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I Can Get you Removed From Search Engines

One of my clients was talking to me today. He is using our search engine submission tool and was very confused as why his website was showing some weird string queries.

First background about his site. His site has been online since 2000 and is ranked very well on all search engines. He site is very much devoted to real estate.

Couple of days he discovered that his site shows some weird things. To protect my client website I will use (example.com).

What we have done is google “site:www.example.com”

This will show you how many urls of your website google has. However one search showed example.com/?link1=10

He was puzzled as to what the ?link1=10 actually means. So he called us and ask me about this weir stuff that was happening. I guess sometimes we go the extra mile for our clientsJ

What has happened?

What is this /?link1=10?. Nothing was indicating that he has this page on his website, in fact this exact page does not even exist, but yet google found it.

Page /?link1=10 or anything that has example.com/?something_goes_here are called string queries which are used to identify products or even real estate search for homes if customers can view homes on your website.

With result of google finding this weird page, google automatically lowered my client site to the unknown. Basically my client lost ranking from google and other search engines.

Why this happened?

Using sting queries you can simply remove any website from search results, however it will take time to do that. Your website first must return status code 200-OK. This 200 page is simply a soft lending page for your 404 page.

To give you an example, If you remove a page from your web-site and than you re-visit that page again it will show 404 error. In some cases you may set up a custom 404 page which results in “not found”.

To see what you have just go to your website and type “www.mysite.com/anythinguwant.html”.

This should return 404 page or custom 404 page.

But back to 202 pages. To see if your website returns 202 page, search for a tool online. Use “header checker” as your search term.

When you get result it should be similar to this: “HTTP/1.1 200 OK”. It has to show 200OK.

Here is how it works:

To remove pages from search engines you need to have a lots of duplicate content. When I say a lot, we are talking 100’s of pages of duplicate content. Simply one page has to be same as the other page and 3rd page has to be same as 4th pages…etc. They all have to be on your website.

So how this “hacker”..let’s call him that, did this. He did not have access to my clients server, but still he was able to remove his site.

What he has done is checked if his website returns 202 pages OK. If it did, he than assigned random pages to his domain name.

For example: example.com/index.html?haha=iwillremoveyou or example.com/index.html?link1page=330, or example.com/index.html?haha=link2page

You get the idea. What he has done, he has assigned a string query of “haha”. Than he copied all urls into some free hosting company and just wait and relax until search engine picks it up.

Form search engine point of view these are links that point to his domain. More links you have the quicker search engines return to your website.

Because these links were pointing to some new pages on his domain, search engine though that this was a duplicate page, and now there are two main pages, and suddenly his website dropped on all search engines.

See how easy that was? Guess what, MSN is very vulnerable to this! I am not sure if they fixed it yet. If you do this on MSN, it is almost guaranteed someone site will just disappear.

Rest of the search engines, google, msn, yahoo will just lower your ranking, but will not remove you. Not matter what , it is pain to get back to top search results.

How to fix it

You will need to do mod rewrite or 301 redirect .

Martin Lukac

  1. Passing Interest
    May 20th, 2012 at 04:54 | #1

    How can I get an out of date website to be removed from search engines?
    I am working for a small branch of a Japanese company in Nevada. Last year, on their website, the Japanese Government published some very harmful information about the Japanese head office. Although the information is irrelevent to the operations being run in the US, Japanese people/speakers often find this information and assume that it is both current and relevent to the work that I am doing, thus causing unnecessary damage to the business.
    Under Data Protection laws, my understanding is that all data held, including that by public bodies, must be kept up to date and accurate or be removed if is not. The Japanese Government information is now highly inaccurate yet they have refused to update it despite numerous requests from head office. Japanese Law waives all responsibility for public bodies, so there is no legal requirement for them to do anything.
    As most major search engines are US based, would they be legally responsible to take down links to the inaccurate government pages?

  2. Lilly
    May 20th, 2012 at 09:56 | #2

    You have to use the "Contact us" page on every search engine that turns up the unwanted site. Then ask them to remove it from the "Cashe" this will be done quite quickly, most of them ( google, yahoo , etc) update cashe’s regularly…but send them a request to be sure. It is a pain, somewhat time consuming…but the only effective solution.
    References :

  3. ourmaninparisphotos
    May 20th, 2012 at 09:58 | #3

    If you do not have access to the administration system for this site there is very little you can do. The search engines very rarely (if ever) interfere with their results. If they did they would be accused of manipulating the results and favouring one view over another.

    Regards, OurManInParis

    References :

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