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Subdomain of TechCrunch blacklisted by Google for malware distribution

Created: 29 Sep 2010 • Updated: 18 Dec 2012 • 1 comment
Tim Callan's picture
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As of posting time, a Google search of the phrase techcrunch crunchies yields as its first result a blacklisted result for the 2009 Crunchies award page ( The details page shows that on September 28 (yesterday) Google found malware distributed on this subdomain of TechCrunch.

This result gives you an opportunity to see how a real, blacklisted site looks on Google. If you do click on the link for (it's safe; don't worry) you'll go to a Google roadblock page that reads,

Warning - visiting this web site may harm your computer!
Return to the previous page and pick another result.
Try another search to find what you're looking for.
Or you can continue to at your own risk. For detailed information about the problems we found, visit Google's Safe Browsing diagnostic page for this site.

For more information about how to protect yourself from harmful software online, you can visit

If you are the owner of this web site, you can request a review of your site using Google's Webmaster Tools. More information about the review process is available in Google's Webmaster Help Center.
Advisory provided by Google

I can only imagine the devastating effect this roadblock has on natural search traffic, especially for sites that directly depend on traffic or transactions for their livelihood.

The good news is that web site malware scanning is a robust technology that can help you spot and fix these problems before they infect your visitors - or get you blacklisted. I'm confident that TechCrunch will fix this problem shortly, but wouldn't the site have been better off avoiding the lost traffic and brand damage that accompany such an incident?

Which of course is part of the reason we have included web site malware scanning with our VeriSign-branded SSL Certificates.

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exocet's picture

What strikes me is how rarely this happens, just goes to show how strong the Google search algorithm truly is, as it can't be gamed that easily. Secondly,depending solely on search engine traffic is suicidal. Techcrunch has a strong brand, it would be interesting to see the impact it had on their overall traffic referencement

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