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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Advance Warning

I often hear webmasters asking Google for advance warning before a malware label is put on their website. When the label is applied, Google usually sends email the website owners and then posts a warning in Google's Webmaster Tools. But no warning is given ahead of time, before the label is applied. I can understand why that would be helpful - the webmaster may be able to quickly clean up the site without any drop in web traffic.

But, look at the situation from the user's point of view. As a user, I'd be pretty annoyed if Google sent me to a site it knew was dangerous and I had to wipe my computer or had my banking information stolen because of malware. Even a short delay would expose some users to that risk and it doesn't seem justified. I know it's frustrating for a webmaster to see Google traffic drop when a malware label is applied. But, ultimately, the webmaster is responsible for all the content on their website. And one frustrated webmaster seems better than hundreds or thousands of frustrated users with malware infections.

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