google-blacklist-check

How to Remove Google Blocklist Warnings?

How to Remove Google Blocklist Warnings? – Before we get into the topic, lets discussed about some basics about the topics to understand it in a better way!

Every day, Google blocks roughly 10,000 websites. Is it possible that you’re one of them? The security warnings, hack indications, and diagnostic pages can be overwhelming for most website owners. This post will explain what a blacklist is, how to eliminate website hacks, and how to deal with Google security warnings. This will assist you in fast restoring your website’s traffic, revenue, and SEO rankings.

Common Indicators of a Blocklisted Site

  • When you access the site, your anti-virus software may block some or all of it.
  • “This site may have been hacked,” says the search engine results.
  • You are blocked on the warning screen when you access the site.
  • The host sends you an email and shuts your website.
  • In the SERPs, there are a lot of junk links and redirects (search engine result pages)
  • Unexpected file changes or the appearance of unknown files
  • Before accessing the site, a safe-browsing warning screen appears.

What is the Google Blocklist?

Understanding the Google Blocklist

Google is the most popular search engine on the planet, and it is dedicated to ensuring that its users have a secure online experience. To do so, it has devoted resources to identifying and flagging any potentially harmful websites, a process known as “blocklisting.” This is aimed to warn the user to proceed with care, alert the website owner to a problem, and obstruct the attacker’s plans at the same time.

When a search engine blocklists a website, it means that the website is removed from their index. When a website is blacklisted, it loses roughly 95% of its organic traffic, which has a significant impact on sales and revenue.

How to Check If Your Site Is Blocklisted

Do you want to know if your website is infected with malware or has been blacklisted? Our Sucuri SiteCheck scanner will look for blocklisting issues as well as apparent malware intrusions. To run a report, go here, or use our free WordPress security plugin to automate your security scans if you have a WordPress site.

Why Sites Get Blocklisted

When authorities such as Google, Bing, Norton Safe Web, McAfee SiteAdvisor, and others discover anomalies on a website that they suspect to be malware, the site is blocked. Malware can take numerous forms, including trojan horses, phishing tactics, pharmaceutical hacks, spam, and data scraping. The majority of the time, the website owner is completely unaware that their site has been hacked. The search engine, on the other hand, prefers not to display contaminated results since they don’t want to jeopardise their reputation. Depending on why a website was blocked, there are various possible categories for blocklisting. Some websites, for example, are blocked because they include spam, while others are blocked because they contain phishing links or, more broadly, because they include malware. Below, we’ll delve deeper into the many types of blocklisting causes.

What does a Malware Blocklist Look Like?

The majority of today’s browsers will show the user their own unique form of a malware-blocking webpage. Chrome’s blocklists, for example, can be found at chrome:/interstitials/. The photos below show some of the most popular browsers, as well as the warnings that you might expect when a site is blocked. The red splash page, also known as an interstitial page, is meant to protect and discourage users from continuing.

Some of the warning messages reserved for malware blocklists are as follows:

  • Malware is present on the next page!
  • Unusual location
  • The following website contains potentially dangerous software.
  • This page is attempting to load unauthenticated scripts.
  • Malware is present on the next page!
  • Are you referring to [website name]?
  • Is this the correct web address?
  • This website has been flagged as potentially dangerous.
  • There’s a deceptive website ahead.

Not all of the above notifications are from Google, and not all browsers use the Google SafeBrowsing API to determine whether a website is secure. Each warning is intended to alert you to proceed with caution if you visit the website, which has most certainly been hacked and blacklisted for distributing malware.

Understanding Google’s Security Warnings

“This site may be hacked”

This notice informs the user that Google suspects a bad actor has tampered with the site by adding new pages disguised as spam. A visitor to the site may be redirected to a page displaying various types of spam links or spam pages.

This warning does not result in a red screen and appears only in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
“You’ll see the notification “This site may be hacked” when we believe a hacker has altered some of the current pages on the site or added new spam pages,” according to Google. You may be sent to spam or viruses if you access the site.”

“This site may harm your computer”

This notice informs the user that Google believes dangerous software has been distributed and installed on the visitor’s machine as a result of changes made to the site by bad actors. Visits to the site may result in irreversible damage to your device, including drive-by download attacks and attempts to lure visitors into downloading software such as ransomware.

When Google suspects a website of transmitting malware to its users, it is fairly correct. When viewing the site with numerous browsers that use the Google SafeBrowsing API, the categorization generates a large red picture.

“You’ll see the message “This site may harm your computer” when we think the site you’re about to visit might allow programmes to instal malicious software on your computer,” according to Google’s official explanation.

Blocklist Warning Messages and Alerts as an Example

When a site is flagged as being blocked, each browser uses its unique messaging. If you get the following notifications in search, your site has been blacklisted:

  • This website has the potential to harm your computer.
  • This website could be compromised.
  • There’s a deceptive website ahead.
  • This website has been flagged as potentially dangerous.
  • The following website is infected with malware.
  • The following website contains potentially dangerous software.
  • There will be a phishing attack.
  • Unusual location
  • This page is attempting to load unauthenticated scripts.
  • This site may harm your computer if you view it.
  • Warning about a deceptive website
  • There’s a possible security risk coming.
  • Firefox is unable to connect to this site safely due to software.

Review Warning Status

Working with Google Webmaster Tools to Review Security Warnings

Because Google examined your website and discovered harmful activities, it has been blocked. Google must safeguard its consumers from potentially harmful websites that appear in their search results. In fact, websites that have been blacklisted multiple times for malicious behaviour are only allowed one review every 30 days. That red splash (interstitial) page (together with the warnings next to your site in Google’s search results) is intended to prevent users from entering your site, and it works. When a website is blocked by Google, it loses around 95% of its traffic.

When discussing Google blocklists and security alerts, we must mention the Google Safe Browsing page. It’s an important page that all website owners should know about and use. It’s also a quick way to see if your site has been flagged by Google as having malware or phishing content.

More particular information about your website security alerts will be available in Google Webmaster Tools.

Find Out What Is Blocklisted

You should figure out exactly what Google has blacklisted. Click Security Issues on the Google Webmaster Tools page for your website to see the URLs that have been detected. If the URL is a directory, malware must be checked on every page below it.

Here are a few examples or URL blocklists:

  • blog.example.com/pages/page1.html – only this page
  • blog.example.com/pages/ – everything below /pages
  • blog.example.com – the whole blog
  • example.com – the whole domain and its subdomains

This data might help you focus your search on specific areas of your website.

Determine When and Why the Blocklist Happened

Next, see when Google last discovered the suspicious content (the discovery date). These dates can be found next to the URLs in the Detected Issues section.

Request a malware review in Google Webmaster Tools if you want Google to notice your current adjustments. Within a few days, Google will rescan your website. To do so, go to the Security Issues section and submit your site using the “Request Review” option.

Unfortunately, dangerous site referrals are frequently convoluted, and Google does not always disclose particular information about the blocklist. It’s worth noting that hackers frequently modify the domain names of their harmful websites to avoid being blocked. A hacked, genuine website is frequently updated to ensure that it now links to these new malicious websites.

You can hire pros to clean your site if everything else fails.

Google SERP Malware Warnings

If Google detects spam or redirects on your site, it will display warnings in the search engine result pages (SERP). These can also be triggered if your hacked site is being exploited to infect users with malware via drive-by downloads. If your site does not yet display the red warning page, but these warnings appear in your search results, it is possible that harmful scripts and iframes are being loaded from third-party websites. This can also be triggered by third-party advertising that load on your website and attempt to distribute malware via malvertising.

Scan Your Site for Malware

You can scan your site for harmful payloads, malware locations, security vulnerabilities, and blocklist status with key authorities with our free application Sucuri SiteCheck.

Sucuri SiteCheck can be used to scan your website for hackers and blocklist alerts.

  • Enter your website URL on the Sucuri SiteCheck website.
  • To scan the website, select Scan Website.
  • Note any payloads and file locations detected by SiteCheck if the site is affected.
  • To see if you’re blocked by other authorities, go to Website Blocklist Status.

Note on Server Hosting: If you have many websites hosted on the same server, you should scan them all for dangerous content. One of the most common causes of reinfection is cross-site contamination. Every website owner is encouraged to split their websites on distinct hosting accounts.

If SiteCheck finds a payload, it can help you narrow down your search. The sections below will walk you through manually reviewing your site for suspicious content in order to remove your blocklist.

Fix Blocklist Symptoms

Remove File Infections

You should be able to alter files on your server to execute a comprehensive virus eradication. If you’re not sure about this, hire someone to clean your site for you.

File Replacement

You can rebuild your site using fresh versions of the core files and plugins directly from the official repositories if you use a CMS like WordPress or Joomla. As long as the backup isn’t infected, custom files can be replaced with a current backup.

Malicious Domains and Payloads

You can start scanning for malicious sites or payloads on your server if SiteCheck or Google Webmaster Tools reveal any. The discovery date can also be used to limit your search to files that were updated around that time.

To manually remove malware from your website’s files (not the database), follow these steps:

  • Use SFTP or SSH to connect to your server.
  • Before making any changes, make a backup of the site.
  • Look for any references to the malicious URLs or payloads you mentioned in your files.
  • Identify files that are unfamiliar or have recently modified.
    Use copies from the official repository or a clean backup to restore questionable files.
  • Make a copy of any changes you’ve made to your files.
  • Check to see if the site is still up and running after the adjustments.

You may also look for malicious PHP functions manually, such as eval, base64 decode, gzinflate, preg replace, str replace, and so on. Note that plugins utilise these functions for legitimate reasons as well, so make sure you test any modifications or seek assistance to avoid disrupting your site.

To escape discovery, hackers frequently alter dangerous websites. As a result, Google’s Security Issues page may list harmful or intermediate names that have since been updated with fresh names and can no longer be located on your site.

If you can’t identify the “bad” content, look for the domain names indicated on the diagnostic screen on the internet. It’s likely that someone else has already worked out how those domain names are linked to malware on the internet.

Warning: Manually removing “malicious” code from your website files can be dangerous. Never take any action without first making a backup. If you’re not sure, ask for help from a specialist. Overwriting your CMS configuration files is not a good idea. This includes the wp-config.php or wp-content files in WordPress. This contains the configuration.php file and any adjustments made to Joomla.

Clean Hacked Database Tables

Connect to the database using your database admin panel to remove a malware infestation from your website database. Most hosting companies include phpMyAdmin in their cPanel. Tools like Search-Replace-DB and Adminer can also be used.

To manually remove malware from your database tables, follow these steps:

  • Log in to the database administrator’s panel.
  • Before making any changes, make a backup of the database.
  • Look for any strange content (i.e., spammy keywords, links).
  • Open the table with the questionable data in it.
  • Remove any suspicious content manually.
  • Check to see if the site is still up and running after the adjustments.
  • Remove any database access tools you’ve added to your computer.

Prevent Reinfection

Hackers are notorious for leaving a backdoor into your site. We frequently discover several backdoors, such as rogue admin users or PHP webshells, as well as neglected vulnerabilities that result in your site being blacklisted again.

Review User Accounts

Don’t forget about user accounts! Hackers may be able to re-enter your site using stolen passwords.

To clean up your user accounts:

  • Verify that all website user accounts, such as CMS users, FTP/SFTP/SSH users, database administration panels (PHPMyAdmin, etc.), cPanel accounts, and hosting company logins, are active.
  • All passwords for all users should be changed.
  • If two-factor authentication (2FA) is available, enable it.

Caution: These functions can also be used lawfully by plugins, therefore make sure to test any changes before making them, as eliminating benign methods could destroy your site. To avoid detection, the bulk of malicious code we see use some type of encoding. Apart from premium components that utilise encoding to secure their authentication mechanisms, encoding in official CMS files is quite unusual.

Identify Backdoors

Backdoors are frequently hidden in files with identical names to CMS core files but in the wrong location. Backdoors can even be injected into genuine files by attackers.

The following PHP functions are commonly found in backdoors:

  • base64
  • str_rot13
  • gzuncompress
  • eval
  • exec
  • create_function
  • system
  • assert
  • stripslashes
  • preg_replace (with /e/)
  • move_uploaded_file

To properly clean a website hack, all backdoors must be deleted; otherwise, your site will be reinfected and put to the blocklist.

Secure Computing

By using a CMS or file transfer programs, malware might hop from a machine to your website. Your website should be secured on all computers that access it. To detect any infections, have all users scan their machines using an antivirus application.

We propose the following antivirus programs:

Paid

  • BitDefender
  • Kaspersky
  • Sophos
  • F-Secure

Free

The Google blocklist API is used by the majority of browser blocklists. Visit the Google help sites for further information.

Remove your Website from Blocklists

Get Google Search Console

To get rid of the blocklist notice, you must notify Google that the infection has been totally removed. You’ll need a Google Search Console account to achieve this (formerly Webmaster Tools).

To authenticate your website’s ownership in Google Search Console, follow these steps:

  • Go to Google Webmaster Central and log in.
  • Sign in with your Google account by clicking Search Console.
  • Select Add a Site from the drop-down menu.
  • Click Continue after entering your website’s URL.
  • Use the Recommended technique or Alternate techniques options to verify your site.
  • Select Add a Site from the drop-down menu.
  • Verify by clicking the button.
  • Review any alerts in the Security & Manual Actions section.

Other Website Blocklists

The Google Safebrowsing website blocklist isn’t the only one available. Many other authorities, on the other hand, make use of Google’s API to add problematic websites to their own blocklists.

When a website is harmful, antivirus applications and other search engines aim to notify their consumers. Each has their own review system and console. You must follow the steps to notify them that your website is clean in order to have it removed from their blocklists.

If you utilised SiteCheck to scan your site for malware in the first phase, the results will show whether your site has been blacklisted by some of the most prestigious organizations. Similar to Google Search Console, the review process should be followed. The McAfee blocklist, for example, offers a review submission form, and Bing and Yandex also have webmaster tools that you should sign up for.

Other popular blocklist authorities:

  • McAfee SiteAdvisor
  • Bing Blocklist
  • Yandex Blocklist
  • Norton SafeWeb
  • PhishTank
  • Spamhaus
  • BitDefender
  • ESET

Request a Security Review

If you don’t ask for a review, Google might assume you haven’t finished cleaning up your site. You’re notifying Google that you’re ready for them to rescan your site by requesting a review. Repeat blocklist violators are now limited to one review request every 30 days. Do not try to deceive Google, since this may result in your application being rejected. A review will not pass if the site is empty, for example. Before you begin, double-check that your website is free of malware.

To have a Google security problem reviewed, fill out the form below.

  • In the Search Console, go to the Security Issues tab.
  • Examine the problems to make sure they’ve all been resolved.
  • To confirm that I’ve resolved these concerns, check the box.
  • Request a Review by clicking the button.
  • Fill in the blanks with as much information about what was cleaned as possible.

To ask Google for a spam review, follow these steps:

  • In the Search Console, go to the Search Traffic tab.
  • Select Manual Actions from the drop-down menu.
  • Examine the problems to make sure they’ve all been resolved.
  • Request a Review by clicking the button.
  • Fill in the blanks with as much information about what was cleaned as possible.

Other blocklists, such as McAfee, Bing, Yandex, and Norton, will follow a similar procedure.

Wait and Protect Your Brand

It may take a few days for Google to examine and reindex your site once you’ve submitted the blocklist removal request.

It may take some time for your search results to clear up if the title and description of your web pages were infected with spam. This is due to the fact that Google only crawls your site on a regular basis. Fortunately, you can ask Google to update certain pages and links on those pages through the Search Console.

To make Google re-crawl your site, do the following:

  • To search your URL, use the Inspect any URL search box at the top of the Search Console.
  • To the right, click the Request Indexing button.

It will next check to see if it can access your website without issues, and if it can, it will submit it for reindexing. If it finds any errors, you must check the problems and confirm that the Google bot can access your site.

You will receive the following message if it is successful: “URL was put to a priority crawl queue. A page’s queue rank or priority will not change if it is submitted many times.”

Google will crawl your homepage and any links on that page as a result of your action. You can also crawl such pages separately if they appear in Google search results with spam in the title and description.

Note that Google Search Console only allows you to crawl 500 single URLs per month and only 10 direct links. These ten are perfect for crawling pages with a lot of internal links, like a public sitemap or your homepage.

Remove Spam URLs

If you removed spam pages from your site, Google may have already indexed them. When the spam pages are removed from your site, they may cause 404 (Not Found) issues. You may alert Google that these spam pages should be removed from their index by using the URL Removal Tool.

To get rid of 404 problems caused by spam URLs, follow these steps:

  • In the Search Console, go to the Index tab.
  • Select the Removals tab.
  • To make a new request, click the New Request button.
  • Enter the URLs of any spam pages that have been taken down.
  • Continue by pressing the Enter key.

Please be aware that this program removes pages from Google’s search results. This option is useful after you’ve eliminated spam pages and Google has determined that they’re not part of your site.

How to Prevent Future Hacks & Blocklists

Focus on Website Protection

To avoid future blocklisting, you should also consider taking other efforts to harden and defend your site. Updates, a strong website backup strategy, controlling user privileges, and establishing website security controls are all part of this.

Every day, attackers find new ways to exploit weaknesses. Trying to keep up with everything is difficult for administrators. Firewalls for websites were created to provide a perimeter defence system around your website.

Benefits of using a website firewall:

  • A website firewall maintains your site secure against infection in the first place by recognising and preventing known hacking methods and behaviors.
  • Virtual Security Updates: Hackers exploit plugin and theme vulnerabilities quickly, and new ones emerge all the time (called zero-days). Even if you haven’t applied security upgrades, a competent website firewall will repair any weaknesses in your website software.
  • Block Brute Force Attacks: A website firewall should prevent unauthorized users from accessing your wp-admin or wp-login pages, ensuring that brute force automation cannot guess your password.
  • DDoS Attacks: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks try to overwhelm your server or application’s resources. A website firewall ensures that your site is available if you are being hit with a large number of bogus visits by recognizing and preventing all sorts of DDoS attacks.
  • Caching will be available in most WAFs, allowing for faster global page speeds. This keeps your visitors pleased and has been shown to improve website engagement, conversions, and search engine results while lowering bounce rates.