Despite The Plots, #ArabCrunch Cross the 100K Pageviews/Month Milestone (We Need Your Help!)
The time was around 10:00-11:00 pm, the day Thursday April 19th 2010, the first ArabCrunchStart meetup has just concluded in Amman, Jordan. The meetup was planned as a starting point for a series local meetups in Jordan as a preparation to launch ArabCrunchStart as monthly event in Jordan. I went to check ArabCrunch.com’s current visits, it was zero! so I went to arabcrunch.com to make sure if the site is down or not, and yes it was down. Shortly we found out we are under DDoS attack, the DDoS attack brought arabcrunch.com site down for around 4 days, and it is still ongoing but thanks to Spirula Systems and its defense techniques, our server load is healthy and we are serving you here!
Few days after the DDoS arabcrunch.com faced a new type of attacks, this time the target is ArabCrunch brand, ArabCrunch honor and ArabCrunch EN traffic that is coming from search engines. A Hacker/s installed a script inside our wordpress (We use wordpress for blogging at ArabCrunch.com, ArabCrunch.NET is sound and safe from this hacks) that was sending google and other search engine wrong titles and snippet about our posts. The result of that was changing ArabCrunch.com listed results under certain keywords with miss-leading titles that include sexual content with words such as Viagra ex:
These were not intended to redirect traffic to certain viagra website who would in-turn gain from ArabCrunch strong SEO and search engine rank, No, as when clicking on ArabCrunch infected search results on google the user went directly to the original post on ArabCrunch.com not to another website.
The attacker/s who did hack our wordpress, have also no respect for Islam, as the following Eid Maburak post on google was targeted with a special message that insulted Islam ( no other infected link had the same content):
( there is no text in the original post that had the following (in other words we never wrote this): “… and do whats right in order to make it, in the life after death, as surly Islam is truth and only religion of Allah… buy Viagra Online No prescription . buying Cialis Online)
We managed to find the malicious code and thanks to Google’s help we managed to white-list most of our search results. But our Google rank is down to 4 from on 5!
This attacks and others have diverted our efforts from developing useful stuff and apps on ArabCurnch.NET, from investing more time and effort on organizing great events to drive entrepreneurship and tech innovation in Jordan and across the world to waisting our time and our limited resources into defense and in chasing spammers over night!. However ArabCrunchStart went ahead and our first event was concluded by ArabCrunch great US ambassadors in Seattle, USA: Amir and Rony. (Thank you Amir and Rony and everyone who attended, more to come.)
The people who did these attacks are a bunch of criminals who have no ethics what so ever and no conscious, they use the same methods of hide and kill that a certain well known group of criminals use: hide using a cover, try to look innocent, talk nice and promise great promises, only to fool you and deliver their deadly spears aimed at your heart to kill you or rape you, or to blackmail you in order to achieve their unethical and evil objectives. They use a wrong justification that says “the objective justifies the means”, but they fool themselves only, as their end objective is also evil as their means!
We did not post any “terrorist items” on ArabCrunch, and for sure we are not “terrorist!” The Attackers Are! We do not have any political agenda our focus is on tech, startups, social media and mobile. But does anyone consider post like this as terrorists content ? I hope not.
Are these attackers part of a bigger hidden multi-layer plot to destroy ArabCrunch?!!
However these attacks just made us stronger, not just because we are working hard but because of God Almighty first and then You, Yes, YOU the ArabCrunch reader and user, not just the Arab and Muslims users, but You as everyone from every nationality and from different religious backgrounds from almost every country of this world. You the ArabCrunch reader has proven to these criminals that they wrongly calculated their attempts as our visits and pageviews have increased by more than 40%.
Because of God and then you, In the last 2 month ArabCrunch sites has broke the 100,000 pageviews milestone per month, ArabCrunch achieved that milestone without even spending one cent on advertising. (Only 100$ Twitter giveaway of useful books was given to #ArabCrunch24 contest winner Noha congrats to her support) Again all credits goes to God first then you the reader, then to ArabCrunch ambassadors and team.
100,000 pageviews is not that massive number compared to other main stream sites, but its an achievements since we did not spend any Advertising dollars, and since we are a very small team.
It took ArabCrunch around 2 years since its inception to reach 100,000 pageveiws/month with zero ad spending. While it took 4 years of hard word for our friends ( that we respect) at the #2 blog in the world, Mashable to achieve the same milestone in early 2009.
In the blog ranking, out of more than 200 million blogs in the world, our blog engagement rank on PostRank before the attack increased from #24 to around #11-13 as the most engaged startup blog in the world, but after the DDoS attacks it went down below 100, not because AC’s readers (you) are less engaged with ArabCrunch but because postrank can not access our engagement due to the techniques we are using to prevent and block the ongoing DDoS attack. However on our Invesp rank we are still holding number 6 worldwide in the innovation category, advanced our e-commerce rank from 7th to 6th and advanced our startups rank from 13th t0 10th worldwide also ahead of icons such as WSJ and Financial Times blogs about Entrepreneurship (note that Invesp does not calculate our Feedoor RSS readers which we mainly use). In any rank ArabCrunch EN is still #1 English tech blog in the Arab world and arabcrunch.net is #1 startups and geeks social network in Arabia. Again all thanks to God almighty and then to You.
ArabCrunch is resilient and as an emotional geek who see injustice in many places and fronts around the world, who loves what I am doing with ArabCrunch, I promise you to keep the course and even double the efforts in the coming days, weeks and months and to never surrender and never give-up!
Until this moment ArabCrunch is the only independent entity from the private sector in the world that is dedicated full-time to empower entrepreneurs, startup, tech professional and geeks in the Arab and emerging world via its network of sites and events, as such in supporting ArabCrunch you are also supporting building the tech ecosystem that is much needed to grow innovation and tech advancement in emerging markets specially in the Arab and Muslim world. The more startups we have, more jobs are created and more people can enjoy a higher level of income.
One hand can not do everything, ArabCrunch needs your support with whatever you can, please prove to the criminals and the gangsters who are still attacking AC until this moment, that they will be defeated and the liberty to innovate and blog freely about tech and innovation and the freedom to help entrepreneurs and geeks to excel in the Arab and all over the world (without any political agendas) is preserved by doing one or all of the following:
15 ways to help ArabCrunch:
1- if you work or own a tech company you can support us by advertising on ArabCrunch, it is not a donation, you are getting an awesome ROI from running campaigns on a social site which is followed by thousands of tech led community from Amman to San Francisco.
2- If you did not signup to ArabCrunch.NET please do now and make sure your profile filled and up-to-date.
3- Pleas take a moment on ArabCrunch.NET and invite your friends and contacts via email, Facebook and Twitter this will grow ArabCrunch.NET community and be a benefit for everyone.
4- If you find your self able to provide mentoring please fill the mentorship app here in order to empower the community and help grow the tech and startup industry in Arabia and beyond.
5- If you are a developer or with business or entrepreneurial skills, you can help the community by answering open and other questions on Developers Q&A or Startups Q&A, make sure to add relevant tags to your profile in order to get questions ans answers matches.
6- On ArabCrunch.com the English blog you can help us drive more traffic by Following us on Twitter (if you are not already) and also by ReTweeting our future posts. Keep coming here back every day
7- You can help ArabCrunch.com and let more people know about our posts on facebook by hitting “like” button or sharing AC posts on Facebook. If you do not follow us on facebook you can do so and hit “like”. Also Remember to Suggest ArabCrunch page on facebook to your friends there.
8- Share our posts on ArabCrunch EN via email with your friends and you can start now by emailing all your contacts telling them about ArabCrunch.
10- If you are a geek, slashdotting our posts might provide thousands of new visitors in less than a day.
11- If you are not subscribed to our RSS feed, please do now, and If you are using Google reader make sure to Hit “like” or “share” AC’s posts.
12- Add ArabCrunch icon as a signature to your profile if you are using a Forum and link to your profile on http://ArabCrunch.NET or to http://arabcrunch.com or http://arabcrunch.com/ar .
13- You can also add the above banner to your website or blog with links back to http://arabcrunch.com and http://arabcrunch.net
14- If you have a blog you can write a blog post about ArabCrunch, anything from why you read it and where you think we need improvements, this will help more people know about us and the startups we cover.
15- if you have hot news or a tip please share it with us, we will never mention your name if you ask us to, but please make sure to tell us that in the email.
Lastly, thank you all for your support, please stay tuned for great stuff coming from ArabCrunch soon – by the will of God- And to those who have sympathy with the attackers, please spare us your negative comments 😛
PS: we have no intention what so ever in attacking anyone, we will just continue working hard to serve the community.
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Tags: Social Media, arabcrunch, blogs, DDos, ArabCrunch DEMO, ArabCrunch.NET, ArabCrunchStart, Tech Blog, Startup Blog, blog rank, ArabCrunch Rank, Plots, Obama's Promise