Google Checkout Search Result Apparently "Hijacked"

Apr 30, 2007 • 1:41 pm | comments (0) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

On a DigitalPoint Forums post, member Jon West notices that the searching for Google Checkout currently displays some interesting results: the Google Checkout page appears with the anchor text of "use google checkout on hibidder com free"

I was able to search for "Google Checkout" from two separate locations and was able to reproduce the result, which is below:

Google Checkout Results Apparently "Hijacked"

What could it be? Could the site have been hacked? Some members speculate that it was because of the ODP designation somewhere else:

I bet someone in the ODP is linking to https://checkout.google.com with the anchor text "use google checkout on hibidder com free" - and because the Google Checkout page doesn't have the no ODP tag, it is displaying what an ODP editor is using in some random category.

But then another member finds that hibidder.com is linking to Google Checkout, perhaps accidentally:

ok, it looks like http://hibidder.com/ is linking to https://checkout.google.com/ with the alt tag: "use google checkout on hibidder.com free", among other google sites.

So it doesn't look like they did it on purpose. Or even know what they did. Nice way to get their site known tho.

What do you think it could be? Digg the story and discuss it at DigitalPoint Forums.

Update: Danny also caught Jon's find and wrote on Search Engine Land about why this is occurring. Apparently, the text came from an ALT tag for an image! Do we need standards for pages lacking a title tag? Should the title be inherited from ALT tags? Not according to this example.

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