Cenzic 232 Patent
Paid Advertising
web application security lab

Another Fun SEO Blackhat Spam Tactic

Searching through spam can be fun and annoying all at the same time. I found this beauty in my Wordpress moderation queue and thought it was worth a mention. Here’s a spam URL:

http://search.cnn.com/search?query=site%3Amultisquid.com%20-1995-mercury-outboard-serial-number

If you think about it, it’s a fairly ingenious tactic, using multiple sites to help your SEO. Firstly, they get me to link to a site (typically theirs, but in this case, it’s CNN, who is a trusted domain). Then CNN spits out the results (which would be there if Google hadn’t already nuked this site out of their index). The search engines follow their own results and give them link value. Very clever. No idea if it works or not, but it’s clever.

9 Responses to “Another Fun SEO Blackhat Spam Tactic”

  1. hackathology Says:

    Hi Rsnake, the link is not working. I have no idea how it works.

  2. fazed Says:

    looks like CNN have also “nuked” it from their database

  3. X-Man Says:

    @hackathology

    The thing is that CNN got their own Google search feed and no integratet Google custom search.

    So they generate own pages for every search query.
    http://search.cnn.com/search?query=site%3Aha.ckers.org/index.php&type=web&sortBy=relevance&intl=false

    You can see that Google Crawls the Search + Querys
    http://www.google.de/search?hl=de&q=site%3Asearch.cnn.com&btnG=Google-Suche&meta=

    You got a free Backlink from CNN.

  4. zeno Says:

    Using other website’s search engine integrations to other major engines (such as yahoo, google, etc) ’sort of’ works assuming no robots.txt restrictions on the path. I first discovered this trick 4 years ago but haven’t played much with it since. I’m pretty sure this is fairly known in the blackhat seo community at this point.

    One issue with such a trick is that not every page on cnn.com is the same strength as the more powerful pages such as / or a top ranked story spitting out tons of new links on websites. You’d have to SEO boost this new URL and keep generating new links to ensure it stays ’strong’ and if you’re doing this anyways why not do it with your site directly.

    - z
    http://www.cgisecurity.com/

  5. 0kn0ck Says:

    I think its a technique of inter dependency of finding relative links from other websites. But some times , let’s say google show a variable response that a query is being initiated from some spyware or malicious links. As a result the search engine does not perform pure
    search over that query. This can be due to filtering check google performs or by looking the originator. So google has this some what protective mechanism and all.

    So I think it depends on the search engine characteristics tooand the
    way it handles query internally.

  6. jwebber Says:

    one big advantage to this technique is knocking your competitors off the first page of SERPs. only 10 sites get on first page, if you are high on that list for a low-mid competition keyword, SEO a couple of these pages and they will rank on first page because of TLD strength, that will knock your competitor off first page. works beautifully…yahoo site search is also vulnerable to this…weather.com….enough said

  7. Quix0r Says:

    @X-Man: Thanks for your Google link. These results does already include links to search.cnn.com with the most spammed medicines. That’s the spammer’s work I suppose?

  8. Dmitri Ivanov Says:

    This is known for ages, and doesn’t work anymore

    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/xss-how-to-get-20-gov-links-in-20-minutes

    similar approach

    read comments for links to earlier articles on this topic

  9. rayearth2601 Says:

    yeah, another nice seo trick

    thanks