Google: 12 To 14 Million Searches Per Day Returned Hacked Sites

Google’s security blog announced today several updates on how they have been addressing malware and hacked sites on the internet.

Google said that between 12 and 14 million search queries per day return warnings that at least one of the results listed in the Google search results were compromised. Google has two types of labels for sites that were hacked, either they are listed as compromised or as harmful. The difference is that compromised sites are hacked and the content and links may have changed but they are likely not harmful to the searcher to click on them. The harmful warning is an extended warning that says if you go to the web site, your computer may be infected with malware.

Google finds about 9,500 new malicious websites every day and sends “thousands of notifications daily to webmasters.”

Hacked sites and malware in the search results are serious issue. In fact, USA Today has a story out yesterday named Search results may deliver tainted links. The story quotes a study from Blue Coat Security Lab that says users are four times as likely to be infected by compromised search results when compared to spam emails.

Google also does try to warn and prevent malware and other viruses through their browser, Chrome and through their Safe Browsing API that other browsers and companies can adopt. They even send thousands of notifications daily to Internet Service Providers about these issues.

Since 2009, the number of infected sites – legitimate websites that are compromised so they can deliver or redirect to malware is down. However the number of “attack” web sites – websites that are specifically built to distribute malware is up. Here are some charts from Google:

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Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Security | Google: Web Search | Legal: Security | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Scott McKirahan

    Every time I read things like this I just shake my head, thinking about these losers and how much good they could do if they put their talents to productive use.

  • Cedric Lee

    Why not remove those identified “attack” sites on serps temporarily? I think that would be a better way to prevent the spread of those malwares.

  • Cedric Lee


  • Barry Schwartz

    That is the exact question we asked Google.  They say it is because owners of hacked sites are more likely to fix the hack if the warning shows up in the search results.  But at what point should you remove that site completely, over time or depending on how bad the malware is?

  • IMSpot

    Yes i also want to say why not remove this temporarily, that would be the best thing and easier.
    Anyway a lot of malware sites. Not good

  • Gloria Hairston

    Yes i also want to say why not remove this temporarily, that would be the best thing and easier.

  • Elmer

    my aunt brought home $16847 a week ago. she is working on the internet and got a $425900 condo. All she did was get fortunate and put to use the clues revealed on this website ===>><a href="“>

  • Roshan

    Sometimes regularly visited/popular websites are attacked/compromised too. I think time-stamped message like ‘this website was compromised since last month’ would alert the average users and the webmasters better.

  • Nomadic Samuel

    I completely agree.  I wish their talents were put to better use although it’s an interesting point made about attacking the competitions websites.  I have a feeling this is done more often than most would imagine.

  • peterzmijewski

    Be aware of these hacked sites which may harmful for our sites…

  • WiseStep

    Fixing malicious content will certainly help user experience in a great way. This certainly going to benefit webmasters as they need not compete with malware anymore. Good work Google !

  • Seosive

    Unfortunately it’s not difficult to hack certain sites, which puts a lot of people at risk..

    The important thing is to put appropriate security in place on your website(s). I have had the misfortune of dealing with hackers on one of my WordPress sites before, but security plugins have prevented this from happening again. :)

  • Cassandra

    My ńeighboŕ’s mŏther-iń-ląw Maḱes $8O houŕly on the laptoṗ. She has bėėn out of w0rḱ for 7 Ṁonths but ląst Ṁonth her ińcome wąs $8734 just worḱińg on thė laṖt0Ṗ for a ƒew hours. Gŏ to this web siṫe and ŕead morė.. Ca&

  • SEO Inspection

    Matt Cutts answered a tweet I sent him asking him why post a message and keep in search results? His answer was so people could alert the site to the issue. So we are suppose to risk getting infected from the visit? Makes no sense. But if I have a duplicate title I am on page 10!

  • SEO Inspection

    Just search Viagra – #6 is a compromised site.
    Also, inurl:edu viagra – .edu sites seem to always be compromised.

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