If you have a travel related site, chances are that you have some sort of currency converter on it to make life for you, and your readers, easier. Who wants to write continuously things like:
The price for a 90min public transport ticket is 32CZK ($1.91/Euro1.32/GBP1.17 as of August 2011)
So much easier to just slap a currency converter into the sidebar or footer and just state the actual prices and let the reader figure out themselves what they equal in their own currency. Plus you don’t have to worry about currency fluctuations etc. That is the theory. Here the problem.
Some time ago I put the camfex currency converter on one of my sites and all worked fine for months. Yesterday I checked something on the site and, lo and behold, the site loaded for a second or two and then re-directed to another domain, full of ads. PANIC! Am I hacked? What did happen???
Hip, hip, hurrah another time for my host Hostgator. The culprit was the currency converter script in the footer, as soon as I removed it, thankfully I could access the dashboard just fine, all went back to normal.
So what had happened? It seems the Camfex website went out of business and got parked to make some cash from ads. Fine with me, really, it is their website. BUT it also seems that some very sloppy, or intentionally??? sloppy, programming caused the following to happen:
- Script tries to get currency converter.
- Currency converter doesn’t exist anymore.
- Script redirects the whole (MY!) site to the parked domain, showing my visitors / readers their ads!
- And what that does for your readers and for the search engines, I don’t think I have to explain to you!
So, I am off now to write a very angry email to these guys, I recommend that you check your sites that have currency converters, or any other scripts that get third party content for your site from elsewhere for that matter, on them. Better safe than sorry!
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