If Google suspects that your website has a lot of spam content, it displays a warning that states, “This site may be hacked.”
So, if your customers are reporting that your site has been hacked, and you see this notification in Google Search Results…
If that’s the case, you’ll need to address the problem right away.
“This site may have been hacked” is far too imprecise for you to respond quickly. Fortunately, we witness this with many of our customers on a regular basis. And in this article, we’ll walk you through the process of removing the notification step by step.
We’ll get you through this, don’t worry.
The Google warning “This site may have been hacked” is sent primarily because a hacker has installed malware on your site that is spreading spam. You’ll need to scan and delete the virus from your website, then file an appeal with Google Search Console to overturn the alert.
What does “This Site May Be Hacked” mean?
The phrase “This Site May Be Hacked” indicates that Google has placed your website on a blacklist. According to Google’s Safe Browsing security criteria, your website is “malicious.” So, what exactly does “this site could be hacked” imply? It’s one of Google’s eight malicious website alerts intended to protect its visitors.
Simply put, Google believes your website has been hacked and that a hacker is introducing spam content. Visiting your website forces viruses, trojans, and potentially unwanted programmes (PUPs) to be downloaded to their computers.
We’ll go over how to get rid of the “site may have been hacked” message for good in this article. We’ve also included some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that you might find useful.
How to confirm “This Site May Be Hacked” for your WordPress website is showing
It’s possible that you won’t always see “This site may be hacked” in your search results. In reality, many business owners are first made aware of the problem when their consumers inform them via email.
So, the first step is to double-check if your website’s links include a “website hacked” alert. This is a simple task, and we’ll show you five different ways to complete it:
- From a different computer, go to your website.
- Visit your website in incognito mode.
- Google Search Console may have sent you a security notification through email.
- Make a Google Safe Search If you’re looking for a blacklist, you’ve come to the right place.
- For security alerts, go to Google Search Console.
If you receive the evidence you need using the first two ways, that’s more than enough to confirm the status of your website. In that situation, we recommend going to Google’s Search Console and skipping through to our section on how to get rid of a hacked website notice.
Here’s a rundown of the remaining approaches in case the first two ideas weren’t enough. These are a little more complex, so take it slow and steady.
Check Google Safe Browsing for a “This Site May Be Hacked” Warning
A useful location to look for a website warning is Google Safe Browsing.
To be clear, if Google determines that your website has been hacked, you will receive an email from Google Search Console detailing the issue. To resolve the issue, we recommend that you use Google Search Console.
Using Google Safe Browsing is just a quick way to see if your website has been blacklisted while saving time.
To reiterate, Safe Browsing only informs you if your website has been reported. It’s not a tool for eliminating malware or even figuring out what’s causing the issue. It’s always better to go straight to Search Console if you’ve already got an email from Search Console.
Check Google Search Console for Security Notifications
This method only works if Google Search Console is properly configured. You’ll also need Google Search Console to get rid of the “this site could be hacked” warning. So, if you skipped the last section, you should go back and read it.
If you’ve never done it before, watch this video to learn how to authenticate your website before continuing with the rest of this article:
IMPORTANT: Verification is a crucial step in the process. If your Search Console has any unauthorised users, you’ll need to verify yourself as a legitimate user and remove any illegal users.
Once that’s done, navigate to the Search Console’s Security tab:
To see the ‘Detected Issues,’ go to the list of infected pages:
You’ll need to take a few steps to remove the hacked site warning from your website once you’ve confirmed that Google has truly issued a warning.
How to remove “This Site May Be Hacked” Warning
If you’ve read thus far, you should have a good idea whether or not your website has been marked as hacked by Google.
You’ve also gone to the ‘Security’ tab after verifying your Google Search Console.
Now, in four easy actions, we’ll remove the notice from your website:
- Step 1: Assess the extent of the hack
- Step 2: Remove the malware
- Step 3: Appeal the Google Blacklist
- Step 4: Prevent future attacks
This may appear difficult, but this article includes step-by-step directions. So just go with the flow.
Using a complete WordPress security plugin to discover and remove malware from your website is a simpler option.
Step 1: Assess the Extent of the Hack
Return to the Security tab of the Google Search Console.
Now, in the ‘Detected Issues’ area, click the ‘Learn More’ link under the infected pages area. We’ll investigate the source of the infection:
- On a single page? (For example, http://blog.example.com/pages/page1.php)
- In a collection of pages? (For example, http://blog.example.com/pages/)
- In a blog post? (For example, http://blog.example.com/post1/)
- Throughout the entire blog? (For example, http://blog.example.com/)
- Is it a subdomain or the entire domain? (For instance, www.example.com)
The infected subdirectory in the example above is called ‘Photos.’ Knowing where the infection has spread will make it much easier to remove it.
Check the date when Google discovered spam on your website directly next to the URLs flagged by the ‘Detected Issues’ section of the ‘Security’ page to filter down to when the malware was implanted.
This method can assist you determine if any themes or plugins were installed around the time specified, and so locate the vulnerability. Vulnerabilities must be addressed as part of maintaining the security of your website.
Of course, malware can remain dormant for long periods of time. This method does not work in those situations. Instead, we strongly advise you to use MalCare to scan your website for malware.
Also, after URL inspection for the blacklisted pages to examine the malicious code, a more principled action than checking a timestamp is to ‘Test Live URL’:
This, however, is not a simple task. A better option is to utilise a WordPress malware scanner to determine the virus’s exact nature, location, and intent.
Step 2: Remove the Malware
The elimination of malware is the most important phase in this procedure. You can’t ask Google to remove the “this site may be hacked” alert if you can’t get rid of the malware infection on your site.
It’s also the most hardest to carry out, and there are two main methods for getting rid of malware:
- Remove malware using a WordPress security plugin
- Removal malware manually (NOT RECOMMENDED)
We strongly advise you to refrain from attempting to manually remove malware from your website. It’s incredibly easy to entirely destroy your website, which makes it risky. Here are some reasons why using a plugin is the best option:
- Your website’s content may be classified as spam by Google Safe Browsing. It cannot, however, assist you in removing malware from your site or even understanding the problem.
- Even if you have the ability to detect malware, doing so on your own takes a long time. It’s a bad idea unless you have specialised processes and bandwidth to deal with cybersecurity issues.
Use a Security Plugin
MalCare is the greatest WordPress security plugin available. It comes with a full set of security tools that scan, clean, and defend your WordPress site from hackers and malware threats.
That’s not all; you’ll also receive the following:
- In 3 minutes or less, one-click virus elimination
- Malware detection is done automatically.
- Malware scans on a daily basis
- Protection characteristics that are extremely effective
Remove Malware Manually (NOT RECOMMENDED)
You’ve probably heard it before, but we’ll say it again. Manually removing malware is always a bad idea and can result in a slew of unforeseen consequences.
As a result, you can do it in four steps:
- Examining server files for harmful code;
- Searching for harmful commands in the database tables;
- Detecting backdoors and phantom administrator accounts;
- Finally, the harmful code must be removed without causing the website to crash.
But first, make a complete backup of your website. This backup will assist you in getting back on track if you accidentally destroy your website.
Every hacked website displays symptoms of a security breach. Specific keywords, functions, and string patterns that are frequently connected with malware can be found here.
The goal is to discover and remove these harmful code snippets without causing any damage to the website’s core code.
The scope of this article does not allow for a comprehensive explanation on how to remove malware from a website. This post will show you how to remove malware from a compromised WordPress site.
If you think this is too tough or complicated, just instal MalCare instead. Cleaning your website of even unknown virus will take less than a minute.
Step 3: Appeal the Notice
You’ll need to ask Google Search Console to reindex your site and remove the “this site may be compromised” warning now that it’s clean.
This is a straightforward procedure, so simply follow these steps:
Step A: Go to Google Search Console’s ‘Security Issues’ tab.
Step B: Select “I have fixed these issues”.
Step C: Click on “Request a Review”.
Step D: Describe all the actions you took in the input field. The more descriptive and clear you are, the better it is for your application. Then click on ‘Submit Request’:
Step E: Finally, click the Manual Actions section.
Step F: Repeat the first four steps to resolve all your security issues on Google.
NOTE: The warning won’t be removed immediately. Google takes up to 3 days to review the website and remove the “This site may be hacked” notice. But this is the best process you can follow. In 72 hours, you should be able to get back to business as usual.
Step 4: Prevent Future Attacks
One of the most important aspects of website security is avoiding being hacked in the first place. It is always preferable to prevent an attack than to scramble to recover from one.
Why don’t you just go ahead and prevent further attacks while Google processes your request to be reindexed in the search results without a hacked site warning?
We’ll show you how to do it step-by-step.
Installing MalCare is the simplest option. There’s no easier method to strengthen your defences. You can do the following with MalCare:
- Run virus scans on your site on a daily basis.
- To assist you block out harmful traffic, turn on a WordPress firewall.
- With just one click, you can remove malware from your website without putting it at danger.
- Implement WordPress security features with just a few clicks.
You also receive extremely convenient login protection and traffic monitoring as a bonus. Use MalCare today to avoid getting Google’s “this site may be hacked” warning ever again.
If your website gets hacked, what does it mean for your visitors?
Consider it from the perspective of your visitors for a moment. By visiting your hacked website, your clients and website visitors expose themselves to the following dangers:
- They could download ransomware, which encrypts personal data in exchange for money.
- It’s possible that their computers could fail or that their files will be erased.
- Any financial or personal information you collect from your consumers has the potential to be exposed.
And this is presuming that users continue to visit your website after seeing the warning about the hacked website. For most firms, this message is enough to drive away even the most devoted consumers. And it’s not without reason.
It is critical to monitor your website for viruses on a frequent basis. It’s the right thing to do, and it establishes a trusting relationship with your visitors.
So, What’s Next?
A hacked website can cause a lot of problems. Google Ad accounts are suspended for the majority of websites that are identified by Google. In most situations, your site host will also suspend your account.
Take a brief look at both to ensure that everything is still operational. If you respond quickly enough to the crisis, neither of these actions will be brought against you.
MalCare is a website protection and cleansing tool that we recommend you instal. Your whole site’s security may be controlled from a single dashboard, with the majority of it running on autopilot.
That’s all there is to it, guys!
We have a dedicated support team that can assist you in any situation. So, if you’re trapped anywhere and can’t get rid of the “this site may be hacked” message, just contact us and we’ll help you out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Google claiming that this site has been hacked?
Sites with a lot of spam content are flagged by Google as “this site may be hacked.” It’s very likely that your site is infected with malware that injects spam into your web content. You’ll need to locate and remove the virus from your site before contacting Google to have the hacked site notification removed.
How can I get rid of the “this site could be hacked” warning?
By locating and uninstalling the malware on your site, you may get rid of Google’s “this site may have been hacked” warning. After that, you must notify Google Search Console that all security issues have been rectified.
How long does it take Google to remove the tag “this site might have been hacked”?
The time it takes Google to remove the tag “this site may be hacked” varies. Google requires 1-3 days to remove the alert once you remove the malware from your site and tell Google Search Console that your site is again clean.
Is it possible to be hacked simply by browsing a website?
Yes, in some situations. Drive-by downloads are a particular sort of malware. If you visit a website that is infected with drive-by download malware, your PC will be infected as well. The Google alert, on the other hand, just states that the site in issue has been hacked, not that you have been hacked.
What are the telltale indicators of a hacked website?
If you try to visit the site in severe instances, you’ll get the Red Screen of Death. However, there are a number of little signs that you’ve been hacked. We recommend reading our post on how a hacked WordPress site acts.