Google Launches New Webmaster Tools

    October 13, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google has launched a couple of new Labs features for Webmaster Tools. One is "malware details" and the other is "fetch as googlebot."

Google is providing snippets of code from pages it considers malware, in order to help webmasters eliminate the malware on their sites quickly.

Malware Details"To help protect users against malware threats, Google has built automated scanners that detect malware on websites we’ve indexed," says Google’s Lucas Ballard for the Anti-malware, Anti-malvertising, and Webmaster Tools teams. "Pages that are identified as dangerous by these scanners are accompanied by warnings in Google search results, and browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari also use our data to show similar warnings to people attempting to visit suspicious sites."

"While it is important to protect users, we also know that most of these sites are not intentionally distributing malware. We understand the frustration of webmasters whose sites have been compromised without their knowledge and who discover that their site has been flagged," he adds.

With the Malware Details feature, webmasters will see a list of their pages that Google finds to be involved with malware distribution and samples of the malicious content that Google’s scanners encountered on each infected page. When possible, Google will provide details about the cause of the malicious code.

Fetch as GooglebotThe Fetch as Googlebot feature lets users find out that some of their pages have been hacked and help them understand why they’re not ranking for specific keywords when they re-implement their site with a new technology stack.

"Our keywords and HTML suggestions features help you understand the content we’re extracting from your site, and any issues we may be running into at crawl and indexing time.," says Webmaster Tools Product Manager Sagar Kamdar. "However, we realized it was important to provide the ability for users to submit pages on their site and get real-time feedback on what Googlebot sees."

It is important to note that both the Malware Details feature and the Fetch as Googlebot feature are in "Labs," so they are subject to bugs. They are also subject to feedback, however, so if you have suggestions for improvements or need to report problems, you can let Google know.