Saturday, April 16, 2011

Away from Rogue Website Hosting Companies

Outright scams by website hosting companies are rare, but they do exist and should be watched out for. We had a case in the forum where the web host used the server to intercept all page requests for all sites of all of their website hosting customers. If a request was from a person, the normal page was returned, but if a request was from a major search engine spider, the web host’s server scam modified the page that was returned, by dynamically adding a set of links to it. This was done to all the web host’s customers’ sites, and without their knowledge or permission.

Most of the added links pointed to the web host’s own websites, but some pointed to non-existant (virtual) sub-folders within the customer’s site. When any search engine spider requested a page within those non-existant sub-folders, the system dynamically created a page of links to the host’s own sites, and the host’s sites got even more links pointing to them. When people requested any of the non-existant pages, they were redirected to the site’s home page, but for search engines, each hosting customer’s site contained sections that the customer didn’t put there, and didn’t know existed. The extra sections couldn’t be seen by FTP, because the sub-folders and pages didn’t physically exist. They were virtual, dynamically created, sub-folders and pages, which were only ever seen by search engine spiders. Read More
world's great web hosting guide