You saw it first on .TV

Whilst checking my sites through the Google Webmaster tools today I discovered that some duplicate content was being reported on two pages for Meta Descriptions and Title Tags.

On closer inspection it was actually the same page but Google had a listing for it that included a variable string that was nothing to do with me.

Original page link
New link

This was obviously an attempt by someone to mess with my sites listings in Google or to promote information about another site. I checked for the link in Google using
but as expected got no results

Then I searched for “?” and got 1,460,000 results!

How and why and what could be done by Google?

  • It would appear likely that there would have been a number of pages on a temporary website that listed the urls with the additional query string “?”
  • It seems obvious that his is an orchestrated campaign to create a presence for
  • I am somewhat surprised that this seemingly obvious technic is not already captured by Googles algorithms and if not I would suggest that this should be looked at ASAP. In the meantime it would also make sense to find someway of removing the majority of the 1,460,000 results

Quick fix
I used VBScript to check for the variable and then perform a 301 redirect to the page without the variable

Dim NewRef
NewRef = Request.QueryString(“ref”)

If NewRef <> “” Then
Response.Status=”301 Moved Permanently”
Response.AddHeader “Location”, “

End If

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