Google s Duy Nguyen Says Hack Spam Is A Huge Problem On The Web
Top SEO agencies tuned in to Google's Search Off the Record podcast as John Mueller interviewed Duy Nguyen, a member of Google's Search Quality team. Nguyen told businesses owners and SEO agencies about one of the most problematic types of spam that the Internet faces today.
Google's John Mueller started the discussion by asking Nguyen about the issues he finds on the Internet. Duy Nguyen replied that the hack spam is still an issue that they are addressing. He said that many websites still use outdated templates and plug-ins or old CMS versions.
An online business or site owner who would run their website on old systems are subject to the SEO community's judgement. Older websites are more likely to become victims of hack spam, but this issue involves barely any hacking. Many people just use outdated tools and scripts from five or six years ago to exploit sites that run on an old CMS.
The real question is, what can an SEO do to address the issue if some people run their websites using an outdated CMS? Is it possible to help them use a newer version that would strengthen their website security?
Nguyen said that the SEO community should at least make it harder for spammers to spread malware and spammy content or hack into their sites. Unreliable websites will chase customers away; everyone's goal in the industry is to guarantee site visitors a ransomware- or malware-free experience. Moreover, almost all online businesses and site owners have enough cooperation and resources to make this idea a reality, which is something to look forward to.
Mueller then commented on smaller companies that settle for the bare minimum for their websites, choosing to keep it running on an outdated CMS. He said that these companies do not realise they are potentially causing a massive issue for the whole Internet just by being lax and not updating their website.
In these cases, Nguyen recommends that SEO agencies and webmasters sign up for Google Search Console, which is the very least that they can do. Doing so would give them more data and help them realise that they are using an outdated CMS version that hinders their website's potential. For instance, it might be a whole lot slower if Search Console says there are a lot of improvements needed to be done. These warnings would make webmasters and SEOs realise that they can get more benefits if they update their websites.
Moreover, if a site owner or SEO signs up on Search Console, Google will notify them immediately if there are any hacks or other issues. The search engine is also fast and effective at detecting hacks, so it would help all online businesses and site owners out there. Nguyen also added that using Search Console would help the SEO community find more incentives to keep their websites up-to-date. The tool would remind them to make all the necessary improvements that would benefit the users.
John Mueller Recommends Not Using A CMS In Certain Scenarios
Mueller said that websites with outdated content would be better off using a static HTML site instead of a CMS like WordPress. He asked Nguyen if webmasters and publishers could steer clear of CMSs and look for an alternative hosted solution to get a site that is more resistant to hackers.
Duy Nguyen agrees with Mueller's proposed solution. He shared that their team published a number that, last year, they sent more than 140 million messages to Search Console users. That was much more compared to the preceding years. This only shows that many online businesses and site owners realised they needed to improve their online presence, most likely due to the pandemic.
Suddenly, the SEO community invested more in building their websites, updating even the simplest parts like the menus or adding new features to allow users to order online and choose whether they want to pick up the item or have it delivered. Nguyen also added he noticed a lot of hosted platforms.
Dropping the use of CMS could be a decent solution, especially for small businesses that do not have an in-house team that can manage their social media or website. They can instead use a hosted platform, which would take care of a lot of tasks.
The Thoughts Users Have When Visiting Outdated Websites
Users may get spam or malware when visiting an outdated website and receive an unpleasant experience that would make them rethink visiting again. Here are some of their thoughts:
- Does this business care that their website is outdated? - If one does not care for their website, it sends a strong message that the business owner does not care for their customers. Constantly improving the website means they are making time and exerting effort into their company, which lets users know that their needs will also be taken care of.
- The competitor's website looks better. I'll shop here instead. Users might go to another competitor's site if theirs look more professional and up-to-date.
- This website does not look aesthetically similar to other sites in this industry. Many web developers spend time imitating the same level of aesthetics as other site competitors. With an outdated design, they might think that the products and services offered are outdated as well.
Hack Spam Causes Bigger Issues For The Internet
Duy Nguyen's insights about hack spam are an eye-opener for many small businesses and site owners who use outdated CMS versions. It is not an overstatement that using obsolete tools and CMSs can lead to severe damage to a website's search rankings, site visitors, and even other sites.
Hacking events are becoming more widespread and aggressive, according to Nguyen, but it does not have to be this way. Keeping a website up-to-date will do a lot to prevent getting hacked and many other problems.
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