Hacked Content On The Rise: Take SEO Precautions To Protect Your Site
Don't get penalized due to malware! Columnist Tony Edward discusses the recent uptick in hacked content in search results and provides tips to protect your site.
As we kick off 2016, it seems hackers have made a resolution to be more aggressive this year.
Recently, there have been reports of more and more hacked and spam content appearing in Google search engine results pages (SERPs). We are even seeing a revival of old-school tactics such as bait-and-switch content hacks. Google has said this increase in spam content is not related to its recent algorithm updates.
As an account manager at Elite SEM, I’ve also noticed more attacks on my clients’ sites. Most recently, one of my clients received a malware warning in Google Search Console.
The strange thing about this warning is that Google did not provide any sample links or information that would help to identify where the malware was on the site. The warning would also disappear and reappear in Google Search Console every two days or so, and Bing Webmaster Tools did not report a malware issue. Very strange.
Using the Google Transparency Safe Browsing Diagnostic Tool, I was able to get a bit more insight into the malware issue. As you can see, Google’s tool highlighted that there is an issue with “Uncommon downloads.”
I had the client contact their hosting provider for help and asked their developer to do a security audit, as well as run a security scan of the site. They checked server logs and recent content and files added to the site but were unable to identify the issue.