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  • SEO TIPS: Malware Can Kill Your Traffic

    What is the key to conversions online? Is it all about raw traffic? Is it about directed traffic? Is it a matter of a little bit of each along with other considerations? The answer isn’t as cut and dried as it may seem. There are a number of factors that lend them self to your being able to successfully convert online, but it all begins in one very simple, yet not so easy to attain, place.

    Traffic is the primary element of conversions leading to sales on websites, and the primary source of traffic for most sites is Google with Bing playing a more prominent role as time moves on. However, search engines will seriously penalize websites which are found to be hosting malware in their domains. Unfortunately, a site can be hacked and infected without the knowledge of either the owner or webmaster. Because of this, it is important to regularly have your site scanned for such problems and know the warning signs to look for if your site is infected.

    The rules and penalties are very clear. Google’s search quality guidelines warn:  “Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.” Keeping a regular log of when checks were performed and their result is always a good idea. If malware on your website is the result of successful hacking activity, it can be hard to prove it isn’t you and Google will want to get you out of the results quickly and may not give you time to find the problem. A diagnostic log won’t stop that, but it may help you get reinstated much more quickly once fixes have been made.

    Regular checks are also important because if you can detect malware early, it will not cause as much damage to your websites or your visitors. Google can actually help you, since they have the most effective tools for detecting hacked in malware on your website. Simply go to, and type in site: (using your domain name where it says yourdomain). Use your domain name only, and don’t include www. so you will get the maximum number of indexed pages.

    Going this route should serve as a sufficient regular checkup. Google will provide all the indexed pages in your website. If you ahve a lot of pages, change the default view to 100 instead of 10 results per page (you can do this in “Advanced search” under “Need more tools”. Select”repeat the search with the omitted results included” to display any hidden results. You should do this a minimum of once each month.

    Now that you know what to do, what are you looking for? Any result that is flagged with “This site may harm your computer.” means that Google found malware hosted on that URL. It is a massive. glaring warning you will not be able to miss. If you see it, it means you have indeed been hacked by someone who broke to plant malware. Once you have identified that, it is time to get repairs underway.

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