Why is a mortgage site Google? Hijjack or mistake?
An interesting find today by a Dutch SEO company. Apparently if you search for "Google Germany" or "Google France" in any given language in Europe there is a result which seems to be Google itself, but isn't. But then again is.
The website Ghlplc.co.uk is owned by the GHL Group, a UK mortgage and loan company. The company has no use of getting ranked this high on these terms and not getting clicks, so its worth looking into.
It is strange that such a result pops up in the Google SERPS (which have been quite strange lately anyway). Looking at it with the "standard SEO" point of view it makes no sense because the site is not optimised to rank for these kind of terms, but it looks like we shouldn't look at it this way.
So we did some more research.
Looking in the Google index it shows that the site has been indexed for loads of languages, but all Google pages. That would mean they will not only rank for Google Germany and France but also for other languages.
When you go to the url http://www.ghlplc.co.uk/ you will be redirected to Google. A DNS traceroute also sends you to Google, all the way back to Mountainview to be exact. That could point to an intentional redirect. By Google itself maybe? Or has GHP made a mistake?
The answer might also be very simple: it could be a wrong www-redirect. After all, when you type in http://ghlplc.co.uk/ you are being redirected to the site of the mortgage holders. Or it could just be proxy-related.
A DNS - traceroute might give us the answer. As said, the site with www sends us to the US. Without the www we are getting a Birmingham UK hosting company.
So what's going on? It looks like a hijjacking, but, a hijjacking by Google...? It doesn't make sense for Google to do that, as it doesn't make sense for the GHL Group to be ranking on this. They won't get any traffic out of it. So what is this? So far we haven't figured it out yet, but somewhere something has gone wrong...
Jon Myers calls it "Index Highjacking", what would you call it?
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12 June 2013 / 13 June 2013