What is shophq04.info and why are they stealing our stuff?

What is shophq04.info and why are they stealing our stuff?

Allegedly stealing.

Allegedly.

Point your browser to http://shophq04.info/. See anything familiar?

This not HubPages.com.

This is not HubPages.com. This is the home page at shophq04.info on 2009-Nov-21.
This is not HubPages.com. This is the home page at shophq04.info on 2009-Nov-21.

Here's how to to find shophq04.info

Everyone who registers a domain must provide some measure of public information. We use the site DnsStuff.com to look up domain names in order to access that public information. The link below takes you to the DnsStuff entry for shophq04.info. Unfortunately the name is registered through a company in Scottsdale Arizona called "Domains by Proxy". This company provides a service; they allow domain name owners to remain almost completely anonymous. For this service they charge $9 per domain per year. Many other companies and web hosting services provide the same service for the same price.

The bottom line is that there's no way to reach these people without a court order.

http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools/whois/?tool_id=66&token=&toolhandler_redirect=0&ip=%2Fshophq04.info

This gets even more creepy

Why are they doing this? Are they hijacking a revenue stream? We did a brief cross-check on AdSense affiliate settings. The appear to be correct. In other words, when a user clicks on an ad published on your hub that's been 'reflected' through shophq04.info, the proper author (you) will receive the royalties.

There's no guarantee that tomorrow it will still work that way.

What will Google think about this? Will Google blacklist us all for posting duplicate content? Will Google associate us with shophq04.info by tracking our affiliate IDs?


Here's comes the worse part

The HubPages login page is also duplicated here.

What are you logging in to? HubPages or shophq04.info? Who gets a copy of your password?

We didn't attempt a login here. If you have a HubPages account that doesn't mean anything to you, feel free to try it yourself. Let us know where it takes you.

This is not HubPages.com

This is not HubPages.com. It looks like HubPages.com, but it's actually a page at http://shophq04.info
This is not HubPages.com. It looks like HubPages.com, but it's actually a page at http://shophq04.info

We tried an experiment

We tried to create a new account at shophq04.info. The New Account page was visually identical to the HubPages New Account page with one significant exception: the reCAPTCHA technology was non-functional. For that reason we were unable to create the account.

This is not HubPages.com

The reCaptcha technology was not functioning properly on the New Account page at shophq04.info.
The reCaptcha technology was not functioning properly on the New Account page at shophq04.info.

Did you know abou this?

Does HubPages know about this?

More by this Author


Comments 26 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

I had no idea. Hub pages must know something and if not they should look into this.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@breakfastpop: I'm interested!


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Could this be another one of their backups/servers? There was one on the forum a week or two ago.

Edit: I would guess that it is, because this comment is there.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@Ivorwen: Why would they put it online?


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 6 years ago

Weird stuff!How did you come across this Nicomp?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks

Nicomp, did you report it to Hubpages personnel?


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@Aya Katz: No. The last time I tried to contact them, asking why I was banned from the forums, I received no response.


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 6 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

I smell crimson Clupea in the State of Decay. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and I can't see some-one setting up a site and paying to keep it's origins hidden for zip. Somehow it's making money. (How 'bout it's sending the usual commission to us and keeping Hubpages' cut?)


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@The Old Firm: Hiding domain ownership costs $9 per year. The hosting fees are much more than that for a site that receives the traffic that hubPages does. Whet these people are paying, I have no idea. They are probably offshore anyway.


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 6 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

I sort of got that far nicomp. Places like HostSo offer unlimited web space and bandwidth for around $9 a month. Still $120 a year isn't spent for fun (infinitesimal though it may be) so, they're in it for money, and, the most likely money is commission on ads/clicks.If Hubpage writers are still getting their percentage they can't take a case of intellectual theft. Hubpages.com may have reason to complain of course.


J  Rosewater profile image

J Rosewater 6 years ago from Australia

Offshore is a big place, and it's spooky. I live offshore, and it's nice here! Nicomp, you are no nincomp are you? Clever stuff, this.


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 6 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

Googleing "Hubpages clone" gets some interesting results.

Have a look at number 5 down the page - Hubpages clone (getafreelancer) .....

Money for jam!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

omg - scary! I just clicked on it - and expect for the URL on top, no-one will suspect it isn't HP!!


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@The Old Firm: We *may* be getting our royalties tomorrow from HubPages Lite; if they went to the trouble create the site, who knows what they'll do next? It's a trivial programming feat to substitute one affiliate ID for another.


Maddie Ruud profile image

Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

Hey guys:

No need for alarm. Someone just pointed the Domain Name System (DNS) for that website to our servers. It's not dangerous, just mystifying as to why someone would want to do that.

Thanks for bringing it to our attention, nicomp. With all the Facebook and Twitter hacking and clone sites, it's best to err on the side of caution.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@Maddie Ruud: Thanks for the clarification, but:

1. Any traffic or links that the clone site receives are traffic and links that your domain will not receive. That may impact your Google Page Rank, right?

2. Will Google notice all the duplicate content? How would that impact their willingness to serve our pages from their search engine?


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 6 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

For some reason the only Google ads this hub seems to be attracting are about dogs. Just an irrelevant aside.

(Dog Puppy Potty Training...Sheesh!)


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@The Old Firm: I only included 2 keywords: shophq04.info and

shophq04.

The ways of Google are dark and mysterious.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida

Weird, any new news on this site?


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

I tried it just now. The URL redirects to hubPages.com, which seems legit. No guarantees about tomorrow.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I just went there and got straight to my HubPages. Can't imagine why this exists then, unless it is some kind of HP backup site or something?

Love and peace

Tony


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@tonymac04: dunno. Good question.


darkside profile image

darkside 6 years ago from Australia

"when a user clicks on an ad published on your hub that's been 'reflected' through shophq04.info, the proper author (you) will receive the royalties."

Provided you have shophq04.info in your list of allowed sites.

Which I won't do.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@darkside: All well and good but what's 'reflected' mean and what is a list of allowed sites?


k@ri profile image

k@ri 6 years ago from Sunny Southern California

I just found this site and it goes to my hubs. Have you found out anything more?


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@k@ri: Browse to http://shophq04.info/ and you will redirected to hubpages.com. I don't think there's any funny business going on.

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