Facebook Says My Website Is Unsafe!
by Jo Shaer, on October 8, 2014
Further to previous issues with Facebook saying that my website was spam, it has now gone a step further!
When I try to upload links to my website on my own Facebook business page, it gives me a warning notice that the site I am trying to link to is unsafe!
So, even though I have gone to the trouble of getting my website approved by MyWOT.com, Norton, AVG and McAfee Trusted sources, Facebook still doesn't like it.
Scroll down to see the paragraph in red which tells you what I did to get my site back into Facebook's good books!
Facebook says my website is unsafe
I have to fill out a captcha in order to encourage them to show a link to my own website on my own Facebook page.
On the form, it says that if you feel Facebook has got it wrong, you can ask them about it. So, I filled out the form a few weeks ago.
I filled it out again yesterday.
Today, sometimes I am not able to post links to my own website on my own Facebook page AT ALL!
It just says that there is a problem and I should try again later.
Does anyone else have a problem with Facebook saying their website is unsafe?
If you Google 'Facebook says my website is unsafe' it brings up lots of unresolved questions in the Facebook Community. For most, the advice is that they are a new site and need to wait to become established and trusted by Facebook.
My site is nearly four years old and I have been posting from it to Facebook for almost as long. Yes, I do post a lot of links on my Facebook page back to my website. I teach business owners how to use Facebook.
Every time Facebook updates/changes a feature, I write an informative blog post on the subject. I post a link to that blog post on Facebook so that the people who read my Page can find out about this updated information!
I AM NOT A SPAMMER!
The Facebook Debugger and Yoast - is this making Facebook think my website is unsafe?
Someone said I should check the Facebook debugger tool. So I did and got this error message about Article:Publisher.
I have now spent a lot of money with my web developer trying to work out if it was an issue with Yoast's SEO plugin - Yoast puts a tag into your meta data saying that you are a publisher. Researching other people with a similar issue, I learned that Yoast says it is not an issue.
The developer managed to get rid of the error message in the debugger but still Facebook put up the error message about the unsafe link when I tried to post it.
Publicize making Facebook think my website is unsafe?
Deactivated all the features of Jetpack (except Wordpress Stats, including Publicize. Still no change from Facebook. It still puts up the error message that my link might be unsafe if I try to post it.
Has anyone persuaded Facebook that their website is actually safe?
I spoke to some friends over on Google+ and one of the ladies there told me her story. When her online business, The Supermums Craft Fair was very new, she held an event on Facebook for other businesses that were involved. Everyone posted a link back to their own website. After about an hour, the event disappeared and she started seeing the 'This link may be unsafe' message every time she tried to link back to her site.
She was distraught as this was a new online business and very much dependent on Facebook. She filled out the error message form thousands of times. Eventually, she sent a registered letter to Facebook's offices in Ireland. She got an email back and, after much complaining, eventually the emailer agreed to remove the unsafe message from her site's links.
However, some people on the internet have tried this method without getting the desired result so it is not a shoe-in.
There are over 350 members of the Unblock Your Website on Facebook page where users were marking each others' links as not spam. It worked for some websites but not for others - mine included.
OCTOBER 2014 UPDATE
Eventually I bit the bullet and sent a registered letter to Facebook reporting the issue and asking them to explain the problem. I have had no acknowledgement but, by tracking the letter, I know they received in on Monday 6th October. This morning, Wednesday 8th October, I am able to post links to my website onto my own Facebook page without seeing that horrible captcha. And readers report that they are able to click on the link without getting the unsafe message.
If your site has been marked as unsafe, you need to write to
Facebook Ireland Ltd
5-7 Hanover Quay
Send it registered so that you can get a tracking code which allows you to monitor that the letter has been delivered.
Why you should not rely solely on Facebook to get traffic for your business
If this shows nothing else, it is the folly of putting all your business eggs into one Facebook basket. I have a healthy following on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. My website is optimised well enough for most of my traffic to come through organic means rather than relying on Facebook.
It is embarrassing, as a social media trainer, that Facebook have done this. But it is not the end of the world for my business.
Certainly, my future Facebook training will incorporate this issue and place even further emphasis on why the other platforms may actually be more beneficial for your business.