Imagine that an internet user is searching for a website just like yours. Your SEO efforts have paid off — your site lands at the top of the search results, and the potential customer clicks the link, only to be met with a warning that there’s a “deceptive site ahead” or that “the site ahead contains malware.”
But you’re not trying to deceive anyone. Why would Google show a warning about your site?
While this message can be alarming, the good news is that website warnings like “deceptive site ahead” can be fixed. Keep reading to find out what these warnings mean and how to remove them from your website.
What Does “Deceptive Site Ahead” Mean?
Finding out your website has a warning is a shock. Your first reaction might be to assume there’s nothing wrong with your site. After all, you know that you didn’t put anything dangerous on it.
But someone else might have.
We’ve all read about cyber attacks on major corporations in the news, but it can happen to the little guys, too. In fact, 46% of data breaches happen to small businesses.
Common types of website hacks include URL injection, which is when a hacker creates spam pages on a site, and content injection, like adding keywords and gibberish text.
If you get one of Google’s warnings, it may indicate that you’ve been hacked. It’s also possible that you’ve set up your site in a way that Google doesn’t like.
Reasons for the warnings include:
To get the warning removed, you’ll have to resubmit your website to Google and ask to have it unflagged as dangerous or deceptive. Fortunately, this is a pretty simple process.
Don’t submit your site to Google until you’re sure the problem with your website has been solved (more on this later on).
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Website Warning Messages and What They Mean
“Deceptive site ahead” isn’t the only warning Google attaches to websites. While the fix — resubmitting your site to Google — is the same for all of them, the meaning of each is slightly different.
Understanding what the warning means is the first step to fixing it. So let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.
“Deceptive Site Ahead”
This warning refers specifically to websites that might be phishing sites. For example, it could be a page designed to look like it belongs on your website but used to steal users’ personal information.
“Site Ahead Contains Malware”
This indicates that the website might try to install harmful software on a site visitor’s computer. The malware could potentially be embedded in your site in places like images, third-party components, or ads.
This is a general warning that Google has deemed a site suspicious and potentially unsafe.
“Site Ahead Contains Harmful Programs”
The harmful programs error warns that
This article was written by Salman Ravoof and originally published on Blog – Kinsta®.