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Google’s new “hacked” site warnings

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday December 18, 2010 )

Clicking a link can be a little like Russian roulette at times – you never know quite what you’re going to see, or what will happen.

Every day, thousands of sites are hacked – sometimes it’s just a relatively harmless hack where the page is replaced with a message, other times the site may look fine, but the tries to install malware on your system.

Google has been showing notices next to listing for sites detected to be serving malware for some time. In such instances, there is a link under the title stating “this site may harm your computer.” It’s been a very handy feature that has prevented me from visiting a site and getting more than I bargained for on quite a few occasions.

Google recently announced it has enhanced the notifications feature to include sites that may have been otherwise compromised and altered by a third party. The new notification says “This site may be compromised” for instances where suspicious activity has been detected.

The link that accompanies the text takes the user to a page describing what the warning is about.

Google says that webmasters affected by the notification who fix up the problem will usually have the warning removed within a few days automatically, or the process may be expedited by requesting a review of the fixed site.

Sometimes site owners may not be aware of the situation for some time – so Google will also try contacting the site owner if they have a Google Webmaster Tools account; via the contact email addresses listed there.

It’s another great feature from Google and yet another good reason to have a Webmaster Tools account. Webmaster Tools has come a long way in the past few years and it’s well worthwhile signing up (it’s free).

You can read the full announcement from Google here.


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