It’s Saturday morning here in Boston. I got up earlier than usual
(especially for a Saturday) since I had some stuff in my head that I couldn’t
Hopped onto the computer, fired up Google for some quick searches.
Warning, Will Robinson!
Low and behold, just about every site in the search results was giving me
“This site may harm your computer” warning. Hmmm, me thinks. Something’s not
right. So, I do some more searches, same issue.
Now, normally, this wouldn’t be
bad except that even
sites were giving the same warning. Of course, anything that impacts me is a
global crisis. RED ALERT!.
I’m wondering about all the traffic I’m likely going to lose because of this
warning. What number of users will actually click on a link that the almighty
harm your computer? Not many, I’m thinking. But I
relax a bit. Our regular readers would not likely be put-off this easily.
They’d likely click. They’re loyal, right?
So, I click on one of the links and then I see
Houston, now we have a
problem. Not only are warnings showing
up on the results page, now people that click in are getting an even bigger
warning. At this point, nobody in their right mind is going to go any
further. But, I’m not in my right mind, so I decide to go further.
What I find interesting is that, Google says I should (a) Go back and pick
another site (b) Try another search. Of course, Google
possibly be looking for the site that I’m looking for. (Which I am). Then, it
finally concedes (a little). It says: “Or you can continue to
at your own risk. To
make things harder, they didn’t even make the link clickable. So, if I
want to go to that page (which I do), I have to cut-paste the
URL into the browser directly. They want no part of my idioticness when it
comes to going to my own site (that might, just might harm my computer).
As it stands, the Internet (and particularly twitter) is a flurry with others
having this same problem. I get credit for sparking off the
hash tag. Fun, fun.
Leave a comment if you’ve seen this error (particularly if you’re somewhere
other than the U.S.). And, I promise that reading this article did not harm
your computer in any way.
Of course, chances are, like me, your website doesn't harm anyone either. But, regrettably,
Google likely harmed your web traffic today
Originally published Jan 31, 2009 10:04:00 AM, updated October 20 2016