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May 23, 2005

Google AdSense site hijacked in the Google serps... oh the irony

When you decide to hijack a site in the Google serps, it makes sense to do one that will benefit you in some way, while not raising yourself too high on the search engine's radar. So, it obviously makes perfect sense to go and hijack the Google AdSense site ;)


Yes, the first result for "Google AdSense" and "AdSense" goes to www.all-in-one-business.com/adsense/, which if you click it, goes straight to the Google AdSense main index page. And if you watch the redirect fast enough, you can see the www.all-in-one-business.com/adsense/ page sitting pretty with a PR9. The actual Google AdSense main page is a grey bar. The Google cache of the www.all-in-one-business.com/adsense/ page also shows the Google AdSense index page.

What is more, that all-in-one-business.com page has managed to amass 3,040 backlinks. All of those backlinks - including internal links within the AdSense support site - are actually pointing to www.google.com/adsense/, even though the link command "link:www.all-in-one-business.com/adsense/" was used in Google.


And in fact, doing a search for the www.google.com/adsense URL in Google reveals that the page is not indexed as itself, but only as www.google.com/adsense?hl=en_ US&sourceid=aso&subid=us-et-ads.


So, just for fun, lets plug www.all-in-one-business.com/adsense/ into Google, and see what happens.


And suddenly, there is the extended version of the AdSense URL showing for the page listing information.

Welcome to the Google Update Bourbon ;)

Of course, there is just far too much irony in the fact a Google program's URL has been hijacked in its own search results. Don't wait to check, I am sure this one won't last long! Kudos to Dotcomicide for noticing that Google AdSense no longer had the first ranking for AdSense in the Google serps... then I couldn't resist digging a little further into why that was ;)

Posted by Jenstar at May 23, 2005 08:42 PM

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Great work.......

Posted by: Hardik at May 24, 2005 12:04 AM

really amazing, but that's the truth...

Posted by: mac-t. at May 24, 2005 12:28 AM

nice find! :)

Posted by: rich at May 24, 2005 01:32 AM

It's still there. Here's the source:

Posted by: lsm at May 24, 2005 09:28 AM

{META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="0; URL=https://www.google.com/adsense/"}

Posted by: lsm at May 24, 2005 09:32 AM

And now the guy has amassed hundreds, if not thousands, of links from blogs, etc. pointing to his page. If he were smart, he'd work a deal with one of the other contextual advertising programs.

Posted by: BrianL at May 24, 2005 10:23 AM

Another great example of recycling SERP results (links and relevancy), this time using adsense serps. Awesome gymnastics! Ah, the power of recycling http://www.miislita.com/fractals/fractal.html


Posted by: orion at May 24, 2005 03:44 PM

I know webmasters have been complaining to GOogle for quite a while about this, with Google saying it's not that important an issue. Do you think Google will finally take action? I know that as of Tuesday night the SERP still shows the pagejacker as #1. I guess we can interpret that to mean that Google will stick to their guns in their statements that 302 redirect isn't important.

Posted by: RFM at May 24, 2005 08:08 PM

This has actually been going on for quite a while. Spammers using a couple of different techniques to hijack pagerank. And there is also some examples of the use of these techniques along with cloaking to hijack SERP placements as with adsense.

There is also alot of sites out there that are "adding up the pagerank and mirroring the pagerank", so that site A and site B will have the same pagerank and a backlink check will show the exact same links. This has been possible for at least 2½ year.

Posted by: stefanjuhl at May 24, 2005 11:38 PM

This is amazing right in your face Google ! And the additinal links he gets from blog is good form him :(

Posted by: Air Charter at May 25, 2005 12:16 AM

The overblown use of "hijack" regarding this scenario is bothersome. It's not a hijack unless regular users get something other than a 301 as well in an attempt to divert their visit. Granted, Google has always had issues deciding which URLs to show for 301, and this is certainly in the spotlight.

Bottom line, I click on it and I get to the Google Adsense page. I was ushered, not hijacked.

Posted by: kj at May 25, 2005 12:35 AM

I want to thank JenSense and others for posting this thread.

Thanks for the comment Air Charter. I just got off the phone with two different tech writers explaining why I would have a meta redirect on my site.

It isn't an attempt to profit from either Google's page rank or some cloaked affiliate link.

I am no hijacker. In fact, I'm not sure how I could in any way benefit from this link.

The simple fact is this: I write and syndicate articles all over the web. I used to put into those articles direct links to sites I was talking about.

A couple years ago I had a problem when I had written and syndicated several articles about GoTo.com when they changed their name to Overture. There were dozens of websites to notify and ask them to update the links in my articles.

So I decided to begin using meta refresh redirects rather than listing the URL's directly. I can then keep the links current in all the articles I write.

Hopefully Google will look at this and decide to make some changes so this won't occur. It's hard to believe I got a number 1 listing without trying.

Posted by: Kevin at All-In-One-Business.com at May 25, 2005 12:29 PM

Googles update Bourbon is a complete mess, with quality websites loosing their search positions. This seems to be caused by Yahoo allowing RSS feeds on their search engine results, crimal organisations have taken these RSS feeds and build thousands of scrappy sites. Stealing descriptions and links from sites that rank well in Yahoo.
In turn this have triggered Googles new trust rank pensalisation - gaining too many links too quickly. So they penalise the site being linked to from the scrappy sites.
Ironically the scrappy sites seem mostly to be using adsense around the links stolen from the feeds.
So all the best sites are being stripped from the Google search engine.. while Yahoo has been ranking them high.

Yahoo is stealing Googles own search results!
How ironic is that !

Google has well and truely been caught with their pants down this time.

Posted by: Innocent website victim of Bourbon at May 25, 2005 04:18 PM

Get ready to be slashdotted


Posted by: D.W at May 26, 2005 11:02 AM

oink oink, just here to eat some bandwidth.

this really makes me want to meta a bunch of places..

I wonder what will happen if I hijack using meta, and then change the meta's to point at each other back and forth.. hmmm I <3 loops!

Posted by: slashdot troll at May 26, 2005 11:43 AM

Hi all,

I know Kevin and I am sure that his explanation is really what he was doing. I read his ezine as well and all the links in them go to simple meta refresh pages at his site to keep the links working.

I do the same for all of my affiliate links. This way if one changes, I just change my web page... not hundreds of article links!

I hope it helps him in some way and shows others that sometimes things do happen by accident.

I don't really like the "tone" of some of the people who refer to what happened as Kev hijacking google... I think a hijack is something done intentionally and this wasn't.

So maybe they should have at least asked him about it before assuming what was said on the first blog was true and placing the same comments on their blog or basing their comments on the original logs comments and not basing their comments on what really happened. :)

"Techie" Teri Mramer

Posted by: Teri Mramer at May 26, 2005 12:24 PM

ah,indeed, awesome

Posted by: Poh at May 26, 2005 01:25 PM

Contrary to popular belief, I think the whole purpose behind the Google Web Accelerater was to filter out these kinds of things.

Read more about my thoughts:

Posted by: jehiah at May 26, 2005 02:12 PM

this also happens with CGI redirects when doing a link exchange with someone you uses this type of redirect


possibly killed a top 20 Google ranking for Search engine optmization

Posted by: A. SEO at May 26, 2005 08:08 PM

Really great post. I hope google will solve this problem finally.

Posted by: Alexei at May 26, 2005 11:26 PM

Cool findings...

Posted by: vivek at May 26, 2005 11:42 PM

Great Post!!! Bookmarked you. Google is in denial and it aint just a river in egypt.

Posted by: Bard at May 28, 2005 01:53 PM

Well, as Google pointed out a while back, hijacking only happens to spammy bad-neighborhood sites. It seems Google is right again.

Posted by: Chad at June 7, 2005 05:39 PM

hi i work with google adsense i make about 10-20 USD daily from google

Posted by: abedalnaser kaued almahasneh at September 25, 2005 11:50 AM