4

I restored a website on a new server after it was down (mistakenly deleted) for a while, and it immediately got bombarded with requests to non-existing pages like /tissue-salts-for-weight-loss.html and /exercises-to-lose-fat.htm (the website is not about weight loss).

Requests are coming from bots (Semrush, Petal, Google etc). I pointed the domain to another server (without moving the site) and these requests followed.

What is going with the domain? Should I be concerned?

4
  • Was the domain previously owned by someone who hosted those URLs?
    – tripleee
    Aug 27 at 9:57
  • @tripleee the domain has been owned by me for many years
    – Chepirko
    Aug 27 at 9:57
  • 1
    It is hard to know exactly what is going on from just the information you gave us. It sounds like the domain might have been hacked at some point. Aug 27 at 22:06
  • @StephenOstermiller yes, I agree. Sounds like those pages may have existed on the original site but then they weren't on the restore.
    – Steve
    Aug 27 at 22:21
5

So I dealt with something similar a while back and it was a real pain. I was constantly getting requests for random pdfs and Mexican food recipes in my logs. The IPs were Googlebot, Bingbot, etc (their valid IPs too)

I found out about it initially when I saw a spammy looking domain show up in my backlink profile in Search Console and Ahrefs. In Ahrefs, though I saw that is was via redirect.

enter image description here

This took me down a rabbit hole of dns/ip address lookups, trace routes...the whole business. Long story short - ended up resolving to the ip address of a Cooking Site in Mexico. It was definitely hacked.

As an SEO, it bugged the heck out of me because basically it was like Googlebot crawling my site looking for these random Mexican food recipes, smart appliance manuals and getting 404s.

What did I do?

  • I disavowed the spammy domain linking to my site
  • Wrote a nice letter to the Cooking site's hosting provider (in Spanish via Google Translate) informing them that it was hacked and sending bot traffic to my site.

Ultimately, there wasn't much else I could do! A couple months later it showed up as "lost" in my backlink report on Ahrefs. Happiest I've ever been to lose a link.

My site was less than a year old at the time...so I can't really speak to how this might affect your organic traffic/rankings.

All that said, the only thing I'd be concerned about is your server getting bombarded. If your situation is like mine, it will stop eventually.

EDIT: and your hosting bill...mine went up not by a ton...but fairly significantly.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.