Small businesses are reeling with the increase of cybercrime, but a website hacked may have greater consequences if Google dubs it "infected".
The search giant is constantly analyzing 60 billion URLs of websites for malware and identity theft. If you think that a site is suspicious, the business can say goodbye to their customers until the problem is resolved.
"If Google puts on the black list to an infected website, basically you're off the Internet until the site is fixed," said Peter Jensen, CEO of StopTheHacker.com.
Google estimates that brand and quarantines to 10,000 websites every day (not use the term "black list"). Not only scan the ads and the search results of Google, but also mark suspicious URLs that you type into your browser. Bing search engine operated by Microsoft treats infected sites in a similar fashion.
Being on the blacklist can quickly decimate sales and reputation of a small company.
"Businesses say they are not guilty and should not be penalized. Google says it wants to keep the Internet a safe place for users," says Jensen, whose company is contacted 20 or 30 times a day for businesses that have been put in blacklisted.
Google spokesman, Jason Freidenfeld stressed that point. "Nearly one billion people receive protection against phishing and malware every day because of the warnings that show users about unsafe websites," he said.
Margo Schlossberg owns a handbag online store in Washington DC, whose site was hacked in September. If you want your website on Google, yet the message, "This site may have been compromised."
The impact: traffic to this site decreased by 50% last month and sales have been minimal.
"It's the worst time to go through this," said Schlossberg. "The season of the year-end holidays is very important for my sales, but I'm on Google's blacklist."
Schlossberg hired an expert to fix your website, which had a cost of $ 1,000 (but can cost up to $ 10,000, depending on the extent of damage).
Hackers attacked several pages, and clean your website has taken a couple of weeks. Finally ready to re-submit your site to Google.
StopTheHacker says the process to clean an infected site usually involves several steps: identify malware and how to remove it, determine where the attack originated, change passwords and re-launch the website once it is clean.
Google says it takes a day to restore the websites once it is confirmed that they are clean. However, sometimes a company may think that the website is clean, but analysis of Google find otherwise. This can slow the process.
Eric Erickson's company sells online organic products for pest control. When your site was attacked in 2009, in effect paralyzed his business. He said it took 60 days it started again, and lost thousands of dollars in sales you missed.
Your site was attacked again in March, but this time he was prepared. "I caught it early because we improved our security," he said. The website was out of the blacklist.
The web hosting provider, DreamHost, pages regularly reviews its 350,000 customers - 40% of which are small businesses - in search of malware and other security threats. In September, DreamHost identified nearly 100,000 infected websites in its network of 1.3 million sites If customers can not solve problems by themselves, co-founder of Dallas Kashuba StopTheHacker recommended to help clean up the site.
The site human resources consulting Zugec Lynda was marked and quarantined by Google earlier this year. The hackers had obtained their hosting site password and had inserted malicious software on your website.
It took almost two weeks to get back online. Even beyond economic impact to Zugec concerned that the experience could have hurt its reputation with customers.
However, even with the logistical and financial difficulties, most said that the heavy hand of Google is necessary.
"Google also risks," said Erickson. "When someone clicks on your site, buy Google plus ones does not want to worry that something will happen to malicious users."
His advice: "Do not skimp when it comes to security. You have to invest in it. plus ones"
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