Mystery Links in Google - Scooby Doo, Where are You?

10 comments
Story Text:

Checking the back links in Google of a competitor of mine I noticed that the second domain in the results was mine. (with about 15 pages supposedly linking to my competitor's site) I don't ever remember adding links to this site so I looked at my site code.

Sure enough there are no links to the competition
I then looked at Google's cache for my site.
Again no links to this competitor site.

So how the hell did this site get credited with links from my site?

I'm either missing something obvious here or I'm about to find out the best way to get inbound links ever.

Has anyone else seen this, and what else should I be looking at?

Comments

Inspect Outbounds..

I'd look at all the outbounds on your page to see if one of the targets is cloaking a redirect to your competitor.

I would do like your store

I would do like your store sz, and check your backlinks for cloaking. If you don't find anything, I would go one step farther and check for 302 hijacking.

Have you had a large unexplained drop in traffic lately?

I've checked my outbound links

but the thing is, I control all the outbounds linked sites too.
One or two pages are redirecting/cloaking but are sending visitors to another one of my sites

well

can you find the same links listed at Yahoo or MSN seems a good first question.

wait I see it

Looks like I let one site slip.
The site (I know longer control) has been 301/302 redirected to that site so the backlinks have been passed through.
The the site was reset but Google does not seem to care

Damn, now I have to go unlink that site (sub-domain) from my network.

for anyone that is interested.
1) hack a free webhosting account
2) 301 redirect that site
3) wait for Google to see it
4) put old site back
3) wait for the new backlinks
4) profit

more evidence

of the importance of analyzing your competition.

that is so sneaky!

so your competitor actually hacked into one of your hosting accounts? or am i missing something there...

no, you got it spot on

but it was just a blog - still good black hat move.
Especially putting everything back so I did not know.
It was not until I looked at the google cache of that blog that I knew what was happening.

Thet'll teach me for using easy passwords.

Makes me smile.

Got'a give it up for that move.

actually not uncommon!

One of the standard data points in the competitive eval relates to competing website's hosting, # websites on same IP, and deeper analysis looks for "opportunitities" on the same server (easy to buy, webmaster likely to want a backlink in inventory, site not updated or announced move/relocation, etc).

Inside the SEO industry those appear even more tasty, because they are easier done than pitched/priced/executed/billed/etc.

No, this ha snothing to do with "ethics" lol

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