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Nonexisting pages being visited, then huge drop in ranks

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by joshinaround, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. joshinaround

    joshinaround Newbie

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    For the last few days, I've been receiving visits to random pages on my site that don't exist.

    For example:
    my site .com/VF4YhNem/index.html
    .../qaRKCS9T/index.html
    .../CmVZBonr/index.html

    These are not pages on my site and would take any would be visitor to a 404 page not found page of my site. These pages are being visited by unique IP's by about 30 different ones a day.

    Then, for the first time ever, in about 9 years, most of my SERP's that I've been tracking are no longer top 100.

    Anybody have an idea of whats going on?


     
  2. ninjacrx

    ninjacrx Regular Member

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    If you are using wordpress install plugin called "404 redirected" and set it up to automatically 301 redirect non-existent pages to most relevant ones.
     
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  3. joshinaround

    joshinaround Newbie

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    Sorry, Im not using wordpress. This is a ecommerce site using CS cart.
     
  4. joshinaround

    joshinaround Newbie

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    Im worried that this was part of some kind of attack that hurt my site?!
     
  5. Scritty

    Scritty Elite Member Premium Member

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    Occupation:
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    Re-submit sitemap to webmaster.
    Check the "errors"
    If they are false (i.e the URL's never existed) send an email to google explaining

    HOWEVER...
    The chances are these URLS (perhaps not pages) did exist, they are temporary ones created by your cart software for clients who are looking to purchase.
    Most cart software creates random "nonsense" URL's that last a certain amount of time for a client to fill in their details and such like. They are deliberately nonsense and temporary for obvious security reasons.

    On the off chance this isn't the case, do the Webmaster thing above, and explain to google you are being link spoofed. It's a very oooold way of making a site look bad by placing ficticious links to it in prominent areas around the web, thereby increasing the number of 404 and similar errors the site gets and possibly demoting it.

    However, this is a VERY old technique, and it's been widely reported that - as a loophole - it was closed many years ago. But maybe someone is trying it out again.

    Good luck.

    Scritty
     
  6. joshinaround

    joshinaround Newbie

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    Hey Scritty,

    Thanks for your input! I took your advice and checked out my sitemap and did find an error. I submitted an html version when it should of been XML. I was able to correct this. Thank you for drawing my attention to this. However, I don't feel this was the actual cause because this had been this way the for over 6 months and I still have 36K pages indexed.

    Despite having 36k pages indexed, I'm not ranking for anything for my home page like I was. The only SERP's that I'm showing up for are for some deeper pages and even those have fallen about 50 results or so.

    I don't think its my ecommerce company playing games, I just don't see why they'd link to a nonexisting page. They've never done this in the 7 years I've been with them and honestly, my site would be a bad example compared to others.

    Unfortunately, this "link spoof" really seems to be exactly whats happening. Is there a way to try to confirm this or combat it? Like somehow make all 404 pages redirect to my homepage? Also, why the hell would someone do this to my site?! I was barely ranking for anything, at best page two for anything major. Ugh!

    To give more insight to what I've been doing recently, I've ran a few SENuke campaigns last month, I'm currently subscribed to Article Ranks and have about 1,000 links from them, bought 500 G+1 votes last week...would any of this cause this? (Just a fyi, my domain is 9 years old and currently a PR3). The nuking and AR only seemed to have positive effects, it wasn't until I received these G+1 votes that these weird inbound links started appearing and then this major slap!

    Hopefully you can help me solve this dilemma! Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012