iPowerweb Host is Hacked or Spamming

May 12, 2008

If you host any of your websites at iPowerweb Host, you should quickly check to make sure that they are alright. Thousands of iPowerweb clients have files and directories on their websites that they did not place there. These files and directories seem both to spam Google with unwanted links and some try to download potentially harmful files. Of course, these files will quickly harm your website’s SERPs.

You can see the extent of the damage by doing a search on Google for “4some girls” with quotes. You’ll see website after website with a nonsense subdirectory name, such as “jqywy” with hundreds of spammy pages under it, all on reputable websites. See the screenshots below.

If you look at the homepage of the sites listed in the screenshots above, you can see that they are all legitimate businesses. However, they all have a subdirectory dealing with 4some girls, 4some lesbians, etc.

Looking further, all of these websites use as nameservers ns1.securehostserver.com and ns2.securehostserver.com, which appear to be owned by iPowerweb.

It’s not clear at this point how these directories got there – whether this is a result of a massive hack of iPowerweb’s accounts, or whether this was placed there directly by iPowerweb.

Sabotaging Websites – A New Way To Do It

April 24, 2008

There are many ways to sabotage a website, but today I found out that one of my websites was sabotaged in a way that I had never seen before.

A few months ago, I started a new, content-rich website. It included about 100 articles. Like I often do with a new website, I got a few backlinks to the site, then left it to age a few months before seriously promoting it.

Today I returned to that website to find it had some serious ranking and indexing problems in Google. I tried to figure out what was going on and found that someone had used a very creative way of sabotaging the website.

What this person had done was take almost every single article from my website, and submitted them to many article directories. However, the articles were submitted with his byline and with a link to his websites! Since then, many other websites had syndicated these articles from the article banks – and all of these syndicated articles were linking to his websites.

Now, it looks to Google like my website is simply a copy of free articles available in article directories, with little original content. In short – little original content = not worth indexing or ranking. What’s more, this person’s website is getting credit for all of these articles, as most of the copies on the web are linking to his website.

Normally, I don’t care much if someone copies from my websites. I think Google is pretty smart about it, and as long as your content is cached first, you should be alright most of the time. However, in this case, with so many copies of most of the articles from my website, and all of them attributing authorship to someone else, it’s a big problem. It’s an even bigger problem for brand new websites (like mine) as these sites will not yet have earned much trust or authority in Google.

I can’t think of what I can do about this other than start from scratch, which is very disheartening (and expensive). If anyone has any thoughts about how to deal with this, I’d appreciate the input. And of course, in the future, I will be more vigilant about checking for people copying my websites.

Domain Registrar Secrets Revealed!

April 20, 2008

Have you ever bothered to read the fine print in the agreement you entered into with your registrar? Chances are you haven’t, and quite honestly, until now, nor have I. Well, for some weekend fun, I decided to do this. Here’s what I found that my registrar was guaranteeing:

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IdiotU.com – My Great New Domain

April 1, 2008

Just acquired a great new domain for my collection – IdiotU.com. Best of all, I didn’t even need to pay anything for it. That’s right, no cash at all. All I had to do was give this sucker one of my kidneys. Well, I needed to lose weight anyhow, and what a fast way to do it! Can’t wait to see how much traffic IdiotU.com gets!

Network Solutions Engaged in Front Running

January 8, 2008

Domain front running is the “practice of stealing someoneís domain name search queries and registering the domain name before the original person can register it.” According to ICANNís Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) they were not able to find any evidence that this practice exists, even though most domainers have experienced it.

Most registrar’s publicly state that they do not front run. However, Network Solutions really doesn’t care, and is now front running all domains that are queried on their website.

I gave it a try myself and looked up the domain name IAmADellCybersquatter.com at Network Solutions. Sure enough this was available. I then went to register it at Moniker, and was told that it was not available. I looked up the whois and the registrant is “This Domain is available at NetworkSolutions.com.”

So, there you have it – Network Solutions admitting to being a Dell cybersquatter.

In short, avoid Network Solutions like the plague. They have always been one of the most expensive in the industry, and now they are domain front running.

New York BBB

December 8, 2007

John Colascione points out that the BBB of New York has apparently failed to renew their domain bbbnewyork.org and it’s now a parked page. It looks to me like they are now using a subdomain of the main bbb.org site – www.newyork.bbb.org as their website. When I do a search in Google for “bbb new york” then bbbnewyork.org still comes up second and even has the address listed as an additional link in the SERPs. Archive.org’s last result for bbbnewyork.org is December 5, 2006 and it looks like the site was still live then. Someone needs to learn about domain management and 301 redirecting sites.

The Lazy Domainer’s Way to Fail

November 4, 2007

I thought I’d start a “smackdown” category of my blog where I refute a lot of the nonsense that’s out there about domaining. I’m somewhat scared to do this, as there is so much nonsense out there, that I could spend all of my time just adding entries to this category. However, I think that it’s worth at least refuting a few of these articles, just so that people know that there is another side to the story.

Today I read the article “Stay Away From Domain Name Speculation” at http://seanabc.blogs.ie/2007/11/03/stay-away-from-domain-name-speculation/. In this article, basically the author, even though he admits “I never got involved in domaining” does not hesitate to give advice about domaining. Oh, I never went to medical school, let me give you some medical advice. Not.

The author makes 5 fundamental errors, which all domainers would do well to avoid:

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