Many companies put up websites, then forget about them. Let the website for Conservative Party leader candidate Tony Clement serve as a warning. The mysterious “Dark Network Hack Team” has hacked the site.

Clement may not be as high profile as Stephen Harper, but that’s no reason for his team to ignore his website. The hacked site has been up long enough for Google and Yahoo to index it. Someone’s asleep at the wheel.

Clement’s site is just one example of what happens when organizations forget about their websites. Last year, while working on contract for a major software company, I Googled for “buy product” (where product was the name of their software). Google pulled up a page from the company’s own website. The reseller, who had abandoned the product a few years earlier, had posted a long rant about the faults of the company and product. This wasn’t really a hack, since the reseller had publishing rights. But imagine how many potential customers may have searched for “buy product” over the previous few years.

Unlike printed brochures, websites can change in a flash. And the results of a crashed server or broken link can be just as crushing as the efforts of a malicious employee, customer, partner, or hacker. If you’re going to invest in a website, you should be willing to monitor it on a regular basis.

Thanks to Darren Barefoot for the heads-up on Clement’s site.

Vancouver Marketing Consultant Blog. (c) 2005 by Andrea Coutu.