Monday, March 3, 2008

Are you clean? Let Google decide for you.

Interesting post on Roger Thompson's blog here about Google (in their infinite wisdom) deciding to block organic search links to sites they deem "bad." 90% of the time this works and is a good thing. If there is malware hosted on a site, you want Google to be blocking access from the search engine.

But what if there isn't malware there? What if it's a case of mistaken identity? The idea that it could take 12 months to get this fixed would do significant damage to the web sites that are mistakenly accused.

The answer? Actually there isn't one. You should be using a tool like Roger's LinkScanner or McAfee's SiteAdvisor as a matter of practice (yes, it's one of Security Mike's suggestions). But there isn't much you as a user can do besides cutting and pasting the URL into your own browser, which is a pain the backside.

Although hope is not a strategy, we can only hope that Google is right a lot more often then they are wrong...

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1 comment:

srcasm said...

Great post about some of the lesser-known tactics that Google employs. While this is meant to assist users in fighting the spyware, malware and information hording websites it can, as you pointed out, hinder access to legitimate sites and cause them to fall off the face of the earth. In a world where Google is synonymous with URL, filtering out websites is a difficult thing to do.

I've always told people that they should be using McAfee SiteAdvisor. I use it on my personal and work machines and we have attempted to roll it out to a test group at work. I'm hoping that it works out in the long run.