Jun 4 2010

Experts Exchange for Free: Hacking without Login Account or Password

Posted by cheyennejack at 2:47 AM
- Categories: Productivity | Programming | Security | SEO / Marketing

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Need Expert Exchange Free, Fast & w/o Login or Password?

Use this trick to reverse their SEO hack and get your expert answers free.

Experts-Exchange.com Logo

Normally, I would not give out the process for freely subverting a companies password security system. However, experts exchange is highly annoying teasing you with answers in search results, then wasting your time when you land upon their page. They do this all by using hacks that should have them banned from search engines. If you work in technology you will love this trick.

Experts-Exchange practices black hat SEO tricks to annoy you. Now you get to use their own tricks against them to get the answers you need now, no logins, no accounts, no passwords, just some new Mad Ninja Skills.

Ever wonder why you hate Experts Exchange so much? You search some random technical question and BAM! there they are like the Wikipedia of strange IT questions. You click, then you sink realizing you've come to the answer barren boneyard of locked accounts and passwords. Making matters worse, no way can you get an approval past the financial guys to buy an account called "Experts Exchange" when you are suppose to be the expert.

How do they get up there in the Google results anyhow? Isn't Google's job to help me find relevant information I can use right now, no passwords needed? They are using a technique banned by Google and yet somehow still have ranking. They are showing you the user one page and the Google SEO bot a different page (hint: the one with the freaking answers!). In the long run, this is good for us, because we will be exploiting their blackhat technique to get what we need; the answers, now, fast and free.

Ninja ready to hack at experts exchange

Ninja Steps for Accessing Experts Exchange for Free

  • 1) Use Ninja Skills:
    Hide in Googlebot sheeps clothing.
  • 2) Hide Faster:
    Install this Firefox Extension Double Secret User Agent Switcher
  • 3) Become Like Night:
    Go to "Tools" -> "User Agent Switcher" -> "Search Robots" -> "GoogleBot 2.1"
  • 4) Infiltrate Enemy Lines:
    Go to Experts Exchange and find an interesting question.
  • 5) Slip Through Backdoor:
    Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the solutions.

The extension cloaks your browser to tell their servers that you are a Googlebot looking for their content. They want these spiders to see the solutions so that they will rank higher in the search engines. So instead of hiding them from you so you have to sign up for their account and get a login and password, they now freely hand you the keys to the castle cloaked in your double secret ninja user agent outfit.

Yes, the link I gave them does give them free SEO keyword juice, but I figured even ninjas have to have hearts at times. Hopefully, one day, expert exchange will come up with a fair business model not based upon tricking Google and annoying visitors.

Enjoy Experts Exchange for Free.

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Michel wrote on 06/04/10 4:47 AM

Or just point 5: Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the solutions.

If there is an answer it is down past the pay-wall (I agree it is annoying - but I am expert and never see it)

cheyennejack wrote on 06/04/10 10:30 AM

This is not my experience at all. I get completely different html results depending upon if I am acting like a regular user browser or agent or if I'm acting like a Googlebot.

Regular user, there is no solutions just sign up stuff. As Googlebot there are solutions.

My biggest problem isn't that they would try to charge for value but that they are breaking a basic SEO rule of serving up different content to spiders and humans and still getting Google ranking. Its one thing to want to be paid for answers its another thing to interrupt my Google experience to tell me to be a member to see content for which I was surfing. It is counter-intuitive and is not playing by the rules. I'm sure it works and is quite successful for them though. Just wanted to give my readers an alternative to experts-exchange screwing up their day. If they change the practice, then that will be great.

cheyennejack wrote on 06/04/10 11:25 AM

In talking with a friend about this, we tested it out on another machine, got a URL from experts exchange, pasted it into a completely unused browser on his machine (IE) to ensure no random developer scripts, cookies or tools were in place.

The experience is the same, just the question with a bunch of buttons about membership required to see the solution. Same URL in FF with user agent = GoogleBot, you see all the solutions by scrolling to the very bottom.

Michel wrote on 06/04/10 11:37 AM

Not my experience IF I click when I am in google

1. example: http://bit.ly/ct1qG3 - click "Can Twitter track the originating IP Address?" - scroll down for answer
I get http://twitpic.com/1tunlg without logging in

You CANNOT bookmark or paste the link since you have to come from google directly.

2. all articles are free to view.

3. Become an expert for free and have free access by answering a few questions a month. I have been member for 12 years and never paid a dime.
Phillip Senn

Phillip Senn wrote on 06/04/10 1:02 PM

I used to love Experts-Exchange, because I was a paying subscriber. I now use StackOverflow.com instead. I can't speak highly enough of StackOverflow.
(Second captcha attempt)

Michel wrote on 06/04/10 1:19 PM

I have signed up for StackOverflow.
I find it a very useful site.
It is however in my opinion scary for newcomers and for people who are not already very technical.
As an expert, I firstly had a hard time to even get a comment in due to the quite hard to grasp rating system they have. I hardly had a chance to answer any questions and the ones I did answer were not finished by the asker or SO like all questions are at EE.
My experiences at SO convince me that there are room for both EE and SO, and I fail to understand the hatred some SO-users have for EE. It is a different business model and the over 8000 people I have helped at EE had no complaints about it. I personally rarely need to ask questions at EE and if I have a hard jQuery question I know how to ask one at SO.

PS: Hard captcha here!!!
Phillip Senn

Phillip Senn wrote on 06/04/10 1:21 PM

I just ran across http://www.daniweb.com/forums/thread78240.html
while doing a search.
There's is worse! It is an exercise in "how fast can the user press the back button".

Michel wrote on 06/04/10 1:24 PM

I have no issue with Daniweb. Seen a popup once and not now. I like their simple popup compared to the EE paywall

cheyennejack wrote on 06/04/10 3:04 PM

Ah! It seems that Experts Exchange does in fact show you the solutions by scrolling way down, if you have come directly from a Google search.

They are giving Google referred visitors the same HTML (with answers) as they give the Googlebot, which must be why Google has not banned them. While still tricky, this makes a little bit better sense and doesn't ruin the search experience.

However, I have no idea when they made this change, since I've avoided clicking Experts Exchange links for years, just knowing how frustrated I'd make myself. Might be good for them to do a little bit better PR to talk about how this works and that they are not trying to gaim the search experience anymore (just any other method of getting there :) )

Still sneaky, still breaking SEO rules, but a slightly better search experience for users and explains why some people today have absolutely loved this trick and others have been confused.


Michel wrote on 06/04/10 3:31 PM

As said earlier - I have been expert there for 12 years and never paid. I have only noticed the paywall the times I decided to check if the answers really were hidden as some people claimed, so as far as I know (I can ask them) it has always been like this. Do note that I can only claim the ANSWERS were there. Some times if there were no answer, the paywall went all the way down.

Zuzar wrote on 06/26/10 1:54 AM

Hi Jack,
This is awesome and works like a charm !!
Thanx a lot for sharing the tip !

cristy wrote on 07/07/10 11:33 PM

it is not working anymore :(

Michel wrote on 07/08/10 1:30 AM

@Cristy: Does not work how?

I searched and found http://twitpic.com/235chd - Scrolling down gave me this: http://twitpic.com/235cly

Only answered questions are visible.
Also all articles and blogs

Chuck wrote on 03/15/11 4:09 AM

Like Michel said, just register as an expert for free... ( http://www.experts-exchange.com/registerFree2.jsp ), and you'll be able to view answers.

These days, I think the subscription is more for companies who want to give their employees a reliable place to ask questions/find answers (thus saving precious time).

Michel wrote on 03/15/11 6:23 AM

@Cristy Seems you MIGHT have to clear the EE cookies if you view an answer more than 5 times. It is a google restriction. And I would say that an EE subscription is also useful if you are daunted by the process of finding answers that more or less match your specific situation. I for sure do not envy a noob asking a vague question at SO ;)

Golfy wrote on 08/30/11 10:06 AM

some EE responses couldn't have a value :
"oh... the problem seems very complex and probably link to a corrupted data/regkey/file (anything you want) : the solution is, re-install the server/pc/application...

Rennie wrote on 11/13/11 10:32 PM

Does anyone know if the "experts" at Experts Exchange get any money for the time and knowledge they provide? Many of them have apparently answered many thousand questions, and one would hope they get some of the money. Or does all of the money go to the owners of the site?

Michel wrote on 11/14/11 1:35 AM

We do not get monetary rewards. I have answered close to 10,000 questions and have no problems with EE charging although I dislike the pay wall which can be avoided by answering approx 3 questions a month. What we receive instead is a monitored well maintained forum where we can help people who are motivated to ask good questions and who will get help to do so by admins and moderatord

Rennie wrote on 11/14/11 4:07 PM

Michael, thanks for your answer.

And to the blog owner, I really, really hate captchas of the kind you have here. I'm color blind, and feel like someone in the USA south 100 years ago being told, "no blacks allowed here".


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