In the event that Google considers your site to be dangerous and unsafe for visitors, you may find yourself on Google‘s blacklist. You may notice a sudden dip in traffic if this happens or other strange occurrences such as weird advertisements flashing up. This will be because your website or some of its pages are no longer indexed by Google. To stop this kind of situation happening it’s important to know what to do to remain off the blacklist. In this article, we’ll share what kind of offences can land you on the list and how to avoid them in the future.
What Is Google’s Blacklist?
The purpose of Google‘s blacklist is to quarantine off potentially harmful websites from other users. Whilst there is no official list of websites that have been blacklisted by Google, it is a very real threat. Google scours the internet for potential threats and then will remove them from its indexed list, resulting in a heavy loss of traffic. Google suspects that the websites it blacklists are involved with injecting malicious code into your computer, sending out spam mail or stealing one’s personal information.
Google suspects that the websites it blacklists are involved with injecting malicious code into your computer, sending out spam mail or stealing one’s personal information. The Blacklist is a good thing as it protects unwary website visitors from potentially computer-crippling threats.
What Makes Google Think A Website Is Dangerous?
Google will consider many factors before removing a website from its website. Sometimes it can be because of a change in algorithms but usually, it’s because of security or some other fixable issues. These can include:
- Viruses and malware on your host server or on your computer network.
- Low quality, controversial or illegal content and content that’s not original or violates copyright.
- Creating “backdoors”.
- Linking to malicious or spam websites.
- Unclean SEO practices.
- Hosting phishing or scam pages.
What Happens’s If You End Up On Google’s Blacklist?
The worst thing that can happen to your website if you are removed from Google‘s index and placed on the blacklist is a dramatic drop in the amount of traffic to your website. Alongside this, your reputation can take a hit as well.
Being placed on the blacklist means that Google will flash warning signs at visitors to stay away from your website. Once this happens you will need to start the road to recovery for your website.
How To Check If Your On Google’s Blacklist
If you want to know whether your website has been placed on the blacklist, you can simply check by typing the address of your website into the google search bar. If your site doesn’t show up and this wasn’t the case previously then it’s likely your website has been removed from Google’s index. For new website‘s, if you try this and it doesn’t show don’t worry. New websites may just not have been indexed yet.
Another way to check is to use the Sucuri SiteCheck scanner. It can detect malware and a number of other security issues, including blacklisting of your website. What’s also brilliant is that the scanner recommends methods to fix the issue too.
However, when it comes to checking security flaws in your site, using Google’s very own Webmaster Tools is probably the best way to go about it. The security issues area of Google Webmaster tools reveals a load of useful information about your site, including the links to your site, your search queries, site health and 404 errors.
How To Keep Your Website Off Google’s Blacklist
The damaged caused by being de-indexed from Google is a long-term process. Becuase of this, preventive measures are much more favoured. Here are some tips to avoid being blacklisted:
- Clean your site and remove any malicious content.
- Install a firewall and run anti-virus often.
- Be careful and selective when choosing a hosting package.
- Avoid linking to spam websites as well as buying and selling links.
- Safeguard your logins and login pages.
- Keep up with any Google algorithm changes and be familiar with their terms & conditions.
- Update WordPress often.
- Only use reliable themes and plugins.
- Secure the wp-config.php file as well as the .htaccess file.
None of these is a guarantee but they are all great practices to give your website the best shot at remaining off the blacklist.
As you can see, being blacklisted by Google has huge negative consequences that take time to recover from. It’s a great idea to create an account with Google webmaster tools to do a regular check of your website and keep on top of any threats or issues.