Definition

Theft of a page from the original site and publication of a copy (or near-copy) at another site.

Information

Pagejacking does not mean taking over a page on the original site. In fact, the original site can be completely unaware that the theft has occurred.

Pagejackers siphon off traffic indirectly though the search engines. The stolen pages are copies or near-copies of the original pages. The stolen pages are then submitted to the search engines in an attempt to duplicate the rankings of the original pages. After the pages are submitted, the stolen pages are switched in favor of pages which earn revenue for the thieves. To further complicate matters, sometimes cloaking is involved.

While very large, elaborate schemes have been uncovered, pagejacking is not the sole province of the technically proficient. Many would-be-thieves are of a decidedly low-tech variety.

Tips To Protect Against Pagejacking

For people with the time and expertise, cloaking is one way to protect your source code. Like most tools, cloaking can be used for wrongdoing, but also for legitimate purposes. Using cloaking to protect your source code is a preventative measure.

Unfortunately, sometimes corrective actions are needed; cases where your people (lawyers) need to talk to their people (webhosts). Before that happens, however, you need to determine if anyone is using your pages without your consent. One way is to search for phrases that should uniquely identify your site. This can be done by searching for large blocks of text using an “exact phrase” option. The odds of finding multiple occurrences of an exact phrase decrease as the size and complexity of the phrase increases.

Synonyms

n/a

Related Terms

search engine spam

Sites

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Mousetrapping and Pagejacking: Introduction

Articles

Pagejacking Complaint Involves High-Profile Sites
Search Engine Watch (May 12, 2000)

FTC Steps In To Stop Spamming
Search Engine Watch (October 4, 1999)