Get a Secure Host Or Your Google Referrals Can Suffer

May 17, 2010 • 8:18 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

We have all seen them Google Malware warnings in the search results, warning users not to click on the search results due to the site being infected with viruses. It is a webmaster's worst nightmare, a high ranking web page that has a warning from Google not to click on it. But as time goes on, malware and server hacks have become more and more common. Thus more and more sites & webmasters have experienced being hacked.

In fact, the issue is so common that Google has a malware details section in Webmaster Tools to address this concern. The tool is very helpful for webmasters that we hit by a malware hack. It tells you where the code is, what the code is and after you remove the malware it tells you how to resubmit to Google.

The thing is, more and more popular low-cost hosting companies are becoming targets for hackers. A Sphinn thread links to a Smackdown post that complains about GoDaddy's hosting service, claiming that it gets hit by hackers all too often. Well, it is not just them, I have clients on Network Solutions hosting that gets hacked weekly, in fact, Network Solutions has a special dial trunk (dial 3 or something) for website hacks - yea, they do! Many hosting companies have this issue, so when looking up a hosting company, maybe search for [hosting company name malware] or [hosting company name hack].

Because with all the best rankings in the word, having a malware warning under that listing will make that listing feel like a Google penalty.

Google Malware warning

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

Previous story: Google Handles Privacy Blunder Well


Brian Mark

05/17/2010 12:51 pm

I may not be a security expert by full-time profession, but closing holes in a web server isn't that difficult. The problem most people experience is that they don't do what they can to prevent leaks. Stuff like using WP with default paths to admin and allowing anyone to log in, especially if not using SSL, lead to a lot of it. Additionally, standard FTP isn't secure and causes quite a bit as well. From my experience, maybe 10% of issues (that could be high) are due to the host and 90% or more are due to the user not doing what they should to secure their website.

Tony Nguyen

05/17/2010 01:08 pm

Good point about WP Brian.

Barry Schwartz

05/17/2010 01:10 pm

My point is that there are some hosting companies, large ones, that are not secure and leave webmasters vulnerable. I'd agree with your percentages, although I have no stats on that.

Brian Mark

05/17/2010 01:14 pm

Another factor to consider is that generally the less savvy opt for shared hosting. This probably makes some of these easy choice hosts (such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions - register domain and get hosting in one stop) look more vulnerable as well. I don't doubt that they leave some stuff vulnerable, but most of the time it's something installed and not the server to blame.


05/17/2010 02:39 pm

I'm in the process of moving a client to a new server after they were hacked on Network Solutions. My first instinct was that it would affect their long term SEO. I'm not an expert, so just curious if having malware affects a site in the long term once it's been cleaned up.


05/17/2010 06:36 pm

Good suggestions, any advice provided that improves my SEO is appreciated.

blog comments powered by Disqus