Google Blacklist: What, How and Why

Acting like a synonym of any search on the internet, Google is a household name with users across every age group, gender, or race. Need to look for the nearest restaurant, just Google it. Need to look for any urgent information? Google becomes your best friend and gives all the answers.

About 3.5 billion search queries are made on Google daily. What happens to you as a business, when Google stops its users from accessing your website? It will hurt you and your business in a way that you can lose both revenue and reputation in a few hours of time.

That is exactly what Google Blacklist does to you because Google is always on a lookout for anything that can harm its users. It constantly scans websites for any suspicious activity to protect its users from every sort of malicious content. As a result, it can blacklist a website and return warning messages to users like – ‘This site may harm your computer’, ‘Deceptive site ahead’, ‘This site may be hacked’, and so on.

It simply tells the user that they must not visit the website as it has a malware capable of harming them and their data. Now imagine the harm this message can cause to your brand. Doesn’t look pretty, right?

Don’t worry, we will answer all your questions related to it so that you can protect your business from the dreadful Google Blacklist.

Different Types of Google Blacklist and what causes it

There are three broad categories of warnings that are issued in the case of a Blacklisted website.

1. Google Blacklist For Malware

Malware is a harmful code which is capable of causing havoc on a user’s computer. It can snoop around the activities on a computer, tamper with files and even lock the user out of their own devices.

When such a threat looms over its users, Google blacklists the site and displays a warning message that says, ‘This site contains malware’ or ‘This site may be harmful.’ The message looks like this:

It is the message that can send your website and business in the red zone of Google Blacklist.

2. Google Blacklist For Phishing

Phishing, as we know, is the Social Engineering method of obtaining your information, while posing as a genuine site. When Google’s scan indicates that a malicious actor has made changes to the site, such that it can deceive a user by making them share information, it blacklists the website under suspicion.

Usually, the websites affected by Spear Phishing are put under this red zone of horror for the businesses. Following message appears on the screen if a user tries to open such a web-page:

3. Reasons that don’t involve an external actor

It is not just an external actor who can bring Google Blacklist to your doorstep. Factors like Black hat SEO techniques can also affect your website and put you on Google’s blacklist. Such shortcuts provide website owners an undue advantage when it comes to Search Engine rankings, thus triggering Google to take an action.

Another self-initiated factor that can cause the grim situation of Google Blacklist is, stealing content or copying other web pages on your own website. As a result, Google looks at it as a fraud and blacklists the website.

Cloaking is also a factor that is a result of a website owner’s action, rather than an external player. It happens when the site owner shows a different website to a user, hence, cloaking the real site as seen by the Google Bots. As long as the content and meaning remain the same across regions and devices, cloaking should not be a problem that you would face.

How to get out of the Google Blacklist?

Since everything from Google Search Result appearance to your Page Rank is a major factor for how your business appears online, the removal of Google Blacklist is extremely important.

There are a few simple steps that you can follow to get out of the red zone.

1. Check and understand why your website is in Google Blacklist

Once you know that some damage has been done, the next step is to control it and get back on your feet as quickly as you can. The first step should be to understand why it happened in the first place.

Google Transparency Report can help you understand what went wrong and why your website URL results in the color red paint all over a user’s screen.

This report will help you understand and fix the problem quickly.

2. Clean the Infections

Once you know what the issue was and why it took place, let the cleaning begin.

  • First, reset all access passwords to your website and back-up your website.
  • Second, identify modifications to your files that may seem unfamiliar to you. You can also use an online Malware Scanner for this process.
  • Third, remove the malicious files, code snippets, links, content, etc. from the website.
  • Fourth, clean the tables of infected databases and disable any plugins that have obsolete modules.
  • Lastly, ensure that everything is running smoothly.

There are some guidelines available that can help you in the malware removal process. Otherwise, you can always go for a professional malware cleanup, which is fast and efficient. A professional malware clean up can save you a lot of time and effort. Since a professional clean up is faster it also lessens the chance of severe damage to your website and SEO.

3. Submit your site for a review

Once you have removed the infections and taken necessary steps, in order to ensure complete safety, the final step is to submit your site to Google for review. You have to confirm that the issues have been fixed, along with details of the action taken to fix it. Once you do that, Google reviews the application and takes appropriate steps.

These steps are not just time-consuming, they also require professionals who can do it for you and get your business back on its feet. Blacklist removal is a task that can take the energy out of you and your team in just a few hours. Luckily for you, Astra has a number of such solutions that get out of the blacklist and make your website ready to face challenges in the real world again.

Summing up

Since prevention is better than cure, timely security audits and fixing the issues identified can help you in avoiding such a situation completely.

Take care of yourself and your business by getting security ready with regular malware checks & firewalls. Do it so that you never have to lose business because of a red screen.