Google Updates

If you have found yourself landing on this blog, then you must have recently received an email from Google’s G Suite that looked exactly like this:

Email from Google’s G Suite that notices users of the upcoming deprecation of G Suite’s Domain Contact Page.

Don’t get too frantic, many business owners have contacted us and submitted questions on forums with questions just like yours! We are here to help you better understand what’s going on.

The Big Question: What Does This Email Mean?

Well, for starters, in Google’s language it means:

“You are receiving this email because users within your organization may have active links within their documents, websites, scripts, or applications that go to Google’s G Suite Domain Contact page. On August 31, 2020, the Domain Contact page will be removed, since it contains the Admin contact details of Google’s customers. If your users don’t remove internal links to this page in their resources, the links will break as of August 31, 2020, resulting in a “404 Error” code.”

Still don’t understand? 😅 Fantastic, we don’t expect you to.

This link of Google’s G Suite is being deprecated due to possible privacy concerns. If a random person were to get access to your unique link: (www.google.com/a/<"yourdomain.com">/DomainContact ),

they could potentially get the contact info of your organization’s admin. 😳

While this may not pose a huge threat to small businesses, it could expose sensitive information about larger enterprises & corporations.

The good news is, when we test this on our own, it does not any longer display the contact info (Shown Below) . However, this does not mean that someone who is more experienced in malicious attempts could not find a way to retrieve it.

Why Is This a Problem?

Although the Google G Suite Domain Contact Page has been seemingly fixed and will be deprecated on August 31, 2020, it could still harm your website a little…

Since the link will no longer exist, it could cause a 404 error on your website!

If you don’t know, a 404 error, or technically called, HTTPS Status Code 404, is an error that just means a link is broken/ does not exist.

This could cause minor problems with your business’s SEO results or website’s user-friendliness.

Once again, this is not a huge problem that should scare you. We just want you to know of the possible outcomes from this situation.

What Security Measures Can You Take to Mitigate This Risk?

Google suggests that you “Instruct your users to remove the following Domain Contact page link within your organization’s internal documents, websites, scripts, or applications: www.google.com/a/<domain-name>/DomainContact

You will need to provide your users with the <domain-name> for your organization and send them the following step-by-step instructions:

  • To remove the Domain Contact link, follow the steps below:
    • Step 1: Open your internal documents, websites, scripts, or applications.
    • Step 2: Search for any links that reference www.google.com/a/<domain-name> with your domain name filled in for <domain-name>.
    • Step 3: Look for links that contain DomainContact.
    • Step 4: Remove each link.
    • Step 5: Replace the link with a tested, live link to a document or website.
    • Step 6: Save your document, website, script, or application.”

We would like to add to this by stating to check your HR documents, training materials, employee handbooks, company protocols, etc. where this link could possible be contained. For most documents you can use keyboard shortcuts such as Command + F on a Mac or CTRL + F on Windows

To quickly scan your website, you have two popular options of doing this:

1. The Easy, Less Reliable Way

  1. Open up Google.com
  2. Search [ site:yoursite.com “https://www.google.com/a/<yoursite.com>/DomainContact” ]
  3. The results should come back like “Your search – site:imagenmedia.co “https://www.google.com/a/imagenmedia.co/DomainContact” – did not match any documents.”

2. The Expert, More Accurate Way

  1. Download a Search & Replace Script plugin/ app for your website. Or manually run the scripts in your website’s database.
  2. Whichever option you choose, search for “https://www.google.com/a/<yoursite.com?/DomainContact”
  3. Replace it with a much more friendly link such as https://clubpenguin.com or https://disney.com 😄

What to Do If You Need Help

We strongly recommend that, as a business, you should have a dedicated webmaster to assist you in solving issues and concerns such as these.

If you do not have one available to you, please reach out to us and we can do an audit to ensure this is taken care of and anything other outstanding issues you may have!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment