Safeguarding Subscribers and Publishers

Web-based malware is a headache. Not only for the damage it inflicts if you happen to visit a page hosting some rot that your system is vulnerable to, but also because if you’re unaware of a security problem on your site it may ultimately affect your site’s listing in search results. Google’s Webmaster Tools utility has a stark warning about malware (or links to malware) when it detects them on your site:

Google has detected harmful code on this site. We recommend that you act quickly to clean up your site. Failure to do so may lead to Google users seeing a warning when they attempt to visit pages on this site.

Yikes, right? It gets worse though. Sometimes simply linking to a site that has become infected or compromised can cause warnings like the one above to start appearing, even if your own site is squeaky clean. You’d want to know about that, of course — and you certainly wouldn’t want to be accidentally sending your visitors off to a bad neck of the woods to get infected with all manner of online nastiness.

As of this weekend, then, if FeedBlitz is informed that a link in one of the feeds or emails that we manage is now bad (and it may not have been hostile when you originally linked to it), several things will happen:

  1. FeedBlitz will blacklist the link in question.
  2. FeedBlitz will no longer send visitors who click on that link to the compromised page.
  3. Instead, they will be sent to a warning page.
  4. FeedBlitz will send the publisher an email about the link, describing the action taken and how to fix it.

Put another way – we safeguard your subscribers by not letting them get there from here, and we safeguard you by letting you know that there’s a problem.

More than likely you’re simply linking to a third party site in a post that now presents a security risk, and so you can’t do much about it. But you can manage your links to it, and we can protect your subscribers until the problem resolves.  If the issue is with your site, however, once it’s fixed you simply let us know. FeedBlitz will let click-throughs resume after confirming that the page in question no longer represents a threat. In the highly unlikely event that a page on your site is blacklisted, know that it only affects that page – all other normal links will work, and your services will be otherwise completely unaffected.

Bottom line: Your readers stay safe, and you get the heads up about a problem that, if left unmanaged, could adversely affect your presence in search engines.

You’re welcome.

Meet Phil Hollows


Phil Hollows is the Founder and CEO of FeedBlitz, the email marketing, RSS feed and social media automation service, and premium FeedBurner alternative. He is also the author of “List Building for Bloggers,” - http://ListBuildingForBloggers.com - highlighting proven email strategies that build your audience, increase engagement and grow your income – without the geek speak. Phil started what became FeedBlitz in 2005, raising private equity investment in 2006. Before that, he’s held a variety of high technology, consulting and marketing positions in both the US and the UK since graduating from Oxford University in 1987. Phil’s lived in the US for nearly 22 years. The father of two teenagers and currently living in greater Boston, MA, Phil enjoys hearing from folks stateside how much they love his accent, and from friends and family back in England how American he sounds


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