Information security is more relevant than ever, particularly in the technical search engine optimization (SEO) realm. Safe Browsing is a Google service that prevents users from entering a database of blacklisted websites. Because Safe Browsing is part of the upcoming Page Experience Update, your Search rankings will immediately suffer if your site is deemed unsafe.
With the Google Safe Browsing service, secure search activities and browser protection from dangerous websites are ensured. Nowadays, we worry less about is this website safe? or how to browse securely because Google can detect Safe Browsing issues and send Google security warnings before a threat hits.
Safe Browsing equally benefits website owners. In the Google Safe Browsing Transparency Report, you can find Google Safe Browsing diagnostics that help address issues affecting a website’s status as a Google safe site.
To help you be better prepared for the Page Experience Update, let’s unpack how to browse safely, safe search Google standards, what is malware, how to get rid of malware, using a malware checker and the Google Safe Browsing website check.
Read on for answers to these frequently asked questions posed by website owners:
- Is this website safe?
- How to browse securely
- How to use Google Safe Browsing to your advantage
- What is malware and how to remove malware
- Is a website malware scanner Google-approved?
- Can I use a Chrome Safe Browsing extension?
- What is a Google Safe Browsing API key?
We’ll also explore how to browse safely from the user’s perspective, the misconception surrounding how to turn on Google safe search and how to use Google Safe Browsing to your advantage as a webmaster.
What Is Google Safe Browsing?
Safe Browsing is a service offered by Google to ensure secure search activities online. Google Safe Browsing crawls the web for dangerous websites and content, then automatically adds them to a block list. Chrome runs a Google Safe Browsing check by cross-referencing the user’s activity with the block list to detect browsing threats and send Google security warnings.
For users, basic browser protection is already running in the background – enabling a Chrome setting called Enhanced Safe Browsing detects Safe Browsing issues in real-time. Some users referring to this Chrome setting mistakenly ask “how to turn on Google safe search.” SafeSearch is a tool used to filter explicit Search results, so how to turn on Google safe search is not related to Secure Browsing.
While Google aggressively protects users, it looks after website owners with tools on how to use Google Safe Browsing to your advantage.
What is Google Safe Browsing from a webmaster’s perspective?
- The Google safe browser can block visitors from entering your site.
- The Google Safe Browsing Transparency Report shows safe search Google data, such as the number of dangerous websites to keep you informed.
- The same report provides a Google secure browsing website check tool to ensure your site returns a yes for “is this website safe?”
Why Safe Browsing Matters to the
Google Page Experience Ranking Factors
With threats to secure search activities ever-present and unpredictable, users constantly ask “is this site safe” and “how to browse safely.” The Google safe browser protects both the user and its platform integrity.
With Safe Browsing introduced as an official Page Experience ranking signal alongside mobile friendly, HTTPS, no intrusive interstitials and Core Web Vitals, its impact on Search rankings is more direct. It’s now an even bigger priority for every technical SEO expert.
How Safe Browsing relates to technical SEO:
- If you fail the Google Safe Browsing check, the Google safe browser alerts your site visitors with Google security warnings, causing them to leave your site even before seeing it.
- A questionable site will cause users to bounce or exit your page immediately – a red flag that Google penalizes in Search rankings.
- Technical SEO services ensure your site avoids penalties and is on par with safe search Google standards.
Beyond the dips in website traffic and Search rankings, any experienced technical SEO agency will tell you that the direct consequences of malicious content are far greater.
Major safe search Google issues to watch out for:
Malware is any software or mobile application designed to harm a computer or mobile device. But what is malware in common terms? It’s a program that can initiate harmful actions such as installing viruses and unwanted software that can alter a user's settings or leak personal information. You need to learn how to get rid of malware and use malware removal tools to avoid being hacked and exposing users unknowingly.
Social engineering is tricking users into revealing sensitive information using deception tactics such as phishing or impersonating a legitimate entity to make the user initiate an unwanted software download. Because of the upward trend in phishing attempts, knowing how to remove malware is critical.
How to Measure Safe Browsing
Prioritize website security in your technical SEO efforts to protect both users and your Search rankings. Your goal is to become a Google safe site. You need to abide by the Google safe site standards to answer is this site safe? with a confident yes.
Check the status of your site security with these technical SEO expert-approved techniques:
The Google Transparency Report offers a quick Google Safe Browsing website check:
- Enter your URL and the Google malware checker will return “No unsafe content found” if your site is safe.
- Otherwise, this malware link checker will return “This site is unsafe” and more information on addressing the issues and how to get rid of malware.
Google Search Console offers Google Safe Browsing diagnostics in its Security Issues report.
- If nothing is detected by the Google malware checker and your site is safe, the report will reflect “No issues detected.”
- If the website malware scan finds malicious content, you will see an alert in the overview section and clicking through will provide details on the detected issues.
Google has recently added a Page Experience report to Google Search Console that acts as a dashboard displaying the status of your Page Experience ranking signals. This report would confirm what is reflected in your Security Issues report, indicating a “Good” status with a green checkmark if you have no site security issues. A single security issue will disqualify you from this “Good” status.
The Page Experience report also displays how many of your mobile URLs provide a good Page Experience, expressed as a percentage. However, Google warns that the number of URLs considered “Good” does not account for security issues.
- There is no standalone website malware scanner Google application.
- There is no separate website malware scanner Google tool, malware link checker or website malware scan tool.
- No official Safe Browsing extension is available on Chrome for now.
The Google Safe Browsing check does the job of a website malware checker program and the Google Safe Browsing report covers how to remove malware.
Google-recommended third-party website malware checker programs and malware removal solutions are available for download. Alternatively, use a third-party Secure Browsing extension to block dangerous websites through security alerts and browser protection services.