Google Investigating Polish Hacker Who Is Stealing Webmaster Rankings

Feb 8, 2016 • 8:34 am | comments (19) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

There is a thread in the Polish Google Webmaster Help forums that I've been tracking for a while. I don't speak Polish, but I've been given help on the translation from both Google Translate and webmasters. In short, Google is now investigating a hacker who is stealing traffic from other webmasters by tricking Google into thinking the hacker's site is the original one that should rank.

PDK explained the issue that has started last month:

A hacker hacks some website (let's call it "website A" - the website that is hacked) and he puts there subpages with copies of our (Polish webmasters') websites (let's call my websites as "website B"). The copies are put into an iframe. We (owners of "website B") are not hacked by him, he just copies code of our website and puts in the iframe on "website A". Now, the problem is that Google algorithm in many cases considers the malicious copy put by hacker on website A as THE ORIGINAL and the website B (our website which is the original) disappears from Google results. What's more, even after removing the hacked address of website A from the Google index our website (B) does not come back to the Google ranking.

So we are disappearing from the Google ranking without any fault of us (the hacker does not hack us but somebody else). The hacker hacks other servers because he doesn't want to be caught but in fact he could do this (make copies of our websites) on his own server and then due to algorithms failure we also would disappear from the results.

So we would like someone in Google to fix this problem because it's getting worse every day and it considers many webmasters. We are innocent victims of the algorithm problem - algorithm reads the copy as the original and then removes the original from the ranking.

Now, this type of hacking is not new. In fact, Google last year spent a month on preventing hacking, they called it NoHack and this is one of the many examples of issues.

Now, Michal Wicinski from Google responded asking for specific examples, which he then got and referred them to the search quality team.

Michal wrote:

Problem sites to which compromised is very important to us (every year we run many campaigns such as #NoHacked ), and we want it to on all fronts to fight the problem.

In the discussion, there are two problems: - Sites, which compromised displayed are highly ranked (by the good pages with unique content are displayed below) - Pages with the content copied disappear completely from the index

If you see spam in the search results (in this case the content added to the site as a result of burglary) Take advantage of this form . Such notification can expedite the detection and removal of spam from search results.

What to disappearing content pages of the original, I need concrete examples postron, which disappeared with the results (many examples given earlier been edited and removed). Give please some URLs from your site, which in your opinion have been affected by this issue, and on that basis I will be able either to help or pass on the problem on to our engineers.

Since then he referred the issue to the team.

One webmaster shared this screen shot showing how much traffic (or visibility) this hacker has seen recently from his hacking.

click for full size

Forum discussion at Polish Google Webmaster Help.

Update: The Google spam team is on the job.

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