“This site may harm your computer” — You may’ve seen those words in Google search results that’s displayed, when Google’s automatic scanners encounter a website or the server that it runs on with a security vulnerability, or malware. If you click the search result link you get another warning page instead of the website you were expecting.
Now that we understand what the warning means in search results, here’re some tips for webmasters to help clean things up:
Google Webmaster blog has some tips and a quick security checklist for webmasters. Stopbadware,org and their forums have helpful volunteers. You can also use Google SafeBrowsing diagnostics for your site (http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=<site-name-here>). If your site has been flagged, Google's Webmaster Tools lists some of the URLs that were scanned and found to be infected.
Once you cleaned up, you can request a malware review, the automatic systems will rescan your website and the warning will be removed if the malware is gone.
- Google usually emails the website owners and then posts a warning in Google's Webmaster Tools, when the malware label is applied. But no warning is given ahead of time.
- Google's Webmaster Tools has started a test to provide warnings to webmasters that their server software may be vulnerable.
- You can request a review via Google's Webmaster Tools and you can see the status of the review there. If you think the review is taking too long, make sure to check the status.
- Finally, don't confuse a malware review with a request for reconsideration. If Google's automated scanners find malware on your website, the site will usually not be removed from search results.