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John Andrews gives a quick and easy way to set up a "time bomb" on clients sites using the "Unavailable-After" command. While not something I condone, I admire it’s simplicity and forward thinking. I bet a few people could even come up with some quick improvements.
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from AmyGreer 3787 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Holy cow - that’s a powerful tool in the hands of the less-than-conscientious. Great suggestion from the author on making it "the new very-first-thing-to-check when doing an SEO site audit."

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from AdamAudette 3787 Days ago #
Votes: 0

So lame. Yet creative, so sphinning this. It’s evil genius, although you could probably do the same thing w/ a simple noindex. But what guarantee is there that when the tag’s removed it’ll get indexed again, and in a reasonable time? guess that doesn’t matter to the shady SEO extortionists.

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from Sem-Advance 3787 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Its always great to publish how people can be bigger cheats, scam artists, and con jobs. Great that Sphinn supports such shite...Good job Danny.....not.

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from AdamAudette 3787 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@Sem-Advance: I think it’s good to get this stuff out in the open. Knowledge is power, and hopefully this can help someone, somewhere. :) I agree it’s pretty disgusting that someone would do this, too. It gives SEO a bad name.

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from johnandrews 3787 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@SEM-Advance this is a search marketers forum, the exact place where such things should be discussed (so everyone is aware). Ignorance is everyone’s enemy. As for Graywolf’s attempt to color my blog black, well, he’ll have to try harder than this.

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from MiriamEllis 3786 Days ago #
Votes: 0

How insidious! Geez. You’d think Google might have predicted this. AmyGreer, I agree with you that it may become important to check for this, but I have now read the description of what the criminally-minded guy is doing and I don’t really understand how one would check for this. The article says, "He sets unavailable_after to read in a date via a dynamic script, from a central flag stored on the server. Each month he updates that central date flag to track his client’s account status. As soon as his client has ceased to maintain on his month-to-month SEO extortion program, the unavailable_after meta tag ceases to maintain, and becomes and expiration trigger for the web pages in the Google SERPs." It doesn’t sound from this as if you could check for this in the actual meta data, in the code. Where, then, would you be looking for this? Can anyone explain this to me a little more simply? I’d appreciate it! Miriam

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from Teddie 3786 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Even though it’s severely malicious and potentially illegal it’s not particularly new or sophisticated because it’s easy to spot, and if he’s just modifying the in page meta tags he could just as easily dropped nocache / noindex meta tags in there on a given date and achieved the same effect. Likewise if he’s using modified HTTP server headers which would be a bit more clever why go to the trouble of using x-robots which would be obvious. Again he could have just switched the HTTP server headers to 404 or 500 which will usually confuse the hell out of most site admins because the site will work and look perfect but their listings will disappear faster than a snowball in Hades - and yes I have seen this occur before but as a server administration mistake rather than to intentionally cause disruption, so it should be on your checklists anyway. @Miriam - for Meta Tags read the source code - for HTTP headers you can use http://www.seoconsultants.com/tools/headers.asp or install HTTP Live Headers for Firefox. Also check out Google Webmaster Central for indexing issues, although I am not sure whether they have incorporated support for x-robots tags into the GWC reports yet? If not they better hurry up and do so.

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from TimDineen 3785 Days ago #
Votes: 0

When I first read this, I discounted it as flat wrong - i.e. I don’t think the tag would work in such a way that you could continue to update the date... does anyone else see it this way? I wouldn’t imagine that G would want to read a page and catalog the termination date and yet allow someone to constantly change that date. I bet that once you state an end date Google will, at the very least, discount the page after that date has passed - even if the date changes.

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from MiriamEllis 3785 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hehe, Teddie, I live in a world of source code! It’s the hidden stuff that worries me, and is unfamiliar to me. I will check out the tool...thank you so much! Miriam

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