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Help: A domain name redirecting to my site

Located in General Domain Discussion started by Bob Hawkes, Jul 5, 2018.

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  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    I hope that someone here can provide insight and suggestions re this....

    For many years I have had a blog reviewing science apps. It gets some traffic (about 190,000 visits over many years), and I have earned modest Adsense from it.

    When I checked my Adsense a couple of days ago I noticed that I had a domain name I didn't recognize. I don't want to give it traffic, but if anyone wants to know the name PM me. It is ozt******.xyz, in case anyone else has had similar issues.

    I discovered that the domain name is (with masking) redirecting to my blog, just as though it was the site of my blog. Also, it has generated more than usual clicks, all from Turkey, last two days.

    So what to do?
    (a) For the life of me I can't seem to see any way to alert Adsense other than filling out a technical form from Adsense, which I have done alerting them (twice).
    (b) With GDPR it is hard to get much, but I was able to determine that the name was first registered at Namecheap on June 30. I have filled out a ticket at Namecheap asking them to hopefully deregister the site, or at least send them a warning.
    (c) I could also determine that the DNS have been moved from Namecheap to Cloudflare. I can't, without being a customer, figure out a way to request them to do something (perhaps Namecheap will alert them).
    (d) I did not want my Adsense account to be deactivated, so I took all ads off the page for now. Of course there is nothing to present directing to some other page.

    Would really like advice re what might be the game in this for them. I still control the site, so not sure how they benefit, or is it just a malicious attack?

    Also, any advice on more directly contacting Adsense or Cloudflare would help.

    Anything else I should do?

    Thank you,

    PS I should have clarified, this is not to any of my own domain sites, but a blogger site. So I can't use commands to prevent redirection to it.
     
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  2. anantj

    anantj Top Member VIP

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    Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do as Blogger does not allow that sort of control. I don't remember but I think blogger allowed Javascript at some point. So you can try to detect the referred using JS and block the visitor right then and there (or, if you really want to be nefarious, redirect the user back to the previous domain so that they get into a neverending loop). I don't know if this will work but something that you can try to explore. Also, please do ensure that you are not violating Blogger's ToS with this.

    If you use a custom domain, there is another possible way:
    Create a new landing page for the domain. The page does not really need to contain any content but it has code to perform the check as above and redirect the user. For legit users, you can simply redirect them onto your blogger site. If you do go by this route, do make sure all your canonical URLs continue to function by redirecting the users to the correct path
     
  3. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    Thank you for the suggestions, @anantj ! I actually am in early stage of using a website rather than blogger for the content, but not near to operational. I had not thought of simply directing it, which I can do of course. The problem is that with about 8 years I have built up various people linking to the blogger site, and with almost 200,000 visitors I don't really want to break that link.

    I just hope Adsense won't cancel my account for something I had nothing to do with!
     
  4. anantj

    anantj Top Member VIP

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    With some careful implementation, you can get this done without breaking the links. Just thought of another method - Use Cloudflare on your domain/blog, i.e. you point your domain to Cloudflare DNS and configure the domain and corresponding links in Cloudflare to the blog and individual post pages - this is possible - https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/e...n-I-use-CloudFlare-with-a-Blogger-com-domain-) and through Cloudflare, either block all traffic from Turkey or possibly block the IP(s) if the traffic is from one or limited set of IPs. You might have to play around to ensure your blocks are to point and not overly broad which might then impact legit readers
     
  5. mr-x

    mr-x Acme Domains Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If your hosting with APACHE, you can use an .htaccess file to block traffic based on the referrer. This isn't 100% accurate because browsers can turn referrer information off.

    Here's an example.

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} bad-domain.xyz
    RewriteRule .* - [F]

    This will give a 403, access denied error to visitors, clicking a link or being redirected from bad-domin.xyz

     
  6. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    Thank you very much, @mr-x but it is a blogger account so my understanding from documents online is that you can't use .htaccess files with it. But this is really useful information to have in case they next try a redirect to one of my hosted sites.

    I am still waiting to hear from Namecheap - the domain was just registered on June 30, so I am hoping they will take some action against the owner.

    Can someone help me understand what purpose the person is doing this for?
     
  7. carob

    carob Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    In Adsense you can restrict what domains your ads appear on, ie just create a list of allowed domains.
    That is a sensible precaution because otherwise someone can copy your Adsense code and paste it onto a site that violates Adsense ToS.
     
  8. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    I have just spent a while in Adsense controls trying to do that - can you tell me where it is please? Thank you so much in advance! (I just need to know what setting it is under)
     
  9. carob

    carob Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hi first you need to enable Site Authorisation: https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/65062?hl=en-GB

     
  10. anantj

    anantj Top Member VIP

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    In this instance, the domain is still @MetBob's. The mal-actor is redirecting visitors from their domain (something.xyz) to @MetBob's domain/site
     
  11. anantj

    anantj Top Member VIP

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  12. carob

    carob Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If a domain appears in your Adsense it means your ads have appeared on that domain - so it is worth ensuring that is not allowed. That does not solve the separate problem of someone redirecting a domain to your blog but it removes the risk of having your Adsense account closed for inappropriate use - there is no appeal procedure and you lose your balance.
     
  13. MapleDots

    MapleDots Domain Properties 2010 - 2019 VIP

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    There are break out of frames scripts, just use one and everything goes to your address.

    Problem solved

    Most masked sites use frames.
     
  14. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    Thank you for all of the suggestions.

    I took all my ads off my blog, but realize that the one at .xyz still had my content with the ads. I think that means they just copied everything from my site, including the ads, rather than redirecting to my site.

    Therefore I turned on site authorization in Adsense, and then authorized all of my sites (but obviously not the fake one). My understanding is that should make it impossible to serve ads on the fake site linked to my Adsense account. They still show up with ads now, but I presume the ad serving changes take a little while to take effect.

    I have heard back from Namecheap, and they as registrar of the domain name are not willing to do anything about it even though clearly whoever owns that domain has copied all of my content from blogger.

    I have not had a reply to my two messages to Adsense.

    I am upset that someone scraped from blogger years of my posts and are serving it on their site as though they are me.

    Bob

    ps Good news just as I went to post it. The site on the fake .xyz domain is no longer running a copy of my blog, but now something in Turkish.
     

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