The Story Behind referer=www.clickfind.com.au

March 5, 2010 at 12:32 am 1 comment


I thought it be time to write about the referer=www.clickfind.com.au that’s been going around, why it was created and how it got distributed.

The referer=www.clickfind.com.au was initially implemented on www.clickfind.com.au, but only for Australian websites that were actually listed in our database. The reasoning for it was to show people that their link was indexed through our site, and that a link from our site to that page made it rank higher. After all, that’s what our clients are paying us for – to rank better in the search engines.

After receiving some complaints from clients we decided to disable this function on www.clickfind.com.au and clients would just have to take our word for the fact their business was ranking higher after listing with us.

At some stage we had another project going called isverified.org, this website was to work closely with clickfind, point of difference being; it would be completely free to list. We invested a serious amount of money in a database of businesses and published those on isverified.org, only to quickly find out that what we purchased had actually been scraped of the Yellow Pages website, so we had to can that project, not wanting to throw the baby out with the bath water we started using a Yahoo web service to allow people to perform searches on the isverified.org domain, the search results would have the referer=www.clickfind.com.au in it from legacy code, although we were aware of this being in there, the thinking was that these results would not be indexed, as to get to these results, one would have to enter a search term in the search box and click “search”, and search engines don’t do this (or do they, are they getting sneaky, do they index via the browser toolbar?).

Example of search results

http://www.isverified.org/results.cfm?typeIdentity=3&doSearch.x=&keyword=test&doSearch=search

The offending code

<li>

<p style=”color:#666666; margin-bottom: 1em”>

<a href=”http://www.test.com/?referer=www.clickfind.com.au” onClick=”window.open( this.href ); return false” onKeyPress=”onclick()” title=”Opens in a new window”>Test.com</a><br>

Offers practice online tests for many career fields and entrance exams.

</p>

</li>

Several months ago we found out that the referer=www.clickfind.com.au was still being indexed, so we started looking where this was still implemented, and the only place it was implemented was isverified.org, we removed this about a month ago. It’s now up to the search engines to remove this from their index.

To make a long story short – we were responsible for implementing this? Yes, without a doubt, was it intentional, yes it was intentional for our clients. It was not however meant to spread to anything outside our database, and how those search results on isverified.org got indexed still puzzles me.

What we did was not illegal, and was not meant to hurt anyone in any way, linking to a site with a query appended certainly wouldn’t have been an issue a couple of years ago. The only intention was to be able to show people they were getting what they paid for.

How do I feel about the whole thing? I wish Google would hurry up and re-index, do I feel bad about this? No certainly not, not my fault that Google changes their algorithm and indexing rules and how they chance them.  Was it illegal? Hell no! Do I welcome anyone to start their lawsuit, bring it on if you feel like wasting your time, might bring some welcomed publicity, what was it again that they say “Any publicity is good publicity”…

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Entry filed under: clickfind Business Directory. Tags: , , , .

Australian Online Search and Directories Advertising Market 32 seconds media – 32seconds-media.com = Spammers

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Tamar Goldstein  |  April 2, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Why does anyone have a problem with this? Anything that gives you a one way backlink has got to be good!! Especially with Page Rank 5!!

    Who are these stupid people??!!

    The only reason I was checking into it was that I saw it as a referring link on my Local Search Listing and just wondered who it was!!

    All I can say is Thank You!

    Cheers,
    Tamar Goldstein

    Like

    Reply

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