Google Webmaster Tools Will Now Alert You About Hacks and Spam

Google recently announced on their Webmaster Central Blog that they will begin alerting webmasters when their websites have potential issues such as:

  • Spammy or abused content
  • Abused forum pages or large amounts of comment spam on their blogs
  • Indications that their website or webpages have been hacked or defaced

Where are these messages?

By default, these messages sent by Google appear in the “Messages” section of your Webmaster Tools Account (link in left hand menu when you first log in). If you’re anything like me, you might go a week or two without logging into Webmaster Tools, which could mean you miss an all important message about your site being hacked, or your forum/blog spammed excessively.

Ignore these messages for too long, and it could affect your site’s ranking.

Get alerts via email

Fortunately, right on the front page of your Webmaster Tools account, is a simple dropdown to have these messages forwarded to your email address(es) associated with your account. Google’s Help With Forwarding page provides more information about how to add an address, change forwarding, etc…

I just logged into our account and found out we did not have email alerts turned on. I’m glad I checked.  :)

So, log into your Google Webmaster Tools account, and set up message forwarding to an email address you check regularly. It could save your site from being blacklisted by Google, as Google provides you a few days to correct problems before they de-list your pages.

If your website has been hacked…

If you find that your website has been hacked, malware inserted via FTP Injection Attacks, or it’s been defaced, Google provides a way to get de-listed from their “unsafe” list. Our previous blog post on malware detection and removal covers this in more detail.

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