Google quarantines about 10,000 sites every day. For those in the know, this is the search giant’s dreaded “blacklist.”
The quarantine functions as a penalty for sites that violate Google’s guidelines or present a hazard to users.
If your site ends up quarantined, you’ll likely have a few questions. Why is Google penalizing you? More importantly, how can you get off the blacklist and restore your site’s ranking?
Our guide to blacklist removal will help you answer these questions and more.
Google doesn’t use the term blacklisting. Rather, the search giant quarantines websites it deems suspicious or unsafe.
Google wants to keep dangerous sites and spam out of its search rankings. The goal is to make sure Google’s users have a good experience on the sites they visit. Those pages need to be relevant, safe, and well-designed.
Spam sites and sites infect users’ computers with malware or ransomware. They may not be relevant, and they’re often poorly designed. They’re most definitely not safe.
To protect its users, Google watches for these sites and quarantines them. If a user clicks on a link, they’ll end up on a warning page.
There are many reasons a website may end up on Google’s blacklist. The most common cause is a compromised site.
Some sites are set up to attack users, but your site can be hacked or compromised. You haven’t done anything wrong. Hackers have turned your site into an unsafe destination.
Your site can also be penalized for the actions of other sites. If you use an online click-tracking service, you could be penalized if they’re blacklisted for phishing.
Another example could be a malicious site linking back to yours. Google then associates the two sites, and you end up with your website blacklisted.
Getting your website removed from the blacklist can take some work. Google is cautious about restoring sites it has flagged suspicious or unsafe.
Nonetheless, there are steps you can take to get your site removed from the blacklist.
The first thing to do is to identify the reason you’ve been added to the Google blacklist. If your site is compromised, you should work with your hosting provider to restore it. You should then take extra steps to secure the site from future attack.
If Google lists you because of a third party linking to your site, you should try to get those links removed. Unfortunately, that’s not usually possible with malicious sites. An email to the webmaster of a spam or malware site will likely get you nowhere.
Google will allow you to disavow links in this case. Create a list of links to disavow, then use Google’s tool to tell them about those links.
If Google blacklists you because your site because you link to a compromised third party, you’ll need to work around the issue. Try altering link structure or redirecting to an interstitial page.
Once you’ve taken steps to correct the issue, you can submit a report to Google. By doing so, you’re asking them to remove the website from Google’s blacklist.
Google says it will process claims within one to two days, but it can take much longer. If you’re disavowing links, you may need to wait up to a week.
If your site was compromised, your URL may also be used to send out a spam email campaign. In this case, you may have landed on the anti-spam lists of a few organizations.
If this happened, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to get your site off Google’s blacklist. Luckily, there are tools to help you do it.
Using a tool, you can check the lists of the organizations that monitor for spam. If one of these organizations lists your site, follow their procedures to remove it.
There is one more reason Google may blacklist your site, and that’s the use of “black hat” SEO techniques. Google frowns on these techniques, which is why it penalizes sites that use them.
Website owners may use black hat techniques because they’re effective in the short term. Stealing content from other pages or scraping websites will get you blacklisted. Buying links for redirects can also get you blacklisted.
While these methods increase traffic and search engine ranking temporarily, they’re unethical.
If you’ve been working with an SEO provider and are now on the blacklist, ask about the provider’s techniques. Always inquire about the techniques an SEO provider will use before you sign up.
You should always work with a white hat SEO provider. If you’ve been using black hat techniques yourself, you’ll need to stop to get your site off the blacklist. If your SEO provider used black hat techniques, it’s time to stop working with them.
Once you know how to get removed from the blacklist, you’ll probably want to know how to avoid ending up there again.
Taking extra security precautions is always a wise choice. Better security keeps your site safe from hackers. That should mean you don’t get blacklisted over phishing scams or malware.
Always think about who you’re working with as well. When you work with click-trackers and other providers, ask about the security measures they take. If you work with anyone for SEO, always ask about the techniques they use.
By increasing security and avoiding unscrupulous providers, you should stay on Google’s good side.
Blacklist removal can be done, although it often takes some time. In the meantime, Google will penalize your site. The best thing you can do is take steps to ensure your site doesn’t end up on the blacklist in the first place.
If you’re looking for more advice about how to secure and protect your site, take a look at our blog. Our advice can help you keep your site off Google’s blacklist.