Do you see a sudden drop in traffic on your website? Do you get security warnings while trying to access your website? Is your website redirecting to spam or other irrelevant links? If the answer to such questions is yes then your website is at risk.
This could be a dangerous sign for your organization. Your website is infected and hence blacklisted by Google.
Around 10,000 fishy websites are added to the Google blacklist every single day due to malicious activities. These unwanted activities are a result of cyberattacks implanted by hackers.
Google blacklisting occurs when Google suspects a malicious activity like information scraping, phishing schemes or Trojan horses, etc., on your site that can be harmful to the visitor’s security.
What is Google Blacklist?
Hackers attack your website intending to distribute the malware from the website to visitors. The infectious code spreads itself from the website to the visitors or other websites.
Google marks such websites as suspicious or spam and displays a warning message every time you try to access them. This could also be due to showing ads redirecting to fishy websites.
To ensure the security of the user’s Google keeps working on its algorithms and as soon as they find a website with malicious or infectious code, these websites are blacklisted. These websites could be one of the most trustable and most commonly used by the users.
As Google blacklists your website, it is no more available in the search engine index. A browser like Google Chrome or Firefox will show a warning if by any chance the users try to access the blacklisted website.
What happens when Google adds your website to Blacklist?
Blacklisting a website means dismissing the website from the Google search result listing. As soon as Google expels a website, there is a drastic reduction in the organic traffic towards your website.
A hacked website deteriorates an organization’s reputation among the audience and reduces the traffic up to 95%, leading to substantial revenue losses.
Every time you search for your website in Google, it will display warning messages like “Danger Malware Ahead”, “Reported Attack Page”, “Suspicious Site”, and so on. As a result, Google removes such websites from their search engine results.
In addition, anti-viruses installed on the systems of users are triggered and this software warns them not to proceed further as they can cause harm to the system.
Types of Google Blacklisting
Google blacklisting is mainly of two types as follows:
- Malware Blacklisting by Google: Web browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome display various warning messages to represent a hacked website. Every search engine has a unique way to mark fishy and spam websites. These warnings could be different for each website but all have the same meaning- to warn and stop the user from accessing it or sharing personal information on it.
- Phishing Blacklist by Google: Malware can be of many types like phishing schemes, email or information scraping, Trojan horses, etc. Phishing is a technique to implement a cyberattack to gain details of personal information by sending emails to users that look trustable but are from unknown sources and with a disguised intention of the criminal. A website blacklisted due to Phishing is considered harmful by Google and a warning that says “Deceptive Site Ahead” or “Suspect Phishing Site” is displayed to make people aware of the attack.
How to move out of Google Blacklist?
Malware and other infectious scripts are linked to the websites for a long time without letting the owner know their website is infected making it impossible to find the differences. If you want to get out of the Google Blacklist, here is a guide for the manual process.
1.Create a Backup
The very first step before proceeding towards the actual process is to create a backup of all the website data to avoid any unwanted losses during the process.
2.Identify the blacklisted URLs
Before starting the process, it is crucial to determine the exact URLs that are blacklisted by Google to focus only on specific pages that are infected.
Log into the Google Search Console, and select Security and Manual actions. Go to Security issues. This displays the list of all the URLs that are causing threats to your website. It also displays details like the discovery date for each URL. Note the discovery date for future reference.
3.Scan your website
Malware like ransomware, adware, phishing schemes, and so on can cause the blacklisting of a website. It is necessary to check the presence of malware using a scanner tool on your website.
Scanning your website for malware requires professional help for a complete 360-degree scan of the website. It will give a detailed insight into the malware, its origin, and other security concerns related to your website.
4.Fix the infection
Once you have identified when and why was your URL blacklisted, you can remove the changes post the identified date. Clean all the content from this date onwards when Google marked your website as malicious. This includes the removal of the malicious content and not the pages.
- One must also check for some specific files that can be on the hit list of a hacker. This list includes:
- The header and footer section of the Index file.
- .htaccess file
- Function & wp-config as they contain sensitive and confidential information.
- Checking the database tables for SQL injections and unwanted remote code implementation.
- Disable outdated and deactivated plugins.
- Keep an eye on all the new admins added and remove them manually. Reset all passwords.
5.Request a review by Google
Once you are done with the removal of infectious elements present on your website, you are good to go to request for a review of your website by Google.
From the Google Search Console, move to Security & Manual actions, and select Security Issues. Click on the Request Review option. Google will now recheck your website for malware and malicious content and remove your website from the blacklist.
Google blacklisting can ruin your reputation and the trust of your audience will be lost due to the warnings shown to them by Google and browsers. It is crucial to understand the impact of malicious activities and Google blacklisting and perform the necessary actions to protect your website and the trust of your clients by following some simple steps or take guidance from experts.
Keep yourself aware and updated and your website secured for a healthy business.