Messin' with Google is Bad for your (website's) Health

Thread Title:
Hacking Google Print
Thread Description:

A couple of days back, an interesting article appeared on Kuro5hin entitled Hacking Google Print. It detailed a way to get a complete pdf book from Google Print

In the K5 article he linked to his own explanation of how to hack the Google print service at appears to have been removed from the Google index entirely. Or at least it appears to have had it's potential to rank for search terms taken away.

Don't Blame Google

I don't blame Google for taking action, i'd act to remove a post that exposed how to hack Threadwatch if it appeared on my website - however, in light of all the bad press el goog are suffering recently, i might have thought to contact Greg and ask him nicely to remove the page first.

I'll bet he would have done it aswell...

Google Speaks!

After some conversation in the comments and quick call, Threadwatch learns that a search for site: does indeed return results and GoogleGuy, the as yet unnamed and sometimes unofficial Google representative tells me that he'll be looking into the case as soon as he's in the office.

Whereas it still looks as if something may have been done, i'll buy that it could be a technical problem for now and we'll wait to see what Google have to say later in the day.


Not allways

I wouldn't say that it has allways proven to be bad for your website to stand up against Google in public. I have done that as well as many other SEOs and "industry people" such as Danny Sullivan. Many of us have never seen any direct damage from that and I doubt we will. Sure, one of my (spammy) sites can get booted, and off course I have tried that testing the limits but that has nothing to do with what I have said, and do say, about Google and their services in public.

Having said that, I fully understand why Google remove a website from it's index that describe how to hack the very same index. That should be logic to anyone. As you said, Nick, you would remove a post here too if it described how to hack your site - and so you should, off course! But from that to a general conclusion that "Messin' with Google is Bad for your (website's) Health" is to take it too far, in my opinion. I have messed a lot and so have others but we still have great ranking sites - even sites that promote our very own, and public, names.


[] returns 582 results for me. I think you're making some assumptions here, Nick?

Not half an hour ago

Not half an hour ago it didn't GG (maybe an hour) I tested it, the guys at K5 tested it, the guy who pinged me about it tested it...

Glad to see it back in the index :-)


If i've been told wrong on this, and reported it wrong, i'll change the story...

Lemme look at it

Ok, here's the deal

Here's the reason they think he's banned, and ive gotta say, it sure looks iffy..

What led me to assume they were right, was the first bullet point there. Usually the sign of a banned site right?

To me, it looks like the site was banned, though the pages remain in the index which is why a site: still returns figures...

Correct me if im wrong of course...

I'd appreciate that

For starters, " has now been removed from the Google index entirely" is false. We can take this discussion offline; I don't want to use the L word in public. ;)


Changed the wording, i'll email you..

Thread open

Thread opened again, sorry about that - just closed it while i had my wrist slapped for being a bad blogger heh :-)

Have updated the original post. For the record, GoogleGuy was right in saying that I can't state that the site has been removed from the index. The language in the post now reflects that.

Phew, what a mess eh? Apparently this one will be looked into later in the day when GG gets to the office.

Thanks Nick

I'm happy to take a crawl/indexing question about a site and try to hunt down more info. I just don't want people beginning from an assumption like "it must have been removed!" or something like that.

Okay, I think I'll have energy to spare for biking into Google now..

Nick, the Google cloaking was

Nick, the Google cloaking was a big catch - you've made it everywhere ... including "mainline" news sites. But, sorry mate, you screwed up on this one. Just take it offline, there doesn't seem to be any news here ;-)


With blogs and rss though, once it's out there, it's out there - the best you can do is post a correction - which i've done, aswell as take it off the homepage :)

Thanks Yes

RSS feed

If nothing else, it shows you that GG (whoever he may be!) reads the TW RSS feed first thing in the morning. One wonders if he did that a few weeks ago!

No doubt you had a chat with him about old times, how the wife and family were geting on in Denmark, and expressed the hope that we could benefit from his posts on a more regular basis in the future.

A stitch in time saves nine, and all that.


I talked to someone from our crawl group. Here's what he said:

"His site has been unreachable from time to time. The most common case
appears to be failure to resolve DNS for his site. The last time we
tried to crawl his homepage (and many other pages on his site) was on
the 6th of March and were unable to get access on multiple
tries. Since we are unable to get his homepage, we were unable to
determine outgoing links and gradually lost coverage.

We have had the homepage in the index in the past (as recent as Feb

I didn't see this thread up on the main page anymore; I'm fine leaving it at that for now..

Hi guys

Greg Duffy here. Please read my responses at my site. Also, please remember that I'm not out to defame Google here, I still respect them for their technological prowess. :) That's probably the only reason I began exploring this product in the first place.


GoogleGuy - official or unofficial?

GG you have maintained, as far as I can recall, that you are acting as an unofficial voice for Google, in your spare time.

Without being privy to your private conversation with Nick, it would appear that you were acting in an official capacity in this thread.

See the confusion that the company approach engenders? The clarifation on the status of your posts that has been asked for, by among others Danny Sullivan, would appear to be "helpful"

Hey Greg

The man of the moment heh...

Welcome to Threadwatch, do introduce yourself...

Greg's Response

Its worth reading Gregs site where he responds to Google. First up in his reference to TW, he has no idea who GG is - dangers of the GG position not being official. The geeks know who GG is, but the world does not.

On this thread, someone called "GoogleGuy" claims "failure to resolve DNS for [my] site" to be the cause of lowered ranking.

And the nub of Gregs defence is:-

My DNS is hosted professionally (and externally) by Affinity Internet and has successfully served over 10,000 visits in the past few days along with successful crawls from many search engines. My server's uptime is 243 days.

# Other search engines have crawled my site successfuly multiple times (I see them in the log files) in the past couple of days and they all return me first.

# In fact, my site has received a successful crawl from one or more search engines every single day between February 24, 2005 and today, March 10, 2005.

# Googlebot successfully crawled on March 8, March 9, and March 10, and many times before then too. It is, however, interesting to note the absence of Googlebot between February 28 and March 8 (not starting at February 24 as it seems our "GoogleGuy" says, but maybe he means something else)

Greg is not too worried about being removed from Google's index (if indeed he has been), but he is looking for a job, and this is his Resumee is anybody is looking for a bright lad to hire.

GoogleGuy is legit ...

I checked his IP :)

Thanks, I'll introduce myself soon ...

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