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SEO Assassination By Referral Hot-linking
Another dirty trick used to suck the lifeblood out of website urls
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Doc
Clearwater Fla

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12/21/2015 - 11:49 AM
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It's called Referral Spam by Hot Linking. Websites are specifically designed to suck the life out of popular - or in our case - articles that are deemed harmful to corporate America.

Sites like our example below will put the kibosh to your website or blog by linking to your articles or images. It's best to show them the door asap!

disavow spam referral websites hotlinking

There are ways to determine if your site is being linked to by a spam referral site. One of the easiest (and free) methods is by creating a Google Webmaster Tools account and verifying your domains. Also remember when submitting to include any https and also any subdomains you have. It will take about 30 days for Google to analyze and catalog your sites specifics, so be patient. cool

Log into your webmaster tools account and click on Search Traffic > Links To Your Site. Have a look at which websites are linking in to you. It's easy to see who the good referrers are and also who the leaches are. The whole idea here is to disavow the spammy domains.

My advice is to create a disavow file to upload to google. Here is a help page from Google that explains how to create a disavow file. I suggest using the domain method.

You are telling Google to please don't penalize my site because of these bad sites linking to me without my consent.

Do this for Bing / Yahoo webmaster tools. Select Configure my site > disavow links.

This website will allow you to generate an .htaccess block referrer by domain name code snippet. I suggest only advanced webmasters attempt this because your site will crash hard if it's wrongly implemented. Best bet is to ftp backup your existing .htaccess file before attempting this mod.

Just my two cents worth as usual.. Happy Holidays.. wink

Update 12/26/2015: Looks like this site had an xss vulnerability and is down as of this posting.

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Andrew Sullivan
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01/01/2016 - 8:51 PM
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Hey Doc, looks like ebay has there social media manipulation team hard at work burying your site.

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Doc
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01/06/2016 - 11:31 AM
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Always, 7 days a week, 365 days out of the year. Don't even think they take a holiday off. LOL! cool

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