Get the most important digital marketing news each day.
The terrifying connection between malware, Google Search Console and AdWords
In the midst of a malware emergency or want to ensure you never have to deal with one? Columnist Glenn Gabe provides tips and recommendations based on his experience helping clients with security situations.
Security warnings in Google Search Console (GSC) can be scary. Really scary. Whether your site was flagged for being hacked, serving malware, unwanted software or worse, security warnings in GSC can cause serious problems for your organization.
First, your site can be harming users. That’s bad enough. Second, your organic search traffic can plummet as Google takes action against your site (either manually or algorithmically).
For example, your site can be labeled in the SERPs as being hacked or being a site that can harm your computer. In addition, with Google Safe Browsing, users might see the red screen of death in their browser as they try to visit your site. As you can guess, this can create serious barriers between users and your website content.
And with all of the buzz in the news about hackers, malware, phishing and more, you can bet that many users will not break through those security barriers and visit your site. They will often simply move on to another site that won’t infect them with malware.
When users can’t access your site, you can’t convert them. That means revenue can take a huge hit while security problems remain. It’s an extremely frustrating, confusing and terrifying situation for many businesses, both large and small.
If you’re at a smaller organization, chances are that your founder and CEO will be all over this from the start. And if you’re at a larger organization, you might receive a direct email from a C-level executive for the first time. Something like “Hey, great to have you on board here at XYZ corporation. If you don’t fix the security warnings today, you’ll be working out of our Siberia office by Monday, cleaning the mail room for the next ten years.”
That’s definitely a frightening situation, but what if I told you there’s another hidden danger based on security warnings showing up in Google Search Console? One that can kick you while you’re down, ripping even more revenue from your weary hands? Yes, I’m sorry to tell you that there is another danger, and it’s tied to your AdWords account.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.