Mar 9 2009

How Google can and does screw small business

John

One of the worst things that could happen to 360|Conferences, happened the week leading up to 360|iDev. Another site on our shared hosting server, had some sort of vulnerability, and let in a script kiddy who hacked our index files. Weak sauce for sure.

The first time we caught it. The next we got an email from Google telling us about it, and bam, we’re listed as malware.

We fixed the problem, (3 times, thanks to our hosting company not detecting the problem, :(  ) and that wasn’t enough. When your site is marked by the Goog as being an “attack site” Safari, and Firefox (probably IE I guess) all throw warnings up and do their best to keep users from entering your site.

what could be worse for a developer conference, than it’s website the week before and during a conference? mmm Not much. Attendees couldn’t download the schedule or the session description, without trusting that Google was wrong and that we weren’t an attack site. That sucks!

We’re still trying to get things right, our Hosting company has re-submitted our sites for re-scan, we’ve done it, we’ve even tried redirecting to blogpost sites, it’s been partially successful. Oh and according to Google’s webmaster tools site, “Please allow several weeks for the re-evaluation process. Unfortunately, we can’t reply individually to reconsideration requests.”

It’s kinda weak that Google can flag a site as malware, and in a matter of hours, it’s black listed, and unavailable to most (or all) browsers. Yet getting “reconsidered” can take several weeks, and they can’t be bothered to respond individually, to help the company who’s business they’re impacting to solve the problem as fast as possible.

What really sucks, I don’t know how to get around it :( we’re planning to move our sites to a hosting partner that we can use wordpress on, since blogger is the suck, but that doesn’t lessen Google’s impact on our business whenever they choose to act.

Weak google, really really weak. Guess causing harm to small businesses, isn’t included in “do no evil”