Google has revealed that it saw a 180% increase in the number of hacked spammy websites last year. In 2015, the search engine sent more 4.3 million messages to webmasters asking them to clean up spam on their sites, showing that it is serious about stamping out spam. As such, webmasters are advised to take steps to protect their content online and avoid being penalised for being spammy. The first tip is to protect your website from getting hacked by spammers. You should strengthen your account security, ensuring that your password is unique, long and difficult to guess. If two-factor authentication is available, you should use it. You should also make sure that you keep your website's software updated. This includes your content management system (CMS), as well as any add-ons or plug-ins that your website uses. It's also advised that you check that your hosting provider has good security policies. If you feel your hosting provider does not offer good enough security, you should consider looking for another provider. You are also advised to sign up for Google Search Console, which will notify you if Google identifies any suspicious content on your site. The second tip is to avoid accidentally posting spammy-looking content on your website. Google views thin, low-quality content as spammy, so you should ensure that your content is original, useful and rich.