Google’s hacked site algorithm came out this week. Google is trying to remove hacked websites from search results. It would make the web a safer place. Who knows what’s on those websites? Viruses? Phishing?
Only 5% of Queries Impacted
It is said to impact 5% of search queries. That’s quite a big impact compared to Pandas and Penguins.
Only Spammy Queries Impacted
Jennifer Slegg tweeted the following quoting Gary Illyes:
Some news sites including SEO Roundtable seem to take it as if a site is hacked, it will be completely removed from Google’s search results. There is however another possibility if we take the tweet literally: hacked sites are excluded from the search results only for spammy queries.
That would make a lot of sense. I have seen hacked sites that where only one page was injected with spammy content and the rest stayed.
No Reports of False Positives So Far
I am yet to see reports of false positives, and I don’t think we will see many. My overly simplified explanation of how this algo works is: filter sites that were initially in a non-spammy category, but suddenly have significantly changed and target spammy keywords.
I don’t think that would be true for a lot of other non-hacked sites.
The question that nobody seems to ask is whether links are devalued from these hacked websites. Oftentimes these sites are high-authority community sites. There are even .edu sites that get hacked. So I am wondering if links are completely devalued, or if you have a lot of them, they would trigger manual action.
That would of course open another front for negative SEO.
Have you heard of any false positives? Do you think links would be devalued from hacked sites?