A member of Google’s search quality team, Duy Nguyen, was interviewed on Google’s Search Off the Record podcast, where he described the most problematic kind of spam that the Internet faces today.
[00:13:05] John Mueller:
“Yes. So what kind of things do you still find problematic on the web? Like where does our influence come to its limits, or … I do not know how to hit it.
[00:13:16] Duy Nguyen:
“I would say that hack spam is still a problem for the ecosystem. Many pages still run on older versions of CMS, or they use outdated plug-ins or templates.
If you think about it … Well, personally, I do not know anyone who is still running Windows Vista.
And if you have friends still running Windows Vista, you’ll probably judge them, right? So can we do it like the web ecosystem if people are still running really outdated CMS? Can we help them get a version that is extremely more secure?
Much of the hack spam that took place today is almost no hacking. Many of the tools and scripts that people discover as five, six years ago are sometimes still used today to exploit websites, especially as older websites.
At the very least, I think we should make it much harder for these spammers to hack into websites and spread spammy or malware content.
Because when users visit your site, as if they were visiting Martin’s technology blog, they do not expect to go away with ransomware or malware.
I think we have enough resources and cooperation in the ecosystem to make that happen. I’m really looking forward to that. ”
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[00:14:31] John Mueller:
“… there are a lot of small businesses that just have their site running like this where it’s, ‘Oh, people can not find my phone number, and that’s good enough. “
And they are not aware that they are potentially causing a problem for the larger web just by keeping things running on something that is essentially outdated. ”
[00:15:22] Duy Nguyen:
“I would also say that the least they can do in these situations is sign up for the Search Console. For then they would have more data where they would realize that, oh, yes, running this very old version of CMS really hinders the potential of the site. ”
Maybe it’s just a lot slower if you have a number of improvements that the Search Console says you need to do, it’s just extremely difficult. So now they suddenly realize that there is one
much more incentive to keep the pages updated.
And of course, if you are signed up with Search Console, we will find hack or any issues, we will notify you immediately. Now we are pretty fast and we are pretty efficient at
discover hacks, so yes, that’s the least you can do.
And hopefully by signing up for the Search Console you will find more incentives to keep your sites up to date. Make all these improvements that would ultimately benefit the users a lot. ”
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John Mueller does not suggest using a CMS
Google’s John Mueller suggested that for some sites where content is not updated, it may be better to have a static HTML site and not use a CMS (like WordPress).
He then asked if a hosted solution outside of a CMS could be a good way to have an updated site that is resistant to hackers.
Duy Nguyen replied:
[00:18:38] Duy Nguyen:
“Yes, I think that would be a good solution.
In fact, we just released a number that in 2020 we sent over 140 million messages to website owners in the Search Console. That’s a lot more messages than previous years, not true. And the majority of it was from sites that came into the Search Console for the first time.
So many companies realized because of the pandemic or something else that they need better online presence.
Then suddenly they invest a lot more in building the website. Even simple things like menus were suddenly updated much more often, or now you can order online to pick up or be delivered.
And I notice that they also work with much more hosted platforms.
So I think it’s a good solution if you do not have your dedicated team to manage your sites or social media presence. You can go with the hosted platform and it will probably take care of a lot of the cost. ”
Spam that is problematic for the Internet
Duy Nguyen’s answer about hack spam being problematic for the internet is a good answer. The damage to site visitors, other sites and the location of the hacked site cannot be overstated.
Hacking events seem to be getting more aggressive and widespread, and as Duy said, it doesn’t have to be that way. Keeping a site fully updated can go a long way in preventing a site from being hacked.
Web spam management, search quality and more!