Check your Google is happy with your site WEEKLY

Google does a good job trying to eliminate malware infected websites from its results to try to protect its many many users. But if your site gets flagged you might have a problem.

Google has a service called webmaster tools to give website owners information about their websites, including if it found malware etc.

Just recently we helped a customer whose site had been hacked, which led to a few hidden links being added to the footer of each page. They were trying to do SEO link building by hacking other people’s sites!

Google spotted this, great, but flagged the site in the search results as possibly hacked WITHOUT informing the website owner through their webmaster tools that anything had happened! They only found out when a customer called them and told them their site was flagged in the google search results. In the meantime traffic had dropped to almost zero (who is going to click on a result in Google if it says it might have been hacked?).

We helped them clear up the site, but then their real problem began. Google webmaster tools is supposed to report malware infection to you AND provide a mechanism to tell Google you have fixed it and ask them to reconsider listing your site. In this case webmaster tools didn’t indicate a problem and therefore didn’t provide the mechanism to ask Google to reconsider. All we could do was update pages and repeatedly resubmit them to Google asking them to reindex those pages, and hope it would realise that the malware had been cleared off. And it did… eventually, as in days and days later.

I think the delay in responding to the malware didn’t help, but Google’s system is seriously broken if it can tell the public that there might be a problem with a site, but not tell the website owner, nor allow them a mechanism to ask for the site to be reconsidered.

RECOMMENDATION: once a week type (replace with your web address) into Google’s search box and if you see anything that doesn’t look right seek immediate help!!!

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About Gerald Thulbourn

Gerald Thulbourn setup WebSanity in 2004. He has a 1st class honours MEng in Microelectronics & Software Engineering (i.e. he's a techy), 5 A grades at A level (i.e. he works hard) and loves to communicate (i.e. odd for a techy). He hates tech speak, sloppy/badly tested code, and technology for the sake of technology's sake. He loves helping people understand marketing concepts and seeing how their application makes a real difference to their business. In particular he loves training; SEO, Website Analysis, WordPress etc. Read more about us on Google+