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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Beware Nasty URL Hack on Verified Local Pages



    The URL hack you see above appears to be pretty widespread and has been around for some time.
    I just learned of it today.

    Here is the Google Business Community Post: Interesting URL. Local Consultant Kyle G was doing an audit for an attorney client and found a duplicate page with the offending URL.

    You'll see that Helmut said it's a known issue and points to a thread from back in August about it. I assume he and others have escalated and if not, I will.

    There are thousands more listings like one above. Here's another Dentist example:
    https://plus.google.com/wm/www.gif.l...86505186/about

    But if you search Google+ for it, the correct URL shows up: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107865825745486505186/about.

    So is that considered a duplicate page or just another version of the URL?
    And how the heck did they do it???

    Here are searches for just 2 industries that show thousands of Google Local hacked pages with that "gif.ly sucks off" URL injection. Plug these queries into Google and see tons more.

    HTML Code:
    site:plus.google.com "gif.ly" "dental
    HTML Code:
    site:plus.google.com "gif.ly" "attorney"
    Just replace with different local keywords like plumber and you'll see tons more.

    So you might want to search for your client's name like this to see if they are affected:
    HTML Code:
    site:plus.google.com "gif.ly" "business name"

    Oh SHOOT: Just took my own advice and Googled my business page "Catalyst eMarketing" it's not affected but my new Local Search Community that has 104,000 members is!

    Check out the URL to Local Search Dynamics

    Oh and FYI it's happening on G+ brand pages as well, I only highlighted Google Local because that's our primary focus.

    The GOOD NEWS! I don't think customers would ever see this. And I suspect it's not a problem. Initially I was concerned because Kyle said it was a duplicate page. But in thinking more about it, I think it's just a different version of the URL and I think you only see it if you specifically search like I did with the query strings above.

    Welcome to the wild wild web. Hackers suck!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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  3. #2
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    Re: Beware Nasty URL Hack on Verified Local Pages

    Wow. How did they even do that?
    Scott Rawlins - Find Local Company in Atlanta GA
    Follow Me on G+

  4. #3
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    Re: Beware Nasty URL Hack on Verified Local Pages

    In searching further I see it reported on the Google Reddit page in July:
    Weird Google+ links about "www.gif.ly-sucks-off-sam-breed"?
    (I assume that's not an official channel?)

    And on the Google Webmaster forum in Oct:
    www.gif.ly-sucks-off-sam-breed ????? - Google Product Forums

    Google TC Bas69 replied:

    "The result of a scraper that uses content from others for some strange reason. The question is why Google more here yet no action has been taken. This "problem" has been going on a while.?"
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  5. #4
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    Re: Beware Nasty URL Hack on Verified Local Pages

    After thinking about this some more and running more queries, I added this to the bottom of the top post.

    The GOOD NEWS! I don't think customers would ever see this. And I suspect it's not a problem. Initially I was concerned because Kyle said it was a duplicate page. But in thinking more about it, I think it's just a different version of the URL and I think you only see it if you specifically search like I did with the query strings above.

    What do you think??? I'm still a little puzzled about what's technically going on.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  6. #5
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    Re: Beware Nasty URL Hack on Verified Local Pages

    This isn't just verified local pages it is any Google+ Page.

    It's been around as long as I can remember, trollface-meme is another you see a lot.

    Probably best not to say too much in open forum, but all Google+ Pages can be manipulated.

  7. #6
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    Re: Beware Nasty URL Hack on Verified Local Pages

    I don't really get the point? Who is benefiting anything by doing this?
    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO [, a 260+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

  8. #7
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    Re: Beware Nasty URL Hack on Verified Local Pages

    Ya I don't get it either. I guess just the "fun" of defacing something like hackers and taggers do???
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  9. #8
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    Re: Beware Nasty URL Hack on Verified Local Pages

    Are we meant to do anything with these if we discover them? They now all seem to return a 404 (at least any of the one's I've tried), and I don't think it's something you can find unless you specifically look for it.

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