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Friday, October 17, 2008

How long does a review take?

Webmasters are eager to have a Google malware label removed from their site and often ask how long a review of the site will take. Giving an exact answer is a bit difficult. Both the original scanning and the review process are fully automated. The systems analyze large portions of the internet, which is big place. And, there are other webmasters also requesting reviews. In short, there are a lot of variables that factor into how long any particular review will take. If you're lucky, the label will be removed within a few hours. At its longest, the process should take a day or so.

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. Finding all the malware on a site is difficult and the automated scanners are far more accurate than humans. The scanners may have found something you've missed and the review may have failed.  If your site has a malware label, Google's Webmaster Tools will also list some sample urls that have problems. This is not a full list of all of the problem urls (because that's often very, very long), but it should get you started.

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. There is also a different process that removes spammy websites from Google search results. If that's happened and you disagree with Google, you should submit a reconsideration request. But if your site has a malware label, that won't do much good - for malware you need to file a malware review from the Overview page:

If you're still having problems, I recommend stopbadware.org and their forums. There's tons of information that can help you clean things up and even some very helpful volunteers who will answer questions (sometimes I'm one of them). The Google Webmaster Central blog also has a quick security checklist for webmasters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank You, I used your review in my blog.