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.