Google Chrome Flags ALL of EasyWP Subdomains
Google Chrome flagged all EasyWP subdomains that look similar to
Update: the issue has been resolved through the EasyWP Search Console. There is no official word from Google on the mistake.
In case your free subdomain is still blocked as “dangerous” by Google Chrome please notify customer service.
The problem affected only such EasyWP branded free website addresses. Luckily that’s just a small percentage of the EasyWP user base.
While more than 90% of EasyWP users who have full-fledged domains (such as example.com) are NOT affected, this is still a major issue: thousands of sites are hidden behind a red alert. It’s a false alarm on top of that!
Mistakes Happen—Even Search Engine Land Got Banned by Google!
One of the worst days in a website owner’s life is when you realize that Google has somehow penalized or flagged your site.
It happens to the best of us. Do not assume the worst and resort to victim-blaming. You don’t have to be spamming Google to end up in the trash bin.
When even Search Engine Land can get penalized on Google every website is potentially at risk!
There are some rudimentary processes in place to appeal such a ban by Google but in reality you never know what actually happens behind the scenes.
While your business goes down the train and you are sweating blood, sweat and tears the Google black box remains oblique to mere mortals. Such mistakes quite often!
How We Got Flagged by Google Chrome
This week it happened to us. One of our EasyWP customer subdomains got caught by Google Chrome as being infected by malware apparently.
No big deal you may think. What happened next is the problem: instead of just flagging that one site Google Chrome—the market leading browser with an almost monopolistic market share—flagged all EasyWP subdomains as “dangerous”!
Luckily none of the proper domains were affected yet even then these are thousands of sites.
While most customers choose to use a proper
Our EasyWP managed WordPress hosting offers two options: proper domains like
are of course the best choice. When signing up some people do not know yet what to call their site,
Sure—these subdomains might look sketchy and often these sites are mere playgrounds. Yet it’s clear that just like with
- Google’s Blogger
- Yahoo’s Tumblr
or similar providers being on the same domain—here EasyWP—does not mean that one person or company is responsible for all sites. In our case, it’s even more so: while WordPress.com, Blogger or Tumblr are in fact obliged by law to check and remove customer content when EasyWP by Namecheap is a hosting provider just responsible for the infrastructure.
What Can Website Owners and Google Do?
In case you are a Namecheap (EasyWP) customer rest assured: we do not host malware on our sites.
The offending domain has been fixed shortly after the issue has been reported. Again—no proper domains are affected! Only if you use a temporary subdomain like abc-876339.easywp.com (this is a made up example) your site will be flagged.
Are you a Google employee? Please consider unbundling the responsibility when it comes to subdomains from hosting providers. You can’t penalize all customers using a specific feature because one site was affected by malware.
Google needs to reconsider its strategy of victim shaming.
It’s bad enough that a site has been hacked. An additional penalty by Google can be fatal then. Assuming that a whole neighborhood is guilty by association is not helpful either. That’s like blocking access to a certain area just because one building has been infested with rats.
As an EasyWP customer you can prevent that issue from affecting you by switching to a proper domain like example.com immediately. Other than that we have to wait for Google to remove the false alarm. Google needs to make emergency cases like this more transparent and become more responsive about it.
You can’t wait for days, weeks or longer when your building is burning.
This is how it feels when your website has been flagged. Yet there is no proper firefighting department it seems.
Google is digesting your desperate calls for help automatically and you most probably won’t hear from them at all.
There is no customer service for website owners—simply because they are not Google customers. You can’t talk to Google directly about being banned or flagged.
Unless, of course you are Danny Sullivan or at least important enough to raise some hell. Are we big enough to get Google’s attention? Maybe. Maybe not.
You can always contact Namecheap support in case you have questions. We won’t leave you alone with this problem.
We acknowledge there is one but it’s beyond our reach to solve it immediately. We have appealed Google’s decision to flag ALL our EasyWP subdomains but we have no insight on Google proceedings to find out how long it will take to sort it out.