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News: The State Of Search

“I have learned my lesson. Anybody who builds a business based on the whims of a search engine’s algorithms — that’s a foolish thing to do.” ~Tim Carter. Carter is a site owner who CNET reported lost thousands of dollars after Google’s algorithm updates took effect.

There are lots of things afoot in the world of search these days, so here’s a roundup of the latest in search from Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Google

Google may be soon be out of hot water since there are reports that the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation and potential anti-trust suit against the company is lacking some needed evidence. Continue reading “News: The State Of Search” »

F.B.I. Shuts Down Servers Hit By Virus

At 12:01 EST Tuesday morning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, otherwise known as the F.B.I., shutdown the servers of thousands of computers infected with the virus known as DNSChanger.  The move came as a surprise to few, and had been planned days in advance.  In fact, the F.B.I. had been monitoring these servers for the past eight months, and had installed something of a safety net to prevent potentially infected servers from being completely devastated by the virus.  However, the court order that the bureau received mandating that they do so met its expiration date back on March 8.  The bureau decided to allow for a few more months for users to be prepared for the shutdown.

Continue reading “F.B.I. Shuts Down Servers Hit By Virus” »

Jesse Stoler

About Jesse Stoler

Jesse Stoler is a Content Specialist at Page One Power, a link building firm based out of Boise, Idaho. His hobbies include stand up comedy and pretending he has fans.

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Are You Thinking About Your Site Security?

While researching for an upcoming blog post on website security, I came across a blog post by Google’s Matt Cuts about what he referred to as the the second biggest problem facing web site owners. Hacking presents a huge dilemma both for site owners and for Google. Chris Crumb, an online news writer, posted about that very thing. It’s worth a look, and keep your eyes peeled for our take on the subject.  You can read Crumb’s original post here. 

 

Here’s What Matt Cutts Says to Sites That Have Been Hacked

The other kind of spam Google is dealing with

Here’s What Matt Cutts Says to Sites That Have Been Hacked

Google’s head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, has been in the news a lot this week, thanks to Google’s big webspam update, which has become officially known as the Penguin update. As Cutts says, Google has to deal with more types of spam than just the black hat SEO tactics, which the update targets. They also have to deal with sites who have been hacked.

It’s not uncommon to stumble across compromised sites in Google’s search results. In fact, we saw a few with the “This site may be compromised” tag on the SERP for “viagra” this week, when we were analyzing the effects of the Penguin update. While Google addressed some issues with that SERP (viagra.com is ranking at the top again), there are still some compromised results on the page, even today.

On his personal blog, Cutts posted an example email of what he tells site owners who have sites that Google has identified as hacked. The email (minus identifying details) says:

Hi xxxxxxx, I’m the head of Google’s webspam team. Unfortunately, example.com really has been hacked by people trying to sell pills. I’m attaching an image to show the page that we’re seeing.

We don’t have the resources to give full 1:1 help to every hacked website (thousands of websites get hacked every day–we’d spend all day trying to help websites clean up instead of doing our regular work), so you’ll have to consult with the tech person for your website. However, we do provide advice and resources to help clean up hacked websites, for example
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=163634
https://sites.google.com/site/webmasterhelpforum/en/faq-malware-and-hacked-sites
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/04/my-sites-been-hacked-now-what.html
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2007/09/quick-security-checklist-for-webmasters.html
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/best-practices-against-hacking.html

We also provide additional assistance for hacked sites in our webmaster support forum athttps://groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/forum/#!forum/webmasters . I hope that helps.

Regards,
Matt Cutts

P.S. If you visit a page like http://www.example.com/deep-url-path/ and don’t see the pill links, that means the hackers are being extra-sneaky and only showing the spammy pill links to Google. We provide a free tool for that situation as well. It’s called “Fetch as Googlebot” and it lets you send Google to your website and will show you exactly what we see. I would recommend this blog posthttp://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/11/generic-cialis-on-my-website-i-think-my.html describing how to use that tool, because your situation looks quite similar.

Cutts says the best advice he can give to site owners is to keep their web server softare up to date and fully patched. If you want Google’s advice on the other kind of spam, read this.