Recent Google Changes Address Hacked Websites
While doing research for a client I came across a Google result that would send chills up my spine if I were the website owner. The screenshot at right shows a Google result page where the top result has been flagged by Google as being “compromised“. If you look closely at the website description, you will see a promotion for that little blue pill that is meant to help men during those “special” times. I’m pretty sure the Rockabilly Hall of Fame does not want to advertise that product to their audience. Imagine the negative impact that is having for their website traffic and visitor trust. Ouch!
(I hope I don’t have to say this, but please do not go to this website while it is still compromised– chances are you will get a virus. You have been warned!)
According to Google, a major source of spam in 2010 was due to hacked websites like the one portrayed here. Websites that have not been developed with security in mind, were developed using older technologies, or are located in insecure hosting environments are targets for hackers and spammers. They compromise vulnerable websites, drop in their fodder, and sometimes also place malware on the website that infects visitors with viruses and/or spyware.
For all you movie star watchers, be aware that spammers and hackers target websites that rank well for high-trending search topics. For example, for all you folks out there looking for the latest Charlie Sheen news (shame on you!) be aware the websites that rank highly for a Charlie Sheen search are being targeted by hackers so they can drop malware on your computer when you visit them. According to a recent security report published by Barracuda Labs, the two most dangerous search terms are “music video” and “Jenni J-Woww”.
With the proliferation of this kind of spamming technique, Google has made adjustments to their algorithm to better detect hacked sites with their latest updates. More importantly, Google’s latest updates have also targeted content farms and scraping websites. We have seen our SEO clients benefit from these latest updates rolled out by Google, which tells us our tactics are seen by Google positively and provide the longest-term benefits for our clients. That’s why we will continue to deploy best-practice SEO techniques for our clients!