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How To Remove Your Competition From MSN Live


How To Remove Your Competition From MSN LiveI recently came across an article that explained in step by step instructions how to remove your competitors pages from MSN live. I haven't tried this myself, it's not my style, But i thought i should tell you about it in case someone starts doing it to you.

I'll try to explain, as i understand it, Why MSN will dump the pages out of the index and what you can do to protect yourself against an attack of this kind. At the moment the MSN live algorithm definitely has a few bugs, So even if this does work now im sure it wont last long. It certainly wont remove a site from MSN live forever.

How Does it work?

Unfortunately MSN have screwed up the part of their algo in MSN live that deals with duplicate content. Where as Google and Yahoo will more than likely just not count your duped pages MSN will drop all pages, new and old, from the index entirely.

So if MSN is able to follow different URLs to your site and find the same pages it will drop all duped pages from the index.

This is going to drastically effect people who use affiliate links in order to track who sends them visitors. Most times the affiliate page will be identical regardless which URL is clicked to get there, So MSN live will see this as dupe content and drop the pages.

If you can visit a page with URLs that look like the following and each time the page is exactly the same it's possible the site is vulnerable.
domain.com/page.php?var=1
domain.com/page.php?var=12
domain.com/page.php?var=123
domain.com/page.php?var=1234

IMPORTANT: If your site does not return a 200 OK status then it's not vulnerable. A 200 status is what the server sends when it has received the request, Understood what you want and sent the page. If your server send any other status when you try this it's not vulnerable.

How To Fix It?

Fixing it and protecting against it is fairly simple. We simply have to make sure your server does not send a 200 status when the fake GET URLs are used.
I would recommend a 301 status
if($_GET) {
ignore_user_abort(true);
header ("Pragma: no-cache");
header("Cache-Control: no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate");
header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
header("Location: http://www.yourdomain.com/");
header("Connection: close");
exit;
}


Hopefully MSN live will fix this before too many people become effected and with any luck they will be quick when it comes to clearing up any mess caused by this.

I wouldn't reccomend trying this to dump your competition out of the index, It's not very nice. And besides, It's not like it's going to be premenant and MSN will more thsn likely fix it before you even see changes.
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