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Tuesday, 14 July 2009

43.gs: massive Google SERPs poisoning

I can't tell if this is accidental or deliberate, but there are a whole bunch of spam entries in Google for the 43.gs domain as you can see from this search.

It looks like some sort of redirect or copy, but the odd thing is that the 43.gs subdomain actually points to the legitimate server.

For example, ethviumvthvie.43.gs resolves as which belongs to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For some reason, the CDC server accepts requests for ethviumvthvie.43.gs as a request to display the genuine website.

As a result, Google has about 3.2 million results for 43.gs subdomains, all of which are duplicates of existing sites.

It looks like 43.gs offers some sort of legitimate URL shortening service based on subdomain names rather than the more common tinurl/bit.ly. Have the bad guys found a way to use this to their advantage? Are they suddenly going to switch traffic to somewhere bad?

43.gs is showing a small bump in traffic recently, perhaps as a result of this?

Presumably there is a way of telling your web server to reject this kind of request.

1 comment:

Eric Alexander said...

This looks like a well known BlackHat SEO technique. Take any domain and either resolve it to a URL with a high page rank or HTTP redirect to a URL with a high PR and you will mirror their PR.

It could be that somebody is trying to build up page rank or they are hoping to rank high in popular searches and then redirect to a bad site.