Saturday, August 22, 2009

Google Is Harming My Computer

I've had a bad bad thing happen. This morning I checked on my Google Webmaster Tools to see a big warning in red, "This site may be distributing malware."

I then Googled a search string that brings up the affected website to see that searchers were being warned that, "This site may harm your computer."

Clicking on the link brought up another warning that sounded dire.

In the Webmaster Tools, under the warning in red it said, "Status of the latest badware review for this site: A review for this site has finished. The site was found clean. The badware warnings from web search are being removed. Please note that it can take some time for this change to propagate."

So far the "badware" warnings are still there. I have been wondering why I've had a big drop in website visitors of late. Usually about 80% of searchers come to the website via Google, followed by Yahoo and Bing. Currently most are coming from Yahoo, then Bing, with Google trailing.

I don't know how long this warning has been scaring people off my harmless website. It seems like recently someone said something about seeing a warning. And someone on Facebook said clicking on a link to a photo brought up a "pollutant" warning.

I looked at the source code for 6 webpages the Webmaster Tools pointed me to. Each had a line of code that I had not inserted. The code is:

Now this is interesting, earlier I'd copied and pasted the troubling code in this spot. Hours later I look at the blog and see white space where that code had been. This must seem some dire, evil code to be removed mysteriously.

I have no idea what megastatistic is, but Googling it I found that Google does not like it. I have now removed that code. I hope I found all the instances of it.

During the course of trying to figure out what has gone wrong and fix it, I learned that on January 31, of this year, Google had a malfunction that put the "This site may be distributing malware" warning on every link on their search engine, world-wide, including Google's own webpages. This was quickly fixed.

I have no idea how much AdSense revenue I've lost due to this. For the past several days I have noticed a decline.

Anyway, very frustrating day. I hate stuff like this.


twister said...

i went to you eyesontexas site and my virus scanner at the time went off saying it was trying to distribute a trojan to my pc. if you didn't insert the code maybe you should check the strength of your password.

Durango said...

Twister---Do you remember how long ago that happened? My web host is supposedly so secure, Fort Knox secure. The password was changed some time back to being a more complicated one.

twister said...

First of august for sure.

Durango said...

Wow. That long. I know I've logged in to the Webmaster Tools within the past week. But the warning never showed up til today. Apparently the Google search warning has been happening for over a week. I wonder if that started way back at the start of the month? Why am I always the last to know these things? I am so tired of looking through HTML code today.

Anonymous said...

I was going to mention the malware warning last week but I didn't because I don't like Seattle snobs.

Bremerton & Kitsap county folks I like. Seattle and King county types are not my favorite people.

Anyway I have a Mac Mini running OS X which isn't affected by most malware. I think.

Durango said...

Anonymous---I don't like Seattle Snobs either. But what does that have to do with malware warnings?