Google has added notifications to its popular search results that alert users when they are in danger of traveling to a website that has been compromised.
When Google believes that a website has been hacked, a notification will appear under the search result which states, 'this site may be compromised.' Google also provides a similar warning that is meant to steer search engine users away from sites that have been infected with malware.
These warnings are a response, in part, to the challenges that Google faces as a result of black hat search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Black hat SEO is a term that refers to malicious actions, such as keyword stuffing and link farming, to drive traffic to a website. Using these tactics, attackers can abuse search engines to boost the search rankings of malicious pages.
According to a statement from Google representatives, the company has provided notices of malware for years, which involve a separate warning page before entering the website. Now, the company is expanding search results notifications to help people avoid sites that may have been compromised and altered by a third party.
Usually, this tactic is used for spamming. When a user visits a site, Google wants that visitor to be confident that the information on that site comes from the original publisher. That is why they have set up this new notification system.
When a user clicks on the alert, he or she can get more information about the notice. Users also have the option of clicking on the result, ignoring the warning, and going to the website instead.
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