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BizReport : Search Marketing : May 04, 2016

Google reveals 180% increase in hacked websites in 2015

Google has released new figures about how they fought spam during 2015, and reveals that the number of websites being hacked rose significantly during the year.

by Helen Leggatt

According to Google's latest report, there was a 180% increase in the number of websites hacked during 2016. Overall, Google identified more than 800,000 hacked sites. To combat the issue, Google released a hacked spam algorithm in October, 2015, which they say tackles most of the issues.

"A huge amount of legitimate sites are hacked by spammers and used to engage in abusive behavior, such as malware download, promotion of traffic to low quality sites, porn, and marketing of counterfeit goods or illegal pharmaceutical drugs, etc.," says Ning Song, a Google software engineer.

Whilst the majority of spam and hacked sites can be identified by algorithms, Google also conducts reviews by humans, or manual actions. Google sent more than 4.3 million messages to webmasters about manual actions taken on their sites in 2015. In fact, according to Google they sent more manual actions for hacked sites than anything else.

"Search is a powerful tool," Kiyotaka Tanaka and Mary Chen of Google User Education and Search Outreach said in a blog post. "It helps people to find, share, and access an amazing wealth of content regardless of how they connect or where they are located. As part of Google's search quality team, we work hard to ensure that searchers see high-quality search results--and not webspam."

Tags: Google, search, spam

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