Google has recently taken a more active role in helping their search user’s avoid malware infections via the web. Google has begun flagging results by mentioning when a site that shows up in search is suspected of containing malware.
Why should you care if Google detects malware?
Google is by far the biggest search engine and is likely driving a large percentage of traffic to your site. If Google is flagging your site with a malware warning message many potential customers will heed the warning and steer clear of your site costing you potential traffic and potential sales in the process.
How will you know if you have a problem?
You could learn that your site has been flagged with a Google Malware warning a number of ways. A customer could mention that a Google malware warning has been detected or a browser warning was detected and express concern to your contact email address. You might also detect the problem by studying your analytics data and investigating a sharp traffic decline that could signify a problem of one sort or another. But these are very reactive measures wouldn’t you prefer to find out about a problem before it caused a major business impact?
How can you be proactive and check if Google has detected a problem with your site?
There are several methods you can use to validate if Google has detected a problem with your site
Check your site using the Google Safe Browsing Tool
Insert the following url into your browser and replace informationsecurityhq.com with the name of the site you would like to check.
The example below shows that Google has not detected any issues with my site. If any suspicious activity is detected from the site you check you know you have a serious problem that requires immediate attention.
Utilize Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools has a lot of functionality for a webmaster including the ability to check your site for malware. This can be done by navigating to Diagnostics > Malware If no problem is detected you will receive a message that states: Google has not detected any malware on this site.
If either of these methods detect a problem it is important you quickly take action to fix your site and regain its good standing. I will cover some common tips for removing malware from a site in my next post.