Undesirable programs and dangerous files

A message in Yandex.Webmaster and a mark in the search results appear if a website contains dangerous or undesired program files or links to programs that install additional software on the user's computer without their explicit consent. For example, wrapper programs.

An example of such a program is a file that the user downloads when trying to download audio, video, or other content. Once the user runs it, additional software can be installed without providing information about this software and obtaining the user's consent.

Installing an unwanted executable file may also result in displaying annoying ads that can't be removed using the regular OS tools. Unwanted program files may interfere with the performance of the already installed programs or change their settings when opened.

An example of a dangerous file is an executable file of a Trojan program. Running it may lead to stealing personal data (passwords etc.) and violating the integrity of the browser or operating system components. Another example is an executable file of spyware that enables unauthorized collection of information about user activity (keylogging, interception of emails, webcam images, and so on).

Learn more about software distribution

If this is your site, follow these recommendations:

  • We advise you to stop using suspicious partner programs and services.
  • It's important to make sure that the site user clearly understands the functionality of a received file and the consequences of installing a program downloaded from the site.
  • If the user has a choice to download the original program files or program files with additional components, this must be clearly stated.
  • If your website recommends using a downloader, you should warn the user that the downloader file and the downloader program are not the same.
  • Try to design your site so that the link or button that is used to directly download the file is clearly seen in comparison with the button or link that is used to install the downloader program.
  • In addition to the page design, pay attention to other aspects of file downloads so as not to mislead the site users. For example, don't use text or logos similar to registered trademarks if a button/link/page doesn't lead to downloading related products.
  • Make sure that all installed programs can be uninstalled using the standard OS tools.
  • Check whether your site contains such files using various third-party services and antivirus software, for example, virustotal.com.

If you've already removed the violations, wait for an automatic recheck. In most cases, it takes a month. If it's a repeated violation that has been registered before, the recheck may take several months.

After this period, if the recheck is successful, you'll see the appropriate notification on the Messages page in Yandex.Webmaster. If the site is still displayed with a mark in search results after the above period ends, it's likely that you haven't removed some of the violations. In this case, make sure that all the violations are cleared and wait for a recheck.