One of the things that many webmaster don’t realize is how vulnerable their website becomes when they start using social networking scripts such as forums and blogs to help build communities around their website. Although it is a very good idea to integrate these scripts on your site, when doing so you can potentially give your visitors access to sensitive parts of your website that they would normally not have
Since many blogs and forums are open source, malicious users have full access to the source code and can find vulnerabilities or take advantage of how a system works in order to gain access to protected pages on your site, spam your site, or use your site to help get your visitors to their site.
Google Webmaster Tools has always been a great way to find out if your website has been hacked by looking at the outgoing links or most common keywords. Now, can notify you on your dashboard if your website has been compromised. It can tell you;
- New versions of your installed blogs, forums and other software
- Spammy or abused user-generated content
- Abused forum pages or egregious amounts of comment spam
- Suspected hacking
This is very important to keep track of because if your site has been hacked Google will either remove your website completely from their search index or warn users every time they click your site in their search results. This can dramatically affect your reputation and prevent users from visiting your site.
A Google Webmaster Tools account is free to set up. You should submit your XML Sitemap file in order to get your website listed in Google and help Google’s crawler access the important pages on your website.