I love two players for podcasts. My first is the blubrry player (you can have a blubrry account for free), and for those who don’t want to sign up for blubrry there is the podtrac player. You just put in your RSS feed and you can have a player that is launched in a pop up (or not), plays a single episode (or multiple), and you can customize the colors and size of the player (it’s pretty cool).
When I went to login to the Podcast Review Show (a show I do where we help you get the best out of your podcast), I was surprised to be told my site may have malware (it doesn’t) because I had a podtrac player on my website (see graphic).
When I went to the advanced tab it gave me the following information:
What is the current listing status for podtrac.com?
Site is listed as suspicious – visiting this web site may harm your computer.
Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 1 time(s) over the past 90 days.
What happened when Google visited this site?
Of the 57 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 0 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2014-05-12, and suspicious content was never found on this site within the past 90 days.This site was hosted on 2 network(s) including AS14618 (AMAZON-AES), AS32244 (LIQUID-WEB-INC).
Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?
Over the past 90 days, podtrac.com did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.
Has this site hosted malware?
No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.
How did this happen?
In some cases, third parties can add malicious code to legitimate sites, which would cause us to show the warning message.
So I’m not sure what happened (one time) over ninety days, but it sure gives off a giant red flag. I went to my website and did a scan using Sucuri.net (affiliate link) which states my site is clean. To the average website visitor, they may not know any better and just run from your site. With this in mind I would consider using the players from Blubrry.com, Libsyn.com
Dave Jackson has been teaching people how to podcast since 2005 at the School of Podcasting and can be follwed on twitter @learntopodcast
The day after this article appeared we got the following response from Podtrac.
The Chrome browser blocked the podtrac.com domain, reporting it as malware, followed later by Firefox and Safari as they use the same malware list as Google. At the same time, Chrome’s diagnostic page said there were no reports of malware for this domain in the last 90 days. And for more more than eight years, we have not seen a browser return the domain as malware. We scanned our servers for malware and found none. We checked with our hosting companies, and similarly they did not have any reports of malware on their servers. We requested a review from Google.
Sometime between 1am and 7am Eastern today, Chrome and the other browsers corrected their listing of the podtrac.comdomain, so the podtrac.com services are working again in all browsers. We regret the inconvenience.
2 thoughts on “Having a Podtrac Player on Your Website May Cost You Visitors to Your Website”
Great post Dave… I had the same thing happen to my podtrac widgets just an hour ago and I made them inactive on all of my sites.
Keep up the great work!
Did the author of this story or anyone from Podcaster News check in with Podtrac to find out what was going on? That would have been the first step any journalist would take in trying to document the story.
Otherwise, there’s nothing to this story. The headline is sensational but based upon almost no evidence. What actually happened yesterday?
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