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Google Algorithm Changes will Target Hacked Sites! What Do You Make of this?

Profile photo of Sunday William Submitted by Sunday William October 15, 2015


Google is planning on releasing algorithm changes that will aggressively reduce the number of hacked sites from search results. This means that after you “Google” a keyword or phrase, the result page may not turn up contents or links from hacked sites. Also, the implication is that search queries are going to reduce by at least 5%.

A post from Google’s Software Engineer, Ning Song and published on the Google’s Webmaster Central blog on October 5, 2015 has revealed this plan. An excerpt from reads:

Website owners that don’t implement standard best practices for security can leave their websites vulnerable to being easily hacked. This can include government sites, universities, small business, company websites, restaurants, hobby organizations, conferences, etc. Spammers and cyber-criminals purposely seek out those sites and inject pages with malicious content in an attempt to gain rank and traffic in search engines.

We are aggressively targeting hacked spam in order to protect users and webmasters.

The algorithmic changes will eventually impact roughly 5% of queries, depending on the language. As we roll out the new algorithms, users might notice that for certain queries, only the most relevant results are shown, reducing the number of results shown:

This is due to the large amount of hacked spam being removed, and should improve in the near future. We are continuing tuning our systems to weed out the bad content while retaining the organic, legitimate results.

  My opinion is that this should be welcoming for webmasters as there could be many positive implications:

  • Web users are going to be protected from accessing hacked or insecure contents that could be disastrous to their decision making.
  • Better content promotion and management would be maintained.
  • Hacked sites would be reduced if not completely eliminated from the search engine result pages (SERPS) in the nearest future
  • Better Search engine optimization practices would be promoted.
  • Relevancy and legitimacy of search results accessible.

Therefore, webmasters, SEOs, and businesses should welcome these changes and put strategies to make the most of them. We are going to have fewer numbers of results from the typical 10-page results, nevertheless, its better having fewer results than having SERPS filled with hacked spams or contents.

What do you make of this plan from Google? Do you think the algorithm changes can help improve SEO for site owners and webmasters?

Please share your thoughts on this, in the comment section here.

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Profile photo of Sunday William
I started with a College Degree in Business but I have been an Internet marketer and writer for 10+ years and have written 5,000+ high quality articles in diverse topics. I have also written 20,000+ comments on and 1,000+ blogs and/or websites. I have been working closely with Kingsley, the admin of for 10+ years and have been in the's administrative team since the first day in 2012. I highly recommend's Coaching and Partnership Program.

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34 Responses to “ Google Algorithm Changes will Target Hacked Sites! What Do You Make of this?” Leave a reply ›

  • Profile photo of Eyal Katz Profile

    Like with everything there’s a good and a bad.

    Good is that spammers and hackers won’t be able to do black hat tricks to manipulate google serp. That’s why this move makes sense.

    But bad since if you don’t know you’re hacked how is it your fault?

    Bottom line get better security for your website.
    Eyal Katz recently posted…The 7 Deadly Sins of Blog MonetizationMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hi Eyal,
      This is a question that should not be ignored under the idea of this post:
      “But bad since if you don’t know you’re hacked how is it your fault?”

      Most searchers fall victim of security issues because they lack of knowledge of which search results that are secure.

      I agree with your conclusion that it will be better for webmasters and site owners to understand and get better security for their websites! But that may not be 100% effective because hackers change tactics periodically!
      Sunday William recently posted…[NEW] Get $10,000+ In’s MONTHLY Blogging ContestMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Ron Killian Profile

    I agree, this is good and bad. What if you’ve been hacked? You lose your ranks because some one else broke into your site? Not like any one asks for or wants to be hacked.

    And it’s so easy to say, “Get better security for your site”, in a day and age when it’s probably impossible to protect your site 100% , 100% of the time.

    Plus, what about people who are new to websites and just don’t know? Not like we can all be security experts.

    Also, wonder, if you get hacked are you marked for good? Or you only lose out during the time your hacked? Be pretty sad if you get hacked once and because of that you can never rank again. Though, I would “guess” google has thought about that.

    Heck, some of the biggest sites on the net have gotten hacked. It’s like, “If they want to get in they will”.

    Interesting Sunday.
    Ron Killian recently posted…Unlock Hidden Profits From Your BlogMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hi Ron,
      Interesting points you have raised there. I have been hacked once and till date that ranking from that website never rise! Google must have thought out this before coming up with the idea of these algorithm changes.

      I am pretty sure that this measure is only precautionary because hackers are not going to stop! The first good step that sounds logical is to get better security even though it doesn’t guarantee 100% protection.

      We will wait for these changes and see how Google and webmasters are going to leverage them for better service to subscribers or customers!
      Thanks so much for leaving your opinion in this discussion.
      Sunday William recently posted…“Ask or Discuss” Function Now Active On Kingged.comMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Sherman Smith Profile

    Hey Sunday,

    I think it’s great that Google is doing this. It will helped to protect the rest of us from sites that have been hacked and spam.

    But as Ron and Eyal was saying, there’s always a good and a bad and they made some valid points here.

    I would like to know at what percentage of your site would be considered “hacked”? What if only 1% of your site is hacked and the rest is fine? Does search engines still penalize you?

    Yes, the best thing to do is to ramp up our security, but like anything security isn’t 100%. There’s always new malicious code coming out.

    Thanks for sharing Sunday! Have a good one!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Why Your Blogging Goals Suck As A BeginnerMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Nicole Pary Profile

    Hey Sunday,

    One of the interesting subject where we discussed, and Google have changed its algorithm for these kinds of reason in given above article.

    So I think that after few time Google launched for new algorithm and tried to its level best to reduce of this circumstance.

    Thanks for shared and enjoyed to read this post.

    Nicole Pary
    Nicole Pary recently posted…Compilation of Only the Best SHAREit Alternatives with detailsMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Alex Christensen Profile

    Hi Sunday,

    As a web developer, I believe this implementation is great, if you’re website is hacked you don’t want your users to have to suffer. Any bad credibility to your website (even if it is not your fault) is going to damage your product, so I believe google is actually doing us a favour.

    As in reading more about this apparently this initiative will target websites who display massive vulnerabilities in their website, for example database leaks. I have done a course in White Hat Hacking (legal and safe practices to prevent your website being hacked by learning how to hack) and when you begin hacking you are made to search google urls that display certain qualities. On the first few pages I typed in, I was able to crack into many websites. Hence why google removing these vulnerabilities is great to protect even the websites author from hacks.

    Similarly, sometimes hacks are not completely visible and are rather based in its code language (usually done in Javascript), for example a common practice is adding a redirect code in a comment box thus whenever you load a page you will be redirected to the hackers desired page. By google removing your page, it removes chances of your website actually giving users any viruses or unwanted attention to hacking sites.

    This algorithm is not just about hacks, it is also about removing spam website (stuff crammed with keywords to pollute your search), thus by removing it real websites get a chance to thrive and your website will more likely be found.

    On the obvious point, it means that google pages will be much cleaner than they have been in the past, which is great for users.

    On another note, this does not protect everyone, the reality is that must hackers are ahead of anti-spam programs, so google won’t block every hacked site, it will only protect against certain hackings so do be aware still.

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hmm! Alex, this is powerfully delivered. Your knowledge of website developed and its coding is vast and helpful. It has really added real value to this conversation.

      What more can I say but thank you for breaking down the real reasons why the Google’s algorithm is changing. Targeting and removing hacked sites that will damage or cause harm to users is good.

      I like the caveat you placed at the end of this conversation:

      On another note, this does not protect everyone, the reality is that must hackers are ahead of anti-spam programs, so google won’t block every hacked site, it will only protect against certain hackings so do be aware still.

      This should be adopted by webmasters because there is need to do the right thing and be cautious!

  • Profile photo of Philip Verghese 'Ariel' Profile

    Hi Sunny,
    Very informative piece about Google’s steps in this regard.
    I am sure this will be a great relief to the people who are affected.
    I am sure again that since Google is taking initiative in this the web owners or developers can benefit from this.
    I just visited the page.
    Thanks for sharing the brief from the post and for the good discussions made along with it.
    Keep up the good work
    Have a great day
    Keep sharing
    Philip Verghese ‘Ariel’ recently posted…21 Aspects Any Indian May Miss While Living In LondonMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Kristi Hines Profile

    Google has been marking sites as hacked for a while in search results. This new algorithm change just makes it that much more important for website owners to be proactive about their website security. In particular…

    1. Make sure you are with a good hosting company that has website security monitoring and hacking / malware cleanup services built in OR signup for a third-party service that does website security monitoring and hacking / malware cleanup services.

    For WordPress hosting, see WP Engine or Web Synthesis. For other third-party solutions, see VaultPress for WordPress or Sucuri.

    2. Sign up with Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). They will notify you if they think your site has been hacked. That will also be the place where you have to submit your site for reconsideration once you clean up the problem.
    Kristi Hines recently posted…Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas: 25 Content Marketing ResourcesMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hi Kristi,

      Indeed, there is need for website owners to be proactive with regards to the Google algorithm changes that are likely to affect hacked sites.

      Security is paramount when discussing ‘hacked sites’, hence, it becomes necessary to ensure whatever brings on site security is maintained.

      Your suggestions about a good and secure hosting service and effective use of Google search console or the Webmaster tool are in order.

      Thanks once again in leaving your thoughts on this!

  • Profile photo of Celine Profile

    Hi Sunday,

    The most important thing about this change is that better search results would be achieved. The targeting of hacked sites is quite welcoming.

    It would help eliminate deceptive search results that would affect conversion.

    As a webmaster, I have braced up for the algorithm change and have experienced better search results since the effect took place!

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hi Celine,

      Its good to know you braced up for the algorithm change. Since you have experienced better search results in traffic and conversion, it implies the change has been favorable to you! 😀 In other words, your site was not detected as a hack site 😉

      Well, thanks for sharing your experience anyway!

  • Profile photo of steven Profile

    Hi Sunday,

    Google is always on the go when it comes to making changes that are geared to improve search.

    It is not surprising that we have been informed of these changes. They all help to ensure better search engine optimization best practices!

  • Profile photo of Omar Saady Profile

    Totally agreed with your opinion Sunday,

    That means more advanced level of security will be add to the entire atmosphere of the internet for all communities from the average user to the webmaster gurus.

    Thanks for Google to this algorithm changes.

    Omar Saady recently posted…First Five Things to Do When Starting an Online BusinessMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hey Omar,

      Google algorithm changes are introduced every now and then. This particular change targets hacked sites.

      Therefore, if a brand is having content that is optimized in a ‘hacked’ site, then there is the possibility that this algo change affecting the ranking in the SERPs.

      Thanks for making contribution to this discussion!

  • Profile photo of Black Profile

    Well Sunday,

    It is more than a year after this news right? I guess websites that took preventative measures have actually enjoyed the positive implications as listed in this post.

    Google’s algorithm has changed many times after this, and it all yields towards ensuring a better web search and optimization!

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hey Black,

      Indeed, every change in Google’s algorithm is geared towards ensuring a better web experience. Yes, it is more than a year after this announcement and I am sure there has been many positive impacts for compliance!

  • Profile photo of Carl Profile

    Hey Sunday,

    Did all the predictions by Ning Song actually come to fruition? This is my question seeing that more than 12 months have passed since you published this post? What was the resultant effect for marketers?

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hey Carl,

      This is an interesting question and one that I can only give answer to by recommending you read Tony Edwards on Search Engine Land. The title is of the article is “Hacked Content On The Rise: Take SEO Precautions To Protect Your Site”.

      From this article you will understand why it has become necessary for Google to intervene and help website against hacked sites.

  • Profile photo of Paul Profile

    Hi Sunday,

    Google always brings on new changes to affect websites. With this change, I am sure many have been affected positively, while others have been affected negatively.

    It becomes important for webmasters to be open to learn and implement the best practices that affect what they do!

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hey Paul,

      Indeed, for every change that Google brings, some websites would be positively affected while others would be negatively affected.

      Indeed, there is need that webmasters are open to learning and be willing to follow through with any changes!

  • Profile photo of Sarah John Profile

    Hi Sunday,

    Google Algorithm for hacked sites is a welcome development. It will definitely help make websites safer and searches secure.

    Unless someone is not very sincere, a change in algorithms to improve search would always a welcome development.

    Thanks for sharing this information!

  • Profile photo of James Ling Profile

    Every change with the Google Algorithm always target ‘something’. This time it is ‘hacked sites’. Well, its all for better experience and performance.

    I would really like know of case studies or testimonials about sites affected by the algorithm change.

    This will help readers to know real impact of the change when it was made.

    Is there any real case study related to this?

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hi James,

      Your question is in order. However, I am not sure if can I provide you with the answer right now.

      I have no known case study of where this change affected a website or the ranking of a site.

      However, I will research to check out relevant testimonials to this effect!

  • Profile photo of Amit Sharan Profile

    Hi Sunday,

    Google algorithm changes is often scary. However, since this particular change is targeting hacked sites then there is nothing to worry about.

    For those webmasters who are into the best web practices, this news should not be a cause for worry. But for those with shady online practices, this is a warning!

  • Profile photo of Winford Moore Profile

    Hi Sunday,

    This is an interesting news. Since this change was aimed at ‘hacked sites’ it becomes necessary to avoid hacked sites or anything related with it.

    I wonder how the impact of this change was. Hopefully, as James Ling has stated, we expect to hear more about any case study of this impact!

    • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

      Hey Winford,

      This announcement was a welcomed one. Every webmaster that is running a hacked website can be affected in ranking on the search engine page.

      Like I replied to James Ling, I will research to check out relevant testimonials to this effect!

      Thanks for this comment.

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