A blacklisted site can be your worst nightmare as it prevents visitors from accessing your site. Blacklist generally refers to a list of usernames, internet protocol (IP) addresses, and websites that are barred from accessing certain systems or protocols.
It’s more than just losing visitors to your site. Blacklist means your site is unsearchable in major search engines and has warning labels by anti-virus softwares. Additionally, these sites lose up to 95% of their organic traffic.
If you doubt that your site is in the blacklist or just taking necessary precautions to avoid that, Project Assistant is here. We’ll walk you through a primer on blacklisting and how to get out of its way.
Search engines blacklist websites as a precautionary measure for their users. They would immediately issue warnings one suspicious or harmful behavior is detected in your website.
Top website security platform Sucuri listed these common symptoms of blacklisted websites:
- The website redirects to a porn site, auto loan site, or other variations.
- It appears as possibly compromised on Google and other search engines.
- Your host has shut your website down or notified you that you are infected.
- You see pharmaceutical references or any other unintentional reference on your website.
- You see bank directories on your server (i.e., Bank of Toronto, Chase, Wells Fargo, etc.) that you did not put.
- Clients are complaining that desktop antivirus programs are blocking your website.
- You see administrators or users in your website that you didn’t create or authorize.
- Your website is flagged as part of a Phishing Lure campaign.
Suspicious or harmful behavior on a website comes in different forms, thus, there are also kinds of blacklisting. The common ones are malware warnings when your site is found to contain viruses, spyware, rootkits, and ransomware. Search engines often warn users with a glaring red screen and text that says your site has malware.
Another are phishing warnings which are issued when your site is found to deceive users into inputting sensitive information. Malicious advertisements on your site can also invoke a phishing warning. Like malware warnings, phishing warnings show up as red screens and text that tags your site as deceptive or phishing.
A warning note next to your site in the search results is another kind of blacklist. Search warnings are issued to a site when spams or redirects occur. Additionally, drive-by-downloads of malware also cause search warnings.
You may manually search your site to check if it’s in the blacklist. There are also online apps that have a list of blacklisted websites or can detect if your site is blacklisted.
Google has its Webmaster Central so you can self-diagnose based on information about links to your site, search queries, site health, 404 errors, and other data.
There’s also Google Transparency Report that would confirm if you’re in the blacklist by showing current status, safety details, and testing details of your site.
Another option is Sucuri’s free online Sucuri SiteCheck which digs into lists of major blacklist authorities to check if your website comes up. It can also scan your site for presence of malicious payloads, malware locations, and other security issues.
Keeping your business running makes it a priority to protect your business site from any triggers. With Google blacklisting over 10,000 sites every day, you should think twice about what you put in your site.
Ensure that all your content is original or, otherwise, properly cited. Copyright or Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) violations are strongly penalized.
Keyword stuffing practices such as hiding keywords in the background may amp up your traffic for a time, but Google already knows this trick and will be quick to erase your page from search results.
Spams are a nuisance to users and an enemy for search engines. Make sure to check the pages you’re linking to because they might contain malicious content. Remove backlinks unrelated to your business, as well as links to Web 2.0 properties.
Remove 404 pages and make sure you have more content than ads on a page. It’s best to have a website security in place to routinely scan for malware or suspicious activity in your site.
If the nightmare becomes reality and you’re in the blacklist, it’s time to do a major cleanup. Disinfect your files and clean your database tables.
After performing all necessary measures to undo the blacklist, you’ll have to request Google for a site security review. Getting in the blacklist often will prompt Google to limit you to only one review request every 30 days.
Going through the whole process is time-consuming and would certainly require professionals to put your site back on search engines. Luckily, there are security sites that will give you the fix.
Sucuri website security offers an all-in-one website blacklist removal service that will disinfect your site and help you get Google do that security review. It has a complete website security platform that will remove malware and prevent you from being in the blacklist (again).
Sucuri is in the right position to help get your site off the dreadful list by working with blacklist authorities. It can submit a blacklist review request on your behalf to ensure that you’ll be back running your site.
At Project Assistant, we make sure all our websites are secure down to its very conception at coding. Our confidence in Sucuri’s topnotch features extends to how we maximize its functionalities for all the websites we create. We make sure our clients don’t worry about their site security so they can focus on their success. We had more to discuss about this here.