In its quest to provide a safe online experience to its users, Google often identifies and flags fraudulent seeming domain and blacklists websites it discovers as potentially malicious. When a domain is blacklisted by Google, it deters users from visiting it, informs the site owner and stops malicious activities at its roots.
Domain gets blacklisted when search engines like Google, Bing, Norton Safe Web, and McAfee SiteAdvisor deduce irregularities on a site as a malware. Common malware may include e-mail scrapers, pharma hacks, trojan horses etc. Such malware may have been induced without the knowledge of the site’s owner. However, a search engine eliminates such domain in its results and its user’s best interests.
According to research, 86% of websites have at least one serious vulnerability that could be exploited by hackers. Google declared that it quarantines at least 10,000 suspicious websites daily. If your website ends up containing any of the blacklisted domain, it will be blacklisted by Google and other search engines. Domain blacklisting can tremendously affect an owner’s website, dwindling its Google ranking and making it lose about 95% of organic traffic. This in turn tremendously affects the website’s sales and revenue.
How to Avoid Getting Domain Blacklisted by Google
Following certain precautions can ensure your site remains malware free and avoids being blacklisted by Google and other search engines.
1. Visit your Site Daily
2. Regularly Run Remote Security Scans to monitor blacklist status
Periodically running security scans go a long way in detecting vulnerabilities which can stem into future breeding for malware attacks. Scans unearth malicious content which may be clandestinely lurking in your website’s source code. A remote malware/ blacklist scan scours through website files, looking for backdoors, phishing and other security issues that may be prevalent and missed out by past security scans.
3. Scan Incoming Web requests with a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
Web Application Firewalls like Astra helps to detect and stop known hacks and malicious behaviors, protecting the site from infections in the first place. They also point out vulnerabilities in plugins and themes, one of the most common ways for attackers to infect a site, and would automatically thwart any attempts at brute force attacks or block out malicious actors.
4. Use Two Factor Authentication for logins
The two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your login page, thus blocking any attempts at brute force attacks by attackers. In addition to a username and password, this authentication adds a critical information known only to the user.
Using a Two Factor Authentication process for login can bring down the number of cases of identity theft on your site along with email phishing, as the criminal would need more than just the usual credentials. This makes it harder for potential intruders to gain access and steal the user’s personal data or identity, thereby saving your site from being blacklisted by Google.
5. Change the URL of your admin login or back office
Using a default admin login results in bruteforce attempts on your site. Once an attacker guesses your default admin login link, it becomes easier to gain unauthorized access to your site. Changing the URL of your admin login adds an additional layer of security to your login area, thereby protecting it from unwanted access and the security threats which follow.
6. Block Bad Bots from accessing your website & trap them with ‘honeypots’
Almost half of the web traffic is from bots, good or bad. Created mostly with a malicious intent, hackers create malicious bots to perform nefarious tasks like content scraping, prices, and product catalogs, create fake registrations, collect flight seat information, mass booking tickets and sell elsewhere among a few tasks. This can lead to a site getting blacklisted by Google.
One good mechanism to trap malicious bots is using Honeypots (usually sent by scrapers who do not fully know the structure of every page) on the website. Search engine bots often fall for this trap and interpret the links as dead, irrelevant or fake.
How Astra Can Help You If Your Website Has Been Hacked
Astra has proven to be one of the most reliable solutions for unearthing vulnerabilities and preventing online hacks. It is recommended to deploy Astra’s Web Application firewall to scan incoming requests for malicious users and bots and automatically block fraudulent users.
Astra’s web application firewall (WAF) monitors the incoming traffic on your website and blocks the malicious requests. With Astra, you can also block bad bots and automated security tools by laying our strategic ‘honeypots’ and other sophisticated mechanisms.