20 Dec 2010

Google aims to prevent black hat SEO

Black hat search engine optimization poses a significant threat to anyone using a search engine, forcing Google expand its program to prevent users from clicking malicious links that lead to scams or malware installations, the company recently reported.

The feature warns users that a site they attempted to access might be compromised. It uses automated tools to indicate that a site contains malware, phishing scams or is under the control of a third-party. Both malicious and legitimate websites can contain malware. Hackers often embed exploits in legitimate websites to help carry out phishing attacks and spread spam.

"When we detect something suspicious, we'll add the notification to our search results," wrote Gideon Wald, Google’s associate product manager, in a recent blog post. "We'll also do our best to contact the site's webmaster via their Webmaster Tools account and any contact email addresses we can find on the webpage."

Wald also said Google will allow websites to request expedited reviews to remove warnings more quickly after they are cleaned.

Spammers are still going strong despite efforts to circumvent them. According to a recent report, spammers sent 95 billion emails in 2010. Spam accounted for 89.1 percent of all emails.