[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Infection by KayVee.INC, on Flickr"][/caption]A few days ago, the fine folks at Google sent me a note. It seems that they -- Google -- had detected malware on one of the websites I manage. Anyone visiting that site ran a risk of having their computer infected with malicious code. That's bad. Muy mal.
Luckily the fix was easy. Google even pointed me to the exact place where the problem was happening. Google. The giant company. They could have removed my site from their index. But they didn't. Instead, they contacted me. I fixed it. The warning went away. And all is right with the world.
I'm not special. I'm smart. I added my site -- as I do all of my sites -- to Google Webmaster Tools. Yeah, it's a crappy name that brings up memories of 1998 when there was as single person who "mastered" the website. Those days are long gone, but the name has stuck.
Google Webmaster tools gives you a ton of insight to how users are interacting with your site. And also how Google sees your site. It's specifically because I had added the site to Webmaster Tools that this notice was sent to me. If I had not, Google would not known who to notify about the problem. And eventually, my site would have been removed from Google's index. And once that happens, it's a royal pain in the ass to get it back in. Without being in Google's index, your site might as well not exist at all.
Have you signed up for Google Webmaster and added all of your sites? No? It's free and just takes a minute to get going. What are you waiting on?