds of links from that Spam website to our site. These links were not found when visited.

Any ideas as to how it could happen without hacking out site?

Thanks,

Note: Raised spam report with Google already.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2017, 03:58 AM
anandsoft anandsoft is offline
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Not only our page has gone out of google, the spam page appeared in the same location that our page used to be placed in google search results!! Sounds like some thing from Mars! I can PM the links if any one wants to know more. Personally, I had never doubted the credibility of google search results since the beginning. (Been familiar with G since 2001). Ironically, bing is showing normal search results and not affected by the spam (or should it be called hack?).

Last edited by anandsoft; 11-29-2017 at 04:06 AM. Reason: grammar
 
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:27 PM
neenaac neenaac is offline
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Did you get penalized? Check search console for any messages regarding manual penalty.
Negative SEO was very common in the past when google was less smart. It mostly involves spammy links getting built in bulk pointing towards a competitor website to get google penalize them. Once the competitor is down, the culprits could rank their site well with relative ease.
Tools like disavow tool were there to help dealing with such spam attack.
Later Penguin 4.0 came which devalues low quality backlinks, which means spammy backlink attack is less effective these days. But I can assure you that such methods are still active, though not as effective as before.
Have a backlink audit, check the backlink profile of that website which is currently ranking. If there are unnatural links on your profile, try to remove those links or use disavow tool. Things may get better.
There are chances that those guys got some PBN or low quality links in bulk which may help then rank temporarily, but once google devalues those links, they will go down to the bottom.
Continue building quality backlinks and do regular backlink audits.
Good Luck!
 
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:44 PM
anandsoft anandsoft is offline
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Thanks for the reply, and it appears what you told is very much right.
One of our very popular product pages (credibility built over several years) disappeared from google search results entirely. Appears to have been penalized. We found several hundreds of links from the Spam site linking to our site.

Not only our web page disappeared from google search results, the attacker has been able to place his page in place where our web page used to appear in search results. Very surprised to know how susceptible the victim web page as well as the Google search results are!

We are looking into disavowing those pages (several hundreds of links found, using google webmaster tools). Is there a way to disavow the attacker website itself? Because, they may link to us from some other pages! How long the process will take normally?
 
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2017, 11:18 PM
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HTMLBasicTutor HTMLBasicTutor is offline
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You might want to take a look at Bruce Clay's DisavowFiles.com. Here is the write up from when he launched it: Introducing DisavowFiles: Free Crowdsourced Tool Brings Google Disavow Link Data to Light

Here is another article from his site: The Complete Guide to Disavowing Links for Google and Bing that might help you.
 
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:12 PM
anandsoft anandsoft is offline
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Thanks for the information on DisavowFiles.com.

Submitted disavow links request with Google. But, it appears that the process could take weeks before any update happens in Google search results. Really wonder how could Google search results be manipulated so grossly with off-page black-hat techniques! It takes usually a month or two before the search results update. The black-hat specialist might come up with another site with similar techniques that could last for another month or two! And this could be made perpetual, I guess.
 
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:50 AM
anandsoft anandsoft is offline
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Further to my previous post, we made a little research on this issue and observed the following:

Assumptions:
Victim site: SiteA
Intermediate site (hacked site?): SiteB
Beneficiary site (hackers site?): SiteC

The following have been observed:
1. As was mentioned earlier, for many searches SiteB was showing in Google search results where our site used to appear. (The corresponding page(s) of SiteA delisted, as far as we can see)
2. When clicked on the google search result, SiteB is forwarding to SiteC, which is in similar category as our site (SiteB is entirely unrelated category)
3. The robots.txt file of SiteB has been completely modified to show SiteA home page navigation links and a few second level pages AS IS, with the only change in URLs that instead of siteA.com/1$, the links are siteB./?htm=1$ where 1$ is the remaining string of the URL and matching exactly with SiteA URL.
4. All the pages of SiteA have been reproduced in SiteB (at least whatever been checked)
4. SiteB is adopting some means of detection, and not forwarding to siteC for some known hosts/IP addresses.

So far, after working thoroughly on SiteA, we could not find any evidence that siteA had been hacked, and hence assuming that this is one instance of search engine vulnerability and nothing much could be done other than filing spam report. Hope to reverse it during the next update!

Last edited by anandsoft; 12-15-2017 at 11:56 AM.
 
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Old 12-26-2017, 02:36 AM
janjane janjane is offline
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I also noticed some websites ranked higher in search results with spammy contents and with only one or two links IDK what is wrong with google nowadays.
 
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:38 PM
evejones evejones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anandsoft View Post
Recently, one of our web pages was removed from Google search results (rest of site is still in google index) . Another site with the same title as ours is showing up in the results, though when you visit that spam site, its entirely a different sector (leisure).

On further investigations, we observed that google webmaster tools showed hundreds of links from that Spam website to our site. These links were not found when visited.

Any ideas as to how it could happen without hacking out site?

Thanks,

Note: Raised spam report with Google already.
Then why dont you disavow those links?
 
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2017, 05:22 AM
anandsoft anandsoft is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evejones View Post
Then why dont you disavow those links?
Already done that and it's going to take a month or so before the process is completed by G. However, it is not difficult to come out with another site with similar links and repeat the same (with the same or different site). This could become perpetual. How it is going to be addressed?
 
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