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There are few things worse than a blacklisted website. As with any security crisis, being prepared and knowing how to remedy the situation is your best bet.
If you are a website owner, a hacked website is absolutely devastating. Not only do you have to deal with the fallout, but your visitors will be turned away right at your website doorstep. This spells disaster even for your online identity and hard-earned reputation.
You might be intimidated if you do not know what to do when your site is blacklisted. Here, we have broken it down for you via a quick walk-through. So bookmark this page for any emergencies; this is your comprehensive guide to dealing with a Blacklisted Website
Why Does Google Blacklist Websites?
Google has taken up the responsibility of providing a safe environment for its users. Website owners are likely to feel like they are getting the short end of the stick for no fault of their own. The fact is, the internet is a safer place with Google blacklisting suspicious websites.
But what does blacklisting mean?
Google identifies malware on websites using Google crawlers known as Googlebot. They automatically discover and scan websites by following links from one web page to another. Once the malware is identified on a website or web page, the Blacklisting Authorities are notified.
What Happens When Google Blacklists a Site?
When Google blacklists your site, the site is removed from its index.
This leads to:
- Loss of visitor and customer numbers
- Loss of visitor trust
- SEO Damage
- Bad Press
- Permanent Loss of brand reputation
The websites tend to experience a dramatic drop in the organic traffic by 95%. Google blacklists 10,000+ websites daily. Yours could be one of them!
What are the Types of Blacklisting?
There are 2 types of Blacklisting :
- Malware Blacklisting by Google is when your website is under attack from a malware. Malware come in various shapes, like Trojan horses, Pharma hacks, information scraping and so on.
- Phishing Blacklisting by Google is when Google recognizes a phishing attack on your site. Your website is victim to a popular fraudulent attempt to steal personal information.
Which kind of blacklisting is affecting you right now? Don’t know how to find out? That’s okay, we will cover that in the next section.
Has Google Blacklisted your Site?
Imagine you wake up one day, and sit down in front of your computer system with a cup of coffee. But something is just not right. The number of your visitors has dropped. Your website doesn’t even look the same.
For many of you, this might not even be imaginary. You might be living through this nightmare right now. Yes, we will fix it soon. But first, what do you see when you try to open your website?
Watch out for the following common symptoms:
- Your System’s Antivirus is blocking the site
- Your Web host has disabled the site
- There are Unauthorized file modifications or Core integrity issues on your website
- You are receiving SEO spam links and redirects in SERPs
- There’s a Big “Red Screen of Malware” on your website
- Googling the site results in a blaring “Possibly Compromised” message
Let us dig a little deeper and find out what exactly your visitors might see if they try to access your blacklisted website.
Some of the most common warning messages are given below:
- “Suspected Malware Site”
Google has detected code (scripts, iframes) on your page that loads content from or redirects to a flagged site.
- “Danger: Malware Ahead!”
Google has found your site has been successfully exploited and has damaging code installed on it.
- “Reported Attack Page!”
Google believes your site is infected by a malicious software.
- “The site ahead contains malware.”
Google believes that visiting this site can cause irreparable damage to the visitor’s system.
- “The Website Ahead Contains Malware!”
Google is disallowing visitors to a website which is known to be hacked.
- “This website has been reported as unsafe.”
Google is warning visitors about getting infected via a hacked website.
- “The site ahead contains harmful programs.”
Google believes that visiting this site can cause irreparable damage to the visitor’s system.
These messages are to deter the users from trying to access the infected site since their system might get infected too. This effectively checks the spread of the malware in question.
If you see the following messages when you visit a site, the site is under a phishing attack.
- “Deceptive Site Ahead”
Google believes that this site can deceive a visitor into sharing personal information
- “Suspected Phishing attack”
Google suspects the website of trying to gain personal information.
- “Website Request Forgery”
This is an attempt to steal critical information from the user.
Learn more about what each of these messages means from Google Help pages.
If your website is verified with Google’s Search Console, they send an email notification about finding malicious software (or malware) on your site and hence blacklisting your site. Below is a sample of the email you will receive:
Dear site owner or webmaster of (site.com),
We recently discovered that some of your pages can cause users to be infected with malicious software. We have begun showing a warning page to users who visit these pages by clicking a search result on Google.com.
Below is an example URL on your site which can cause users to be infected (space inserted to prevent accidental clicking in case your mail client auto-links URLs):
Here is a link to a sample warning page:
We strongly encourage you to investigate this immediately to protect your visitors. Although some sites intentionally distribute malicious software, in many cases the webmaster is unaware because:
1) the site was compromised
2) the site doesn’t monitor for malicious user-contributed content
3) the site displays content from an ad network that has a malicious advertiser
If your site was compromised, it’s important to not only remove the malicious (and usually hidden) content from your pages, but to also identify and fix the vulnerability. We suggest contacting your hosting provider if you are unsure of how to proceed. StopBadware also has a resource page for securing compromised sites:
Once you’ve secured your site, you can request that the warning be removed by visiting
and requesting a review. If your site is no longer harmful to users, we will remove the warning.
Google Search Quality Team
What do I do when my Website is Blacklisted?
Now that you understand why and how Google blacklisted your website, let’s see what we can do to remove your website from the blacklist. Follow this guide for effective website blacklist removal.
Step 1: Evaluate Diagnostic Pages
Google provides free tools to check whether a site is blacklisted. The tool we are talking about is Google’s Safe Browsing Diagnostic Tool.
Append your website URL to the end of https://transparencyreport.google.com/safe-browsing/search?url=
That is to say, to check whether this site is blacklisted or not, we would enter the following:
You can also take a look at the Google Transparency Report to check out stats and information regarding Google’s site safety checks.
Now, if your site is marked as Blacklisted, you will have to determine the exact directory and page that Google has blacklisted. You can do this by appending the URL of the website pages to https://transparencyreport.google.com/safe-browsing/search?url=
Step 2: Scan your Site
Use MalCare Free Plugin to scan your site. This is to find out the reason Google has blacklisted your site. We will also let you know if your site is marked Safe by Google. If and when MalCare finds malware on your site, you now know what the issue is.
Please note that blacklisting itself is the symptom of malware presence, which further causes loss of revenue and SEO. It is a vicious chain reaction set off by malware presence on your site.
Step 3: Fix your Site
The faster you clean your site, the better it is for your site. Use MalCare WordPress Security Service to clean your site without any technical assistance within 5 minutes. You can clean your site unlimited number of times with MalCare. Then there is no risk of reinfection via a backdoor.
Step 4: Setup Post Hack measures
Site Hardening and Management is an important part of securing your site against hackers and botnet. If your site wasn’t secured in this way previously, do make sure your site is fortified against any further security attacks.
Updating your plugins, themes, and WordPress Core regularly and religiously is important for your website safety. Security services like MalCare can help you update and manage everything on your website externally if or when your website is down.
Site Hardening means securing your website back-end. This includes the following: changing security keys, changing all passwords, disabling file editor, checking plugin or theme installations and blocking execution of PHP in upload folders.
Step 5: Google Search Console and Request Security Review
Don’t wait around, let Google know your website is ready for a re-scan. Please note that repeat offenders are limited to only One review request every 30 days and be careful to check your website one last time before submitting the request.
A. Open Google Webmaster Central
B. Open Search Console with the registered Google account
C. Add your site
D. Verify your site
E. Check your Messages for warnings
F. Confirm that you have fixed the warnings
G. Click Request a Review.
H. Fill in the details about what was cleaned.
I. Go to the Crawl tab and force Google to re-crawl your site
J. Click the Fetch as Google option
Step 6: Protect Your Website
Google can take up to 5-10 days to review your site. In the meanwhile, you can either manually scan, maintain and harden your WP site or let a security service like MalCare do all these automatically. Use MalCare Firewall and Login Protection system to keep track of any malicious IPs trying to access your site and stay safe.
Benefits of a Complete Security Solution: MalCare
- Malware Scanner
Scan your site for malware automatically for early detection of malware and keep your website spotless for Google.
- Malware Cleaner
Remove even the most complicated malware from your site before Google blacklists you.
- Firewall and Brute Force Attack Prevention
Ensure no hackers get past your website defense mechanism. Nip the malware in the bud by blocking any unauthorized requests or login attempts.
- Site Hardening
Reinforce your website security by keeping hackers, bots and botnets away from your website backend.
- Site Maintenance
Update your website regularly to make sure your website is free from any security vulnerabilities.
It is never easy knowing your online identity is at stake, and could even harm your visitors. Getting to the root of the problem and fixing the issue with Google can help safeguard you and your visitors.
Have any questions about a Blacklisted Website or WordPress Security? Let us know, and we’ll be happy to help.