Find and fix Google blocklist warnings
When a website is added to a block list by block list authorities, it can be extremely stressful for their business. SEO rankings collapse and loss of revenue / traffic is hit even harder if not addressed quickly. In this article, we’ll discuss what exactly blocklists are, why you should consider them when starting a website, and how to identify and rectify if you’re one of them.
What is a Google block list?
Blocklists are basically a database that uses pieces of information to determine whether an IP address or domain is sending malicious messages or hosting malicious content. Google’s block list (also known as a “blacklist”) is a list of sites that they think are suspicious and that they mark as “not safe to visit”.
There are many antivirus companies that also have their own blocklists, they are all referred to as “block list authorities” or “blacklist authorities”. They use crawlers, bots, and other proprietary tools that independently crawl websites and add the most dangerous ones to their blocklist index. It is important to note that the Google block list is very different from being deindexed.
There are occasions when a site may be blocked, but in fact being incorrectly listed by the blocking authority, this is called a “false positive”. Some providers have a higher false positive rate than others. Google tends to be the lowest and the most precise.
Why blocklists are important and why they happen
Due to the increasingly cunning nature of the web, blocklists help the average user avoid being phished, infected, or scammed. Without blocklists, malware and phishing campaigns would be even more rampant than they already are. That being said, being added to a blocklist can really hurt an average site’s reputation. All of the time invested in an SEO strategy is suddenly wasted, along with organic traffic and pageviews. Visitors get a warning like the one pictured above, which strongly encourages users to click.
How to tell if you’re on a block list
The best way to tell if you are on the Google Blocklist is to access your own URL, logged out of the Admin Dashboard. Another option is also to use the Google Search Console, which will alert you if your site has been blocked. Regarding other block list authorities, our Site verification scanner will be useful in determining if there are other blocklists under your site. VirusTotal is also a great resource for checking the widest variety of providers to see if your website is being flagged.
How to Fix Being on a Block List
Getting your site off a block list can be a bit of a process. The first step is scanning your site to make sure it is to clean from any malware. After cleaning is complete, implement protection and change all passwords so that reinfection does not occur. Some providers, especially Google, will often give you the exact URL that is responsible for the blocklist, and is usually the location of the infection.
We will discuss these measures in more detail later. Once post-hack protection is configured, report the results to each block list authority that has currently blocked the site. Alternatively, you can have an incident response team like Sucuri contact each of them on your behalf. Depending on the authority of the blocklist, it may take a while for them to respond. Typically, within 24-72 hours, the site should be removed from its block list.
How to prevent blocklists from growing
Update your CMS, theme, and plugin versions to avoid re-infection or blocklist in the future. It is strongly recommended that you update all passwords and minimize additional account permissions. Install a scan plug-in that runs in the background to detect file changes or injected malicious content. We also have a WordPress step-by-step guide where you can check the actions taken after the hack.
Configuring a firewall is also recommended. This will immediately block IP addresses and malicious requests from accessing the site. A firewall fixes vulnerabilities if updates to the site are not made. Firewalls also prevent random users from accessing the administrator login panel, only accepting “allowed” IP addresses if they are configured correctly.
We understand that not all site owners anticipate that they will be the target of an attack, and sometimes an infection can go undetected for months. When an infection goes unnoticed for such a long time, that’s when SEO, site traffic, and revenue really take off. That’s why we at Sucuri strive to give site owners visibility into impacts before they happen, or at least help people understand how they can take care of their site and their business. in the future. If you have determined that you have been affected by a blocklist, please feel free to engage our team at cleaning your site. We are here to help you !