Three Easy Steps to Protect Your Site from Spambots that can Hijack your Site's Content!
 by John Heard

How to avoid being deindexed when someone steals your content...
Three Easy Steps to Protect Your Site from Spambots that can Hijack your Site's Content! — by John Heard

Recently we've spoken with several webmasters who reported losing their rankings to an onslaught of proxy server hijacks. This is a problem that search engines have been fighting for some time and, unfortunately, it's raising its ugly head again to strike with a vengeance.

A proxy server hijack happens when a remote website sets up their server to display your content using a proxy server program. They typically do this to steal your content so they can insert affiliate links, ads, malware, or other nefarious schemes that attempt to monetize your content for their benefit. And, they don't just copy your content, they dynamically pull the content from your site (i.e., steal it) and republish it on their own site.

Unfortunately, Google and other search engines seem to have problems identifying these spam sites from the original sites and will sometimes index the content at the spam site. This creates problems with duplicate content, and can become an even bigger problem if Google decides that the proxy site is the original site and removes your site from their index.

This does happen—and it can be a real pain to fix! Fortunately there are a three simple preventative steps that will reduce the chances of this happening to your website. And, yes, now is a very good time to implement these three easy steps.

  1. Use absolute, not relative, links — Often, the links on your site pointing to your internal pages are relative links, such as:

    <a href="filename.html">Page Name</a>

    To help foil proxy server attacks you should instead use absolute links, which specify the entire path of the page being linked to, and look like:

    <a href="

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