Normally, a “mirror site” is a site that “mirrors” (copies) the content of another site, as a form of backing up important data, or helping to spread the bandwidth load for popular content.
A few weeks ago, however, I was seeing something interesting in one of the shady networks we track. Take a look at this sample screenshot:
Does the text in the reversed image make you want to reach for a mirror?
The interesting thing about the junk sites used in this network for shady Search Engine Optimization is that they appear to reverse ALL of the stolen images they use to headline each SEO section.
It’s not generally noticeable for picture-only images, of course, but when there is text in the image, it’s very noticeable…
This has at least one side-effect: any copyright notice embedded in the image is now harder to read. But I don’t think that’s the most likely reason. Rather, I suspect that they’re trying to stand out from the crowd a bit, by using a different image from the sites displaying the original image.
Many of the sites in this network are hosted in the .co.cc namespace that Google dropped from their indexes last month, and provide good evidence as to just why Google took such action. While there is no immediate evidence of malicious activity from this group of sites, they are definitely shady!
It’s also worth noting that all of the sites in this network that I checked during this research had been properly flagged in real-time by WebPulse’s Background Checker as “Suspicious”. (Maybe Google should just use us?)
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