Jennifer Convertibles Web Site Hacked & Delisted In Google.com

Oct 24, 2006 • 8:31 pm | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Jennifer Convertibles web site [http://www.jenniferfurniture.com/] has been delisted by Google because some hacker got in and generated an infinite number of dynamic affiliate spam pages.

Let me start off by explaining that my company, RustyBrick, developed this site years ago, like 5 years ago. We are now in the process of redesigning it. We currently do not maintain the hosting or server environment for the site. The client called me and told me they no longer rank anywhere for their brand name [Jennifer Convertibles] in Google.com.

JenniferFurniture.com Not Ranking for Jennifer Convertibles

So the first thing I did was to see if any of the pages on jenniferfurniture.com were indexed, they were not.

Jennifer Convertibles Web Site Delisted From Google

So then I asked some people I know to look into it and they discovered that the cause of the Google ban was because someone dynamically added an infinite number dhtml pages to the Jennifer Convertibles web site and domain name. Such as a URL like jenniferfurniture.com/this-site-has-been-hacked.dhtml, here is a screen shot.

Sample Hacked Page at Jennifer Convertibles Web Site

So I sent this information over to the server people and my development team to look at first thing tomorrow.

Luckily, I have some contacts at Google that can hopefully expedite the reindexing of the Jennifer Convertibles web site. But if it was a normal web master and a normal site, a hack like this can have serious issues in the long term, i.e. may take a while to get back into the Google index.

I was given permission by the client to share this information with the search community. I hope this at least helps others.

Update: 9:30pm (EST), we have blocked those pages from coming up. I'll share the technical reasons tomorrow when I have a solid answer. I believe it has to do with the htaccess file hack.

Update: 7:00am 10/25, based on popular demand, I have submitted the site for reinclusion via the Webmaster Central Sitemaps tool, at this time. I will not make a special request from Google to reinclude the site. Let's see how long it takes through the tool. If I was using this tool for this client, I would have spotted the issue much earlier. More to come on what exactly the hack was later.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Roundtable Forums.

Update on this at Jennifer Convertibles Web Site Back in Google.

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Comments:

Eric Baillargeon

10/25/2006 03:17 am

Just looking at your screen shots and I suspect a problem on the search form who was not protect about an inversed to post/get command ! With that you can post html code to the page...

graywolf

10/25/2006 04:36 am

Sounds an awful lot like the problem I'm having here http://www.wolf-howl.com/seo/is-my-website-banned-in-google/ Although I don't have the hacked page. Curious if you can share how you discovered this and details on what you're doing to prevent it from happening again

Amit

10/25/2006 07:36 am

And let us not forget that saying <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=info:www.jenniferfurniture.com">Sorry, no information is available for the URL www.jenniferfurniture.com</a> is a provably false statement of fact because Google has <a href="http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache%3Awww.jenniferfurniture.com">ALL </a>the information it needs about the URL. Always good to have contacts at Google though.... ;-)

Lea de Groot

10/25/2006 09:38 am

Its helpful to have google alerts for site:mydomain.com running. These hacked pages would have appeared in the index before it was banned and the email notification would give the owner a chance to say 'what the?!?' and fix the problem before the site is banned.

Seobie

10/25/2006 09:53 am

Hi, What a horror story! I would really appreciate a posting that would explain what happened and how one can secure ones site from this type of hack. On a side issue, search for Jennifer convertibles is dominated by unhappy clients. How would one go about displacing these results in the SERPs? Thanks.

Barry Schwartz

10/25/2006 09:56 am

I will update this post to explain how this happened. Seobie, yes, Ill get into our plan to target those bad results.

Yan

10/26/2006 11:05 pm

My friends Word Press blog was just hacked. The message says: "HaCKeD By BeLa & BodyGuarD" If you search google by the term it actually returns 89,700 results. All these seem to be hacked sites.

Adeel

10/27/2006 06:03 am

Hi well this is another clear case of XSS-Cross Site Scripting .... this is the kind of a threat which is DEVASTATING but un-known to many ... check this out >> http://www.site-reference.com/articles/Search-Engines/Defend-Against-Black-Hat-SEO-Your-Webhost-Can-Help.html AH

Terry Light

11/06/2006 09:36 pm

Just to be clear, I wrote "Jennifer Convertibles - A Furniture Horror Story," and for the time being it will be number one instead of number two or so, but I had nothing to do with any hack, nor would I know how to accomplish such a thing. But I like that the page with my article is number one.

Jenna Ryan

01/14/2007 03:32 am

I am living in a nightmare! I'm no bigtime SEO, but a hardworking, normal SEO who writes a lot of content. This has happened to my site apparently. It's enough to make me cry--more than once.

Carl

03/17/2008 02:56 pm

Interesting information. Thanks!

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