Entire domain copied - he's ranking for hundreds of kws

25 replies
  • SEO
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Alright so calling out the experts here for a discussion on plagiarism and nasty site cloaking and redirect recovery.

I have had a site copied, google indexes them and ranks this spam .trade domain instead of me now for everything. $2000 a month in stable affiliate income with no work just gone! How is it possible that an entire domain can be stolen and they get hundreds of rankings overnight?!

It appears to use some cloaking as pages are indexed as an exact replica of mine (with the canonical tag removed ha) although trying to access this website returns 404 pages or a redirect to another domain which is an illegal steroid selling website.

I noticed this very profitable yet small website had lost a ton of traffic, I went ahead and did all the diagnostics to figure out what happened.

--

On December 20th/2015 - GWT shows a drop in indexed pages of 30 (stable for a year) to 8 overnight.

At first I thought this was a content issue with some sort of google update.

Digging into GWT's latest links, I noticed the above spam .trade (registered 8 days before the links show in google tools) domain showing 80+ links to my website all on the same day December 8th - 12 days prior to them leeching all my rankings and my indexed pages dropping. These 80+ links from urls that were identical to my permalink structure on wordpress.

I then published 20 new review articles, all of which got indexed, but don't rank - this tells me I have sort of ranking penalty or that this website is being assigned as the original source. They are somehow scraping my new posts insanely fast to make an exact duplicate and get it ranked in google.

This new articles were original, potent and not overoptimized articles for products that are brand new and have zero competition. This is proven to me that I have some sort of penalty or that they are getting credit, in that I sent some low quality bookmarks to all these new 20 posts - and dinky little 20 word, duplicate content posts and social bookmarks are ranking all over the top 10, not the 500+ word high quality article they link into though.

Things I did:

I have disavowed this domain and other toxic looking ones (anyone have experience on how long disavowed links can take?)

I have changed my rss feeds to only offer a summary of the post - as it was set to full content before - although I'm not convinced this is how he's scraping me as it includes my full site design and such which is not present in the rss feeds.

Sent him an email - expressing I don't really have an interest in going legal, dmca, google reporting, etc if he will just stop messing with me.

Interesting Observations:

One of my most profitable keywords was from a top 5 rank, on a wordpress category page - originally thinking the deindex issue was related to thin or duplicate content (category page after all) I rewrote the category description completely and rewrote the title, breadcrumb link and internal linking to be less optimized.

Now this one particular category is ranking again for this awesome competitive keyword - and who is right below me? The plagiarizing domain, complete with my old category content and title, clicking on this google result? redirect to an illegal steroid selling domain.

This suggests that my old pages are still rankable, even in competitive keywords, if I am to completely rewrite the page. Pointing at duplicate content issues?

Where I am most concerned is that new posts and categories (with 500 word expertly and not over-optimized descriptions, appearing before a few post excerpts are listed) are getting indexed but not ranking at all. Old established content that is rewritten to be unique can start ranking again alongside the cloaked plagarizing domain within an hour though. What does this suggest to you?

Thoughts, experiences, and any ideas on what I can do about this and what may be causing new content to not rank would be extremely appreciated!
#copied #domain #entire #hundreds #kws #ranking
  • Profile picture of the author mkii
    Banned
    Originally Posted by winnipegseo View Post

    Alright so calling out the experts here for a discussion on plagiarism and nasty site cloaking and redirect recovery.

    I have had a site copied, google indexes them and ranks this spam .trade domain instead of me now for everything. $2000 a month in stable affiliate income with no work just gone! How is it possible that an entire domain can be stolen and they get hundreds of rankings overnight?!

    It appears to use some cloaking as pages are indexed as an exact replica of mine (with the canonical tag removed ha) although trying to access this website returns 404 pages or a redirect to another domain which is an illegal steroid selling website.

    I noticed this very profitable yet small website had lost a ton of traffic, I went ahead and did all the diagnostics to figure out what happened.

    --

    On December 20th/2015 - GWT shows a drop in indexed pages of 30 (stable for a year) to 8 overnight.

    At first I thought this was a content issue with some sort of google update.

    Digging into GWT's latest links, I noticed the above spam .trade (registered 8 days before the links show in google tools) domain showing 80+ links to my website all on the same day December 8th - 12 days prior to them leeching all my rankings and my indexed pages dropping. These 80+ links from urls that were identical to my permalink structure on wordpress.

    I then published 20 new review articles, all of which got indexed, but don't rank - this tells me I have sort of ranking penalty or that this website is being assigned as the original source. They are somehow scraping my new posts insanely fast to make an exact duplicate and get it ranked in google.

    This new articles were original, potent and not overoptimized articles for products that are brand new and have zero competition. This is proven to me that I have some sort of penalty or that they are getting credit, in that I sent some low quality bookmarks to all these new 20 posts - and dinky little 20 word, duplicate content posts and social bookmarks are ranking all over the top 10, not the 500+ word high quality article they link into though.

    Things I did:

    I have disavowed this domain and other toxic looking ones (anyone have experience on how long disavowed links can take?)

    I have changed my rss feeds to only offer a summary of the post - as it was set to full content before - although I'm not convinced this is how he's scraping me as it includes my full site design and such which is not present in the rss feeds.

    Sent him an email - expressing I don't really have an interest in going legal, dmca, google reporting, etc if he will just stop messing with me.

    Interesting Observations:

    One of my most profitable keywords was from a top 5 rank, on a wordpress category page - originally thinking the deindex issue was related to thin or duplicate content (category page after all) I rewrote the category description completely and rewrote the title, breadcrumb link and internal linking to be less optimized.

    Now this one particular category is ranking again for this awesome competitive keyword - and who is right below me? The plagiarizing domain, complete with my old category content and title, clicking on this google result? redirect to an illegal steroid selling domain.

    This suggests that my old pages are still rankable, even in competitive keywords, if I am to completely rewrite the page. Pointing at duplicate content issues?

    Where I am most concerned is that new posts and categories (with 500 word expertly and not over-optimized descriptions, appearing before a few post excerpts are listed) are getting indexed but not ranking at all. Old established content that is rewritten to be unique can start ranking again alongside the cloaked plagarizing domain within an hour though. What does this suggest to you?

    Thoughts, experiences, and any ideas on what I can do about this and what may be causing new content to not rank would be extremely appreciated!
    DMCA, contact the webhost, google webspam, extract any personal details about the person doing this you can. Find any way you can to contact them and let them know that you will find them and take legal action. You have to be very aggressive when dealing with this kind of crap.

    I would call up the host and explain the owner of the site is getting sued and if they didn't want to get sued as well they better cooperate. Doesn't usually work but sometimes it does. If you follow proper legal procedures, they do not have a choice.

    If they're US based, you can find them, can prove it, have your stuff together legally, I'd seek 10k in damages per page they scraped. People that scrape sites are complete idiots and deserve a decade(s) of debt.

    Most likely, the person doing this used a stolen credit card to pay for the hosting and if so, there's a good chance they will terminate the account if you get in touch with them.

    You telling a crook that you won't completely destroy them is seriously stupid.

    If you own your own company and that site is owned by that company, I would send them an email stating that you are the CEO of the that company (if you own it you can be any job title you want) that is your responsibility to your investors and your employees to protect them and that you will spend every single dollar the company has to find the person who did this and assure that justice is served.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rajuginne
    Abuse at domain registrar so they can suspend if the domain involved alleged illegal activity.
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  • Profile picture of the author IGNAS888
    It's hard to tell what's happening in detail when I can't see both of the websites.
    But your illegal competitor might be playing smart with some spam and 301 redirects.

    I probably wouldn't even bother to contact them personally as all the info. might and probably is fake.
    Just report them to google, hosting company and etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    As always, just because you created the content doesn't mean someone else can't come along, scrape the site & outrank your site/pages.

    When it comes to duplicate content on multiple domains, the domain/pages with better SEO wins.

    Nothing new, it's been like this for years...
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    • Profile picture of the author winnipegseo
      Perhaps - although this was an 8 day old .trade domain - no real visible links that I can see versus an established 2 year old site with great white hat seo ,with rankings on the original content that held stable for a year.

      Digging deeper last night he did the same kind of attack on 28 websites I could find, these websites all sharing the same niche, he directly targeted certain types of keywords and attacked all the top sites ranking for them.
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      • Profile picture of the author mkii
        Banned
        Originally Posted by winnipegseo View Post

        Perhaps - although this was an 8 day old .trade domain - no real visible links that I can see versus an established 2 year old site with great white hat seo ,with rankings on the original content that held stable for a year.

        Digging deeper last night he did the same kind of attack on 28 websites I could find, these websites all sharing the same niche, he directly targeted certain types of keywords and attacked all the top sites ranking for them.
        Google webspam should take care of something like that.

        https://support.google.com/webmaster...er/93713?hl=en

        Contact the other site owners and ask them to fill the form out.

        I'm sure they want to know about it and some will probably do it. I would.

        Optionally, you could use a private browsing window (not chrome) and a VPN to hide your IP, then fill the complaint form out a few extra times. Fill the form out differently, maybe pretend you got malware or the site was trying to get your paypal password. Trying not to act like you own a site, be a newb "I cliked it and now my comptuer porno bomb, 15 year old duaghter cry. son tell me malware no good. no need install explorrr update." All caps is good here too... As soon as a human being actually investigates it, I'm sure the problem will be resolved promptly.

        Man, I didn't think it would take a 96 AOLer to know how to TOS somebody.

        EDIT: World's first legit use of Fiverr for SEO: Outsource complaint form filling.
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    • Profile picture of the author winnipegseo
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      As always, just because you created the content doesn't mean someone else can't come along, scrape the site & outrank your site/pages.

      When it comes to duplicate content on multiple domains, the domain/pages with better SEO wins.

      Nothing new, it's been like this for years...
      And in regards to better seo - I dont know... 8 day old domain, cloaking and 302 redirecting human visitors to an illegal steroid store. my internal linking structure and menu was intact on the copied site and all the brand signals and such should have pointed to me as the original source (ranking for over a year)
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by winnipegseo View Post

        And in regards to better seo - I dont know... 8 day old domain, cloaking and 302 redirecting human visitors to an illegal steroid store. my internal linking structure and menu was intact on the copied site and all the brand signals and such should have pointed to me as the original source (ranking for over a year)


        Domain age doesn't rank pages.

        That 8 day old domain could have a redirect from another domain with a strong link profile. Maybe he's using the new site as a disposable buffer.
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        • Profile picture of the author winnipegseo
          I submitted a google webspam report for cloaking, scraping and redirecting.

          Emailed host with a ton of evidence and emailed domain registrar with a ton of evidence.

          Hopefully he's gone soon and I recover, looking at looking options now for damage recovery, hopefully i can dig some real information him
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          • Profile picture of the author mkii
            Banned
            Originally Posted by winnipegseo View Post

            I submitted a google webspam report for cloaking, scraping and redirecting.

            Emailed host with a ton of evidence and emailed domain registrar with a ton of evidence.

            Hopefully he's gone soon and I recover, looking at looking options now for damage recovery, hopefully i can dig some real information him
            It's probably a carded domain. Sounds like blatant criminal activity the more you describe it.
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            • Profile picture of the author winnipegseo
              Excuse my ignorance, what do you mean by carded? Here's to hoping I can dig up real information...

              Some info suggesting they live in Florida... conveniently I am currently working hands on with an affiliate program and lawyer (partner of affiliate program) located in Florida who may be interested in helping... with this effecting about $3000+ a month of stable gross revenue for them each month - would be nice to locate and nail the guy and then let the other 28+ webmasters know they have been targeted too.
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              • Profile picture of the author mkii
                Banned
                Originally Posted by winnipegseo View Post

                Excuse my ignorance, what do you mean by carded? Here's to hoping I can dig up real information...

                Some info suggesting they live in Florida... conveniently I am currently working hands on with an affiliate program and lawyer (partner of affiliate program) located in Florida who may be interested in helping... with this effecting about $3000+ a month of stable gross revenue for them each month - would be nice to locate and nail the guy and then let the other 28+ webmasters know they have been targeted too.
                Carded: a stolen credit card was used to purchase it. If the criminal knows what they are doing, the checks/payments do not go to their real name either. How exactly they do it, I'm not sure. They probably intercept mail and use fake IDs to cash them.

                If this criminal is bad (they usually are, typically smart people just do it legit, and scraping web content to make money seems really dumb) then maybe their affiliate has their real details.

                The main reason to be in contact with the affiliated vendor is make sure this person does not get paid for their efforts. I'm sure the vendor loves you reporting a person who is not following the agreement with them, since they don't have to pay that affiliate now and can just keep the commissions.

                There's no way the vendor allows the affiliate to rip other people off to get sales in the agreement.
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                • Profile picture of the author winnipegseo
                  Originally Posted by mkii View Post

                  Carded: a stolen credit card was used to purchase it. If the criminal knows what they are doing, the checks/payments do not go to their real name either. How exactly they do it, I'm not sure. They probably intercept mail and use fake IDs to cash them.

                  If this criminal is bad (they usually are, typically smart people just do it legit, and scraping web content to make money seems really dumb) then maybe their affiliate has their real details.

                  The main reason to be in contact with the affiliated vendor is make sure this person does not get paid for their efforts. I'm sure the vendor loves you reporting a person who is not following the agreement with them, since they don't have to pay that affiliate now and can just keep the commissions.

                  There's no way the vendor allows the affiliate to rip other people off to get sales in the agreement.
                  Thanks for your time and input - unfortunately it doesn't appear that the attacker is an affiliate or re-seller in any way.

                  At least, not in any way that I'm familiar with for tracking variables if he was - cookies, url parameters, etc. Typing this I realize that I'm not familiar with the possibility of other ways of tracking and association and will look into it, thanks.

                  He uses different domains for each of the 28+ plus legitimate websites I've identified this attack on - with the common denominater being that they all sell steroids and forward human visitors to these storefronts, while offering googlebot (presumably all known major spiders) a cloaked version, and other user-agents I've checked a 404 page. Perhaps the merchant account / processor is the next place to investigate as he does claim to accept credit card transactions.
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                  • Profile picture of the author mkii
                    Banned
                    Originally Posted by winnipegseo View Post

                    Thanks for your time and input - unfortunately it doesn't appear that the attacker is an affiliate or re-seller in any way.

                    At least, not in any way that I'm familiar with for tracking variables if he was - cookies, url parameters, etc. Typing this I realize that I'm not familiar with the possibility of other ways of tracking and association and will look into it, thanks.

                    He uses different domains for each of the 28+ plus legitimate websites I've identified this attack on - with the common denominater being that they all sell steroids and forward human visitors to these storefronts, while offering googlebot (presumably all known major spiders) a cloaked version, and other user-agents I've checked a 404 page. Perhaps the merchant account / processor is the next place to investigate as he does claim to accept credit card transactions.
                    The processor can be traced relatively easily. Again, warning: if they're selling real steroids (or fake as real), this might lead to a dead end. Contact your bank, explain what you're doing and why you're doing it (to pursue legal matters) put an order in and see where it goes.

                    Then cancel the order immediately, if you can't, charge them back.

                    Something tells me this will lead to a processor in China.
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                  • Profile picture of the author yukon
                    Banned
                    Originally Posted by winnipegseo View Post

                    Thanks for your time and input - unfortunately it doesn't appear that the attacker is an affiliate or re-seller in any way.

                    At least, not in any way that I'm familiar with for tracking variables if he was - cookies, url parameters, etc. Typing this I realize that I'm not familiar with the possibility of other ways of tracking and association and will look into it, thanks.

                    He uses different domains for each of the 28+ plus legitimate websites I've identified this attack on - with the common denominater being that they all sell steroids and forward human visitors to these storefronts, while offering googlebot (presumably all known major spiders) a cloaked version, and other user-agents I've checked a 404 page. Perhaps the merchant account / processor is the next place to investigate as he does claim to accept credit card transactions.


                    Maybe it's David Whitaker.
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                    • Profile picture of the author mkii
                      Banned
                      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

                      That's an amazing read. All I can say is thanks for sharing that. Lots of extremely valuable information to legit guys who are having issues.
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  • Profile picture of the author winnipegseo
    Random thought for the SEO gurus - what effect if any do you believe me moving to https could have? I have read the rumblings of https sites getting a ranking boost as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by winnipegseo View Post

      Random thought for the SEO gurus - what effect if any do you believe me moving to https could have? I have read the rumblings of https sites getting a ranking boost as well.

      You're not going to outrank another domain page just because you have https.
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      • Profile picture of the author winnipegseo
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        You're not going to outrank another domain page just because you have https.
        I'm aware that full https integration wouldn't - or rather shouldn't - be enough of a ranking factor to improve rank dramatically and rectify this algorithmically (sp?)

        I'm also aware that your comments that domain age and link maturity might not be enough of a factor to make me known as the original content source, based upon the simple fact it has not.

        I'm more curious if its worth a try and others experiences with what happened when they shifted to https.

        From a technical standpoint, where I'm admittedly ignorant, does this secure possible vulnerabilities that could be related to this?

        From a forward thinking standpoint, when the offending domain is removed, is the return on investment worth the cost and time with proper 301 redirection and implementation?
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Banned
          Originally Posted by winnipegseo View Post

          I'm aware that full https integration wouldn't - or rather shouldn't - be enough of a ranking factor to improve rank dramatically and rectify this algorithmically (sp?)

          I'm also aware that your comments that domain age and link maturity might not be enough of a factor to make me known as the original content source, based upon the simple fact it has not.

          I'm more curious if its worth a try and others experiences with what happened when they shifted to https.

          From a technical standpoint, where I'm admittedly ignorant, does this secure possible vulnerabilities that could be related to this?

          From a forward thinking standpoint, when the offending domain is removed, is the return on investment worth the cost and time with proper 301 redirection and implementation?

          No it's not worth a try because it's pointless.

          You're site will get scraped & outranked whenever someone with a better link profile wants to do it. Https does nothing to prevent scraping & doesn't rank a page.

          The Google algo. doesn't care who created content, heck even Google is scraping the web, without scraped content Google wouldn't exist. How much original Google content do you see on the SERPs (none)?
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  • Profile picture of the author kickback
    Wow that i havent heard of before... i better research and cover my ass.
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    Looking for an affordable guitar? Playing tips? A place to discuss music and your favorite bands? http://kickbackmusic.ca/ has affordable beginner and brand name guitars, community forum and discussion blogs! Vist us today!!
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  • Profile picture of the author conscolor
    I've never heard anything like this...terrible experience
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  • Profile picture of the author bigbody300
    This is the first time i have ever seen this. Insane this would still work with all the algo filtering going on.
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    #1 Proven 2017 Pay Per Call Marketing Course - How I Make $8k+ a month from PayPerCall - WF DISCOUNT >http://www.warriorforum.com/showthre...0#post10850267
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    • Profile picture of the author winnipegseo
      I have created a new thread at

      http://www.warriorforum.com/search-e...hijacking.html

      after doing more research and coming to the conclusion this is a cloaking 302 redirect hijacking type of issue.

      Is there a way for me to delete this old thread?
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      • Profile picture of the author mkii
        Banned
        Originally Posted by winnipegseo View Post

        Is there a way for me to delete this old thread?
        No. Just don't respond to it and let it die.
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