“Is your site doing weird redirects? We just sent a ‘your site might be hacked’ message to 20K sites,” read a tweet posted by Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google, yesterday.
So, you may be wondering what Google has to do with website security and what they mean when they say weird redirects.
Search Engine Land informs that in many cases website owners and administrators are not aware that their assets have been compromised, mainly because the sites identified by Google as being overtaken only redirect visitors who access them from the search engine.
Since owners and admins rarely go to their sites from search engines, they’re unaware of the malicious operations that take place.
Regarding the systems used by Google to scan and block potentially infected websites, the company’s support page reveals the following:
This identification is based in part on guidelines set by StopBadware.org. Google uses its own criteria, procedures, and tools to identify sites that host or distribute badware. In some cases, third parties can add malicious code to legitimate sites, which would cause us to show the warning message.
If you feel your site has been mistakenly identified, or if you make changes to your site so that it no longer hosts or distributes malicious software and you secure your site so that it is no longer vulnerable to the insertion of badware, you can request that your site be reviewed (see below).
To protect users and communicate with owners of hacked sites, Google uses automatic scanners to constantly look for these sorts of web pages. If the hacker inserted malware into your site, we'll also identify your site as infected in our search results to protect other users.
Any determination that your site is infected is based purely on the content of the infected pages, and not on your reputation as a webmaster.