So, the other night I was searching on Google and let’s just say that I could have been searching for dentists in Champaign, Illinois. And since I misspelled the state, I got some very, very curious SERPS such as the ones below.
Being curious about the results from the .info domains, I went ahead and clicked on one and there was a page that sorta kinda looked like a Google results page without the Google logo.
Even better, I took a minute and scrolled down to the bottom of this particular .info page which had apparently mirrored Google results page for “Champaign Illinois dentist”. It was this mirroring which made the bogus .info pages appear high in Google searches.
1) The top of the .info page is dominated by an iframe which pulls a query from a site called cleansearch.info.
2) Take a look at the bottom of the .info page. All of the links on the bottom of the page which vaguely mirrors a legit Google results page, despite anchor text, were going to pages with a .info TLD. These .info pages look to be related to one another and have that cleansearch iframe at the top.
3)All of the links are being tracked for clicks. (See this Webmaster World thread for which explains how onmousedown=”returnclk()” works.)
4)If you look at the source of the .info results page, you’ll see that there are many, many more of these .info domains out there.
5)Do I need to mention that the WHOIS information for any of the .info domains listed is bogus? (1fk489 WHOIS) And these domains, including (cleansearch WHOIS), have been recently registered this past month?
6)Do I need to mention that the hosting company for cleansearch is isprime, which has a “healthy” reputation on news.admin.net-abuse.sightings (Warning: Some NSFW messages)?
The questions remain, just who is cleansearch.info? Why are they trying to rank highly in SERPS with bogus results to siphon off and track traffic from Google? And just what are they going to do with their knowledge?