Webmaster level: All

Today we’ve added a new notification to our search results that helps people know when a site may have been hacked. We’ve provided notices for malware for years, which also involve a separate warning page. Now we’re expanding the search results notifications to help people avoid sites that may have been hacked and altered by a third party, typically for spam. When a user visits a site, we want her to be confident the information on that site comes from the original publisher.

Here’s what the notification looks like:


Clicking the “This site may be hacked” link brings you to an article in our Help Center which explains more about the notice. Meanwhile, clicking the result itself brings you to the target website, as expected.

We use a variety of automated tools to detect common signs of a hacked site as quickly as possible. When we detect something suspicious, we’ll add the notification to our search results. We’ll also do our best to contact the site’s webmaster via their Webmaster Tools account and any contact email addresses we can find on the webpage. We hope webmasters will also appreciate these notices, because it will help you more quickly discover when someone may be abusing your site so you can correct the problem.

Of course, we also understand that webmasters may be concerned that these notices are impacting their traffic from search. Rest assured, once the problem has been fixed, the warning label will be automatically removed from our search results, usually in a matter of days. You can also request a review of your site to accelerate removal of the notice.

If you see this notification appearing on your site’s listing, please take a look at the instructions in our Help Center to learn how you can begin to address the problem. Together, we can make the web a safer place.

Update (2:50pm PT, September 19th 2013): We've updated this post to reflect the change in the notification wording.