Blacklisted By Google: How to Remove Website from Google Blacklist – WordPress, Magento, Prestashop, OpenCart, Drupal
Contents of This Guide
- 1 Google Blacklisting & How to Remove Blacklist Warning
- 1.1 Causes for Getting Blacklisted by Google
- 1.1.1 1) Blacklisted by Google for Malware
- 1.1.2 2) Blacklisted by Google for Phishing
- 1.1.3 3) Blacklisted for Using Black Hat SEO Techniques
- 1.2 How to Remove Site from Google Blacklist:
- 1.3 How to Avoid Being Blacklisted by Google in the Future:
- 1.3.1 1) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Work with Google Analytics
- 1.3.2 2) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Avg Duration Session
- 1.3.3 3) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Bounce rate
- 1.3.4 4) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Use White Hat SEO
- 1.3.5 5) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Go for a Security Audit
- 1.3.6 6) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Update
- 1.3.7 7) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Use a Security Solution
- 1.1 Causes for Getting Blacklisted by Google
Google Blacklisting & How to Remove Blacklist Warning
Google has become a synonym for internet search today. Consequently, google shoulders a huge responsibility of keeping its users safe online. So, it keeps an eye for spam and malware in the search pages it displays. Moreover, Google uses specific algorithms to scan the internet and keeps updating them from time to time. After each scan its web crawlers label and categorizes anything unsafe they encounter. Guilty websites, if found are then blacklisted by Google. These sites then need to go through a Google blacklist removal process to redeem themselves. In one of Google’s blog, it states,
We call these various types of abuse that violate the webmaster guidelines “spam.” Our evaluation indicated that for many years, less than 1 percent of search results users visited are spammy. In the last couple of years, we’ve managed to further reduce this by half.
Most of the time website admins are unaware of the infection. It could be spammy content injected in your web pages through hacking. Sometimes admins use Blackhat SEO tools to gain views which blacklists them. Getting blacklisted by Google can be catastrophic for your business. So, blacklisted by Google means losing the majority of traffic. At times, you might not even know that you have been blacklisted by Google. According to Jason Freidenfelds, the spokesperson for Google,
About 1 billion people receive protection against phishing and malware every day because of the warnings we show users about unsafe websites.
Small businesses, in particular are the worst hit in these cases as they are mostly unable to keep a dedicated cyber response team. Still, a lot of precautionary measures can be taken. Also, don’t worry Google blacklist removal is possible!
Causes for Getting Blacklisted by Google
1) Blacklisted by Google for Malware
Blacklisting by Google for malware is done when Google suspects that your website is being used to spread malware. Your hacked pages might be automatically downloading malware when visited. Which, conveys the fact that your website might be the target of a pervasive malware campaign. Therefore, to keep users safe, their browsers might display some warnings. Typically, it is a red screen with some warning using the keyword ‘malware’.
This is an example of a typical malware warning for Chrome. However, it is noteworthy here that not all browsers may be using Google API. Therefore, some browsers may display different warnings. So, the main aim is to stop the user from going further on the website. If your website shows such a warning, better start working on Google blacklist removal. Google malware warning removal needs infected files to be removed. So you might need a fresh installation!
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2) Blacklisted by Google for Phishing
Sometimes the website may be labeled as deceptive or fake. This is a prime example of Google phishing listing. At times, your web pages may be modified to collect user info and send it to other servers. The hackers themselves typically control these servers. So, these modified pages may ask users for sensitive info. The innocent users unwary of the attack then submits his/her info. Thus, this attack can decrease the users’ trust in your website.
This is a typical Google phishing site warning. The red screen labels the website as deceptive. So, it warns users that this is not the website they are looking for. However, not every time website is blacklisted when hacked. At times using black hat SEO can lead to a blacklisting of the website.
3) Blacklisted for Using Black Hat SEO Techniques
Often sometimes websites owners use shortcuts to increase user traffic. These techniques are immoral as they give websites an unfair advantage. So, Google keeps an eye on such methods. Therefore, a website using these is blacklisted. These include:
3.1) Blacklisted by Google for Stealing Content
Sometimes site owners clone web pages from other websites. It saves them time and resources but it is fraud. When Google notices such contents it blacklists the site. Google blacklist removal in such cases is a lengthy task. Mostly due to the serious offense of stealing.
3.2) Blacklisted by Google for Scraping Websites
Scraping website is not illegal but you need the consent of the related party. Google scraps content all the time. It helps Google in indexing websites. Google has prior permission but you may not. Although Google provides an API for scraping. But if google notices scraping from search results, it bans the IP. It is complicated to remove site from google blacklist in such a scenario. Just because of policy infringement.
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3.3) Blacklisted by Google for Buying Links
Sometimes hacked websites are used to give redirects to some websites. So these are not original links and have been brought by a third party. Thus, it may add user traffic in the short term. However, it is unethical and illegal. Fake redirects can thus cause a blacklisting of the website. Google blacklist removal in such cases means cleaning up all such links. It causes a loss of money and reputation. So avoid using such SEO techniques
3.4) Blacklisted by Google for Cloaking
Cloaking is the technique of differentiating based on user agent. So that means the site seen by the user is different than that seen by Googlebot. However, few variables could change over time like ads, timestamp etc. But in general, the content should remain the same. Well, there could be exceptions to this like:
- The website is differentiating based on geolocation. So, for example, an IP from India is shown a Hindi version of the website. Adding accessibility features is ok to make the website user-friendly. As long as you are not explicitly differentiating for Googlebot its ok!
- Showing different content for mobile versions is ok. It is a part of making the website user-friendly so Google is ok with this.
So, the rule of the thumb is don’t differentiate with google and you are good to go. Google considers cloaking bad because when it index pages it might show as a cartoon. But later when the user visits, it could serve porn or pharma spam. So, the results could be catastrophic. Google blacklist removal is then a tedious task. This is because you tried to cheat Google. That’s why you should avoid cloaking!
How to Remove Site from Google Blacklist:
1) Check and Remove infection
Firstly the damage control needs to be done. Root out the cause of the infection. When it comes to website security a lot can go wrong. So, the first step in this direction is to look at the Google Search Console. Thus, it will show you why your website is blacklisted. Could be an SQL injection, a spam link injection etc. Look at the cause and work on it. Google malware warning removal can be tough for webmasters. So, merely consult an expert.
2) Step by Step Google Blacklist Removal
There is nothing to worry if your website is blacklisted by Google. Firstly, ensure that you have cleaned the infection. Work on the points due to which your site is blacklisted. Take the steps necessary for Google malware warning removal.
2.1) Cleaning Infections:
- Review the unfamiliar modifications on your website and remove them manually.
- If you have a good copy of the backup in store. Delete the infected site and start building your site from scratch.
Disable plugins with obsolete modules.
- Check for new admin(s) added. Then, remove them manually and reset all passwords and usernames.
- Clean the tables of the infected database manually.
- Enable two-way authentication for the users. Also, check the addition of any unverified user and go on to remove them.
- Be extra careful in removing all the loopholes. This is crucial.
- Finally, check if your site is in working condition.
When your checklist is complete submit for a malware review. However, it may take some time for Google to review your website. It may range from a few hours to a day or two. So Google blacklist removal is a time-consuming task. The steps to submit your site for a review are:
- Go to the Security Issues Tab. This is to review the issues Google has found.
- Then select, I have fixed these issues.
- Now, click on Request a Review.
- Type about the steps taken by you to remove site from google blacklist. Make sure you give detailed information.
- Finally, click the Manual Actions section.
- In case there are multiple issues. Continue to follow steps 1-4 until all are resolved.
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3) Removing Site IP from Spam Lists
It is entirely possible that your infected site was used for a massive spread spam campaign. Few groups on the internet look out for domains spamming users. Thus, indeliberately your website may have landed in such lists. However, there is nothing to worry about. There are services available which help you look through such lists. Although there are so many such services, you can use MX Toolbox. The interface is pretty simple as it displays the search results next to each blacklist domain name.
This is an image showing a scan of our domain. So, it checks out multiple lists and gives you the output neatly. You can then proceed on the lists that blacklist your website. Different lists have different procedures to remove your site IP from the list. The Internet can be of great help!
How to Avoid Being Blacklisted by Google in the Future:
1) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Work with Google Analytics
Work closer with Google for Google blacklist removal. Google analytics is a great way to know about your website. It gives you a comprehensive view of how your website works regarding internet traffic.
This is a sample image of the Google analytics. A few critical terms in this are:
2) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Avg Duration Session
This tells you how long a user lasts on your website. If this is less Google thinks maybe the content was irrelevant. So your search rankings go down. Make sure you write good content to keep users hooked up!
3) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Bounce rate
It is the rate of users who no longer stay on your site after one page. Thus it says that your website was not relevant to them. Therefore if this rate is low means your content is relevant. The users will stay and your search rankings will go up.
Also, you can do certain things to improve these factors such as:
- Use large fonts to improve the readability of text.
- Try to work more on the user needs.
- Make sure your site is mobile compatible.
- Use webmaster tools to work on the relevance of your site.
4) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Use White Hat SEO
Avoid using blackhat SEO techniques as they get you blacklisted by Google. Instead, there are some positive techniques to make your website awesome. A few things you can do are:
- Write fantastic content on your website which makes users spend more time.
- Make your website awesome regarding content as well as security.
- Follow the user first policy. Pay attention to what users are looking for on your website.
- When blacklisted, don’t be lazy on Google malware warning removal. The quicker you act, the more damage you control.
5) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Go for a Security Audit
A security audit is a must as there is too much that can go wrong. There can be some open ports, default configs, unused domains etc. If your security is excellent there is no need to go for Google blacklist removal. As a webmaster, you may be no expert to manage all this. But the guys at Astra are!
6) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Update
Keep updating the software regularly. This is the best precaution you can take as a webmaster. It’s the most basic step toward securing your website.
7) Prevent Future Hacks & Blacklists: Use a Security Solution
Security solutions exist in the market because there is an ever growing need for them. You cannot rule out the possibility of getting blacklisted by Google in the future. Google blacklist removal everytime is a tedious task. So your best bet is to use a third-party security solution. Astra provides one such excellent web security solution for your website.