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Data Highlighter WYSIWYG Tool for Structured Data Markup; Helping Webmasters Recover Hacked Sites

Google making it easy for webmaster to markup their pages with structure data with a new browser based point-and-click tool dubbed “Data Highlighter” that lets authorized site owners in Google Webmaster Tools add rich snippet / structured data markup to their web pages.

Google Data Highlighter WYSIWYG tool for Structured data markup

No longer do you need to know HTML to add this markup data – Instead, you just use your mouse to highlight and “tag” each key piece of data on a typical event page of your website.

The Data Highlighter tool is currently only available in English and for structured data about events, such as concerts, sporting events, exhibitions, shows, and festivals.

But Google plans on adding more languages and data types in the future.

To get started with Data Highlighter, visit Webmaster Tools, select your site, click the “Optimization” link in the left sidebar, and click “Data Highlighter”. When you finish tagging up the content, you can review a sample of all the event data that Data Highlighter now understands.

“If it’s correct, click “Publish.” From then on, as Google crawls your site, it will recognize your latest event listings and make them eligible for enhanced search results. You can inspect the crawled data on the Structured Data Dashboard, and unpublish at any time if you’re not happy with the results,” google wrote.

“If your page lists multiple events in a consistent format, Data Highlighter will “learn” that format as you apply tags, and help speed your work by automatically suggesting additional tags. Likewise, if you have many pages of events in a consistent format, Data Highlighter will walk you through a process of tagging a few example pages so it can learn about their format variations. Usually, 5 or 10 manually tagged pages are enough for our sophisticated machine-learning algorithms to understand the other, similar pages on your site,” google explains.

Watch the video explaining how the tool works, and or refer this Help Center:

In another blog post, Google posted a guideline to help site owners whose site hacked.

“With this post we wanted to outline two common types of attacks as well as provide clean-up steps and additional resources that webmasters may find helpful,” google stated.

Injected Content. Hackers may attempt to influence search engines by injecting links leading to sites they own. “These links are often hidden to make it difficult for a webmaster to detect this has occurred. The site may also be compromised in such a way that the content is only displayed when the site is visited by search engine crawlers,” google said.

A few good places to look for the source of such behavior of such a compromise are .php files, template files and CMS plugins. Or, you can check the content your site returns to Google by using the Fetch as Google tool.

Google says, they will send a message to Webmaster Tools account with useful details if they’re able to detect the injection.

Redirecting Users. One of the ways hackers accomplish this is by modifying server configuration files (such as Apache’s .htaccess) to serve different content to different users. In addition, “this can also be accomplished by injecting JavaScript into the source code of a site,” google said.

The JavaScript may be designed to hide its purpose so it may help to look for terms like “eval”, “decode”, and “escape”.

If your site has been compromised, see the instructions for cleaning your site and preventing compromises. Once you’ve cleaned up your site you should submit a reconsideration request to Google to remove the warning label in its search results.

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