On the Internet, credibility is everything. When your website is blacklisted, visitors will have a good reason to refuse access to your site. Because if visitors can’t trust your website, they won’t take a risk using it to avoid accidentally downloading malware or putting their information at risk.
Blacklisting is the practice of tagging websites with malicious content to prevent users from accidentally downloading malware. However, search engines and anti-virus vendors may blacklist your site due to cyber attacks. This may negatively affect the reputation and visibility of your website.
However, blacklists don’t put your website in a state of danger. If a search engine or antivirus software vendor has tagged your site, there are steps you can take to restore your network to good health.
In this article, we will discuss what a blacklist is and why it serves users of a website. We will then tell you what to do if your site is blacklisted.
What is Blacklist and the purpose
Blacklisting is the practice of placing websites that are considered to contain malware on an unsafe list. Search engines (such as Google and Bing) and antivirus vendors (including McAfee, Norton, and others) include blacklists in their security rules so they can warn users when they visit potentially harmful websites.
Warn users when they visit potentially harmful websites.
Usually, this practice protects innocent Internet users from accidentally downloading malware onto their devices or visiting websites that steal personal information. However, in some cases, well-reputed sites are also blacklisted.
This happens when a website is hacked. If an attacker puts malware on a website without the website owner’s knowledge, and if the owner does something technically wrong, the website may also be blacklisted. Visitors see a warning advising them to leave when they visit your site. This will increase your bounce rate and damage the reputation of your website.
Also, search engines tend to punish blacklisted sites and reduce their visibility. This can have lasting adverse effects on your natural traffic levels and conversion rates. As you can see, blacklists can quickly undermine site rankings.
If your website is blacklisted due to a cyber attack, these effects may seem unfair, although they will ultimately be used to protect end-users. What you can do is implement robust security measures to prevent hackers from implanting malware on your website.
What to do if your site is blacklisted
Unfortunately, if your site is blacklisted, its reputation and search engine optimisation (SEO) may have been affected. Reconstruction after suffering these negative effects can be complicated. However, you can rescue your site from failure.
1: Determine your blacklist status
If your traffic levels have dropped for seemingly no reason, or your search engine ranking has dropped, it’s worth checking if your site is blacklisted.
Google Transparency Report
A quick and easy way is to use Google’s Safe Browsing Site Status tool. This one is the most popular blacklist checking tool. You can check whether google mark your site as blacklisted.
Google’s Safe Browsing Website Status Tool
Just enter your URL and run the test. However, this tool only checks Google’s blacklist.
It will check your site against 96 known blacklists.
You can get notified by email, if your website is blacklisted then you can take step immediately.
To more fully assess the status of your site, you may want to look at VirusTotal.
This tool checks your website against 86 blacklists to determine your status. However, this is not TheBestWp. Another site was provided to check whether it true or not.
Hetrix tools will check your site and IP address also. And it will check against 27 known blacklists.
It has also has some great features. You can set your site their list then they will immediately notify you via Email, SMS, Telegram, PushBullet, Pushover, Twitter, Slack, Discord, Mattermost, Rocket Chat, Microsoft Teams, RocketChat, PagerDuty, OpsGenie, VictorOps, and Webhooks.
Sucuri Site Check
Sucuri is one of the most popular site security tools. However, we will discuss it later. You can use Sucuri Site Checker to know your site blacklist condition.
It will check your website against nine blacklist.
Google Safe Browsing
Although you can check all of this individually. But it needs so much time. And Sucuri will show the problem of your site. Such PHP version can see or not, is your site protected or not.
I think it enough to know your site whether blacklisted.
If either or all of these tools return a warning that your site has been flagged, you have found the problem.
Step 2: Remove malware from your site
If you really determine that there is malicious code, you first need to remove any existing malware. Fortunately, there is a good solution to help you accomplish this task.
Sucuri is an accessible and useful WordPress security plugin that you can use for malware scanning on your website. The free version also includes blacklist status monitoring and some essential post-hacking resources. If you sign up for a premium account-starting at $ 199.99 per year-you can also access more advanced malware removal features.
Alternatively, you can manually remove the malware by merely restoring an uninfected backup or replacing the affected file with a new copy. However, this can become tricky, and you may end up trying to solve the problem yourself. If you can afford it, it’s best to ask a professional to remove the malware for you.
Step 3: Submit a report and wait for your site to be whitelisted
Once your site is cleaned up, you can submit a report to a blacklisted search engine or antivirus vendor. The specific operation may be different, depending on the blacklist of your website. Here we take Google as an example. You can view the documentation: https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/security/hacked/request_review
To submit your request, you need to have a Google webmaster account and verified your site in Search Console. Sign in and navigate to the “Security Issues” section.
Here you’ll see notifications of any hacks, malware, or other issues that Google has detected on your site. If you determine that the problem has been resolved, you can click the ” Request Review” button in the notification.
You can also navigate to Manual Actions and request a review there. However, you need to explain in detail how to solve the problem and whether it has been successfully resolved comprehensively.
After you submit your report, all you can do is wait. In some cases, it may take up to a month for a search engine or antivirus vendor to remove your site from its blacklist.
Step 4: Add security measures to prevent re-blacklisting
If cyberattacks cause you to enter one or more blacklists, improving your security is a must.
While you wait for the results, it’s a good idea to start implementing some stricter security measures to prevent future attacks. For example, make some relatively close read and write permissions for website files and directories, or install a more popular security plug-in.
Also, make sure always to update your WordPress installation, plugins, and themes, as updates often patch vulnerabilities and prevent hacking.
Also, consider installing a Web Application Firewall (WAF) for your site. This can help block malicious traffic from your website to prevent attacks.
Also, you need to do the following:
- Use a secure password
- Exit the management background when not in use
- Requires two-factor authentication (2FA) for users who create accounts
- Change the settings of your WordPress site to log out idle users
- Maintain strict permissions to avoid file editing or other changes
- Monitor your site with activity logs
Step 5: Rebuild the reputation and visibility of your website
After your website from blacklist to whitelist, the most difficult part recovery your website’s reputation. This is also the key to recovery traffic and regaining lost users.
In this case, the best way is to be open and honest about what happened. Using social media, your blog, and any other channels you have, explain how you learned that your site was hacked, infected with malware, and then blacklisted.
You should also share what you did to solve the problem and how you plan to prevent it from happening again. If you know something about yourself, people may understand and be willing to give your site an opportunity.
If users are likely to be adversely affected by a cyberattack, make sure to fix it. Reassuring them that their data is safe as you move forward and stick to that promise-is the best thing you can do to repair your relationship.
In terms of popularity, you will want to go all out when it comes to SEO. Your ranking may take a while to recover, but high performance, keyword research, avoiding spam, and other best practices can go a long way.
To sum up
Blacklisting is not a bad thing. It helps keep Internet users safe while browsing. However, if your website is blacklisted due to a cyber attack, you may suffer serious consequences despite not doing anything wrong.
This article examines what to do if your website is blacklisted. Let’s quickly review these steps:
What to do if your website is blacklisted:
- Determine your blacklist status
- Remove malware from your site
- Submit a report and wait for your website to come whitelist
- Added security measures to prevent re-blacklisting
- Rebuild the reputation and visibility of your website
Did you ever face this problem, or do you have any questions about the blacklist or how to do it? Let us know in the comments section below!
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