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Learn about mechanical timepieces and how they work, the history of the American watch industry and especially all about the Elgin National Watch Company! Check back for new content daily.

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Malware

This morning I received an email from Google notifying me that my adwords campaign, which is not really active anyway, was being suspended because the site it directed to was suspect.

The email begins...

Hello AdWords Advertiser,

We wanted to alert you that one of your sites violates our Advertising Policies and as a result we aren't displaying ads for any URLs on that site. Please note that any new ads pointing to that site will also be disapproved.

If this is an error, we want to get your ads back up and running as quickly as possible, and your Google team is here to help. Here's the account and URL:

     Customer ID: hhh-zzz-xxxx
     Display URL: elgintime.com


     The name of the policy is: Malware

The email goes on to give links to policies and to a page used to request a re-review.  Sure enough when I go to my site, http://www.elgintime.com, I get this from chrome.


This is puzzling because the page is a Google hosted Sites page, where JavaScript is extremely restricted.  And it includes no downloadable content.  I don't know that it's possible to malware the page.  I used the link included in Google's email to ask for clarification.  That page includes a big red checkbox asking if you have changed your site.

I checked "No" here because I had not changed the site, so I don't expect Google will respond.

What's to change?

Further investigation though uncovered that the cause was my pages inclusion of links to http://www.awci.com, the website of the American Watchmakers' and Clockmakers' Institute.  This site has been flagged by Google as harmful, for malware.  And so Google has flagged every page, everywhere, that includes links to the AWCI.

That link occurs on most of my pages, a lot of pages...  Removing it would be a good deal of work.

I sent an email to webmaster@awci.com, but if past experiences are any indication, they have not idea what's going on nor what action to take.  I also took a look at a widely used horology forum, independent of the AWCI, and there was some chatter about this there already.  I'm not the only one in this situation.

For my customers and anyone else that might find themselves clicking a link to www.elgintime.com, I assure you that my site is safe and clean.  I don't know what happened with www.awci.com, but I hope it is minor and resolved quickly.


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