The Hyves trick: weirdest story of the year

Tue 20 January 2009 19:41, Evert Veldhuijzen

I think that the following story will be the weirdest story in search of 2009: at the moment it's possible to check if a domain got penalized for selling links just by checking the pagerank of a domain and putting "hyves" in front of that domain (as a subdomain)! This trick was posted in the German Abakus SEO forum this morning.

The Hyves trick: weirdest story of the year

Practically all you have to do is check the pagerank of The subdomain "hyves" should not exist!

You can get 3 possible answers:
PR7: everything is okay.
PR4: domain got penalized.
PRO: domain got banned.

So for example if you check the pagerank of or (known German linksellers, at least in the past :)) you get PR4. Just check a domain you're sure they never sold links and you will see it gives a PR7.

German SEO Sistrix tested this mysterious trick and released immediately a top 1000 list of penalized domains for the client's of the Sistrix Toolbox and a top 30 for all readers. Marcus "Mediadonis" Tandler shows some examples in his blog.

This is one of the strangest things I ever heard and I'm curious why this trick is working using the name of the most popular social media site in the Netherlands.....Anyone?

Does this work in all countries?

**Update 21/01** Like I expected, Google meanwhile closed this leak. And no, this was not a linkbait of Searchcowboys :)

  • Comments (6)
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Comments (6)


  • Works in Holland. Pretty weird especcially with Hyves being the biggest Dutch social network...

    Di 20 jan 2009, 21:38

  • This is definitely very weird! But it seems to work here in the Netherlands as well.

    Maby the Google engineers had a laugh about Danny Sullivan's piece "The Google Hyve Mind" ;)

    Let's see how long it takes for Google to shut this down :)

    Di 20 jan 2009, 21:46

  • Maybe they're just monitoring for which domains toolbar-PR are requested for hyves-subdomains too see if they still sell links :P

    Di 20 jan 2009, 22:27

  • Is this linkbait Search Cowboys did themselves? :)

    Wo 21 jan 2009, 00:30

  • It works in italy too

    Wo 21 jan 2009, 00:44

  • Works in Holland also.

    Ton van Houten

    Wo 21 jan 2009, 13:20


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