FileKicker Issues and The Power of Google

In order to serve the demand generated by prospective customers downloading our demo from various 3rd party websites, including Apple Downloads, we use a download bandwidth provider called “FileKicker”. FileKicker is a subsidiary of a Digital River which is a large company with a strong presence in the Internet download market -- including managing downloads for the on-line Microsoft Store. You would think they would be able to run a file distribution service.

However, in December ’09 as well as the weekend of July 10th, one or more files were allowed onto the FileKicker domain that Google deemed “malware”. Apparently it is Google policy to flag an entire domain as a possible malware source regardless of whether every file on that domain is suspect or not. Our files were never compromised, but our links were flagged by Google nonetheless. Our customers wishing to download the demo/trial of our games were greeted with a big RED warning page with a scary “Get me out of here” button.

We were disappointed when this initially occurred with FileKicker in Dec ’09. We were shocked when it happened again in July. Obviously it is not an acceptable situation for us. We apologize to any customers that were confused by the Google warning.

We quickly changed all the download links on GamesForOne sites to Amazon Cloudfront where they still remain. However, that was not before our order volume for the weekend of July 10th was severely diminished because we were unable to change the download link posted on the Apple Downloads site.

Consider the power that Google is granted when browser developers include this Google feature. We have never had a domain we own flagged so we do not know the level of detail that Google provides to webmasters as far as what is deemed malware, however this info should be very detailed indeed in order to wield that kind of power over website owners. Frankly, Google has the power to put you out of business if they flag you for possibly capricious reasons.
However, consider the power that Google is granted when browser developers include this Google feature. Google can