Last Updated: 12th September, 2019
What Is Search Engine Blacklisting?
The search engines such as Google, Bing, Yandex, etc. expels a website from its list when a website is on a blacklist. Once a website is blacklisted, it loses nearly 95% of its organic traffic, which surely impact earnings significantly and rapidly. Generally, when it contains something threatening to the user, such as malware, a website goes into blacklist.
Table Of Contents
- Explaining Reason For Blacklisting By Search Engines And Antivirus Enterprises
- 1: Blacklistings By Popular Search Engines
- 2: Blacklisting By Antivirus Companies
- 3: How To Remove Website From The Blacklist?
- 4: Conclusion
Explaining Reason For Blacklisting By Search Engines And Antivirus Enterprises
Today, the World Wide Web is a populated place and expanding at a fast pace continuously. It becomes important to keep a check on the websites that are malicious. For this job, a search engine seems the best fit for search engines are where most people get in contact with different websites. The search engine blacklist is a prevalent issue for managing websites to operate malicious behaviors throughout the internet.
Blacklistings By Popular Search Engines
According to a definition from a legal dictionary, A blacklist is actually a list of persons or companies declared to be discriminated against or boycotted. The term ‘blacklist‘ in the context of the internet implies a website that host malicious records and redirects users to malicious hyperlinks that visit it.
A website might bring it on the hyperlinks or malware which often redirects from the crawler could well stay cloaked and perform malicious behaviors. There are multiple search engines available on the web which use crawlers to index the web pages. It adds it to the blacklist database whenever the crawler detects something odd on your website. Let’s have a look at different types of blacklisting that are done on the web:
Search Engine Blacklist: Blacklisting By Google
Google blacklists your website as being the most popular search engine when it either identifies malware or detects phishing properties. The crawlers find malicious script being run on the website whenever a hyperlink is accessed. There might be redirected to untrusted websites and entities that also cause your website to be blacklisted. As a result, whenever someone tries to access your website, they are shown a warning message “This site may harm your computer”.
Even Google notifies the website owner that it has been blacklisted, so they can take measures to restore from not being blacklisted. Google often blacklists a website based on even a website’s phishing attribute. Basically, it is detected through pages on your website that collect sensitive information about a user. The details get stored in a server controlled by hackers. As a consequence, due to presence of phishing attributes, the website is blacklisted.
Search Engine Blacklist: Blacklisting By Yandex
It’s the most used search engine in Russia and the Netherlands that those of you who have not yet heard of Yandex. The Yandex Safe Browsing service which marks a website as blacklisted by punishing the unsafe website if:
- It detects a malicious code.
- It considers the website undesirable.
- Users keep getting a safety warning every time they visit the website.
- The code doesn’t match the backup or the control system version and is also unreadable and unstructured.
- Functions present in your website structure are malicious.
- Dates, when files were changed, are the same as the date when files were infected with malicious data.
- The website doesn’t appear on the Search Engine Result Page when queried.
- The same algorithm is utilized by the Opera browser as well.
Search Engine Blacklist: Blacklisting By Bing
This search engine’s blacklist is monitored by Microsoft. Hence, the blacklisting is done based on the number of deep links a website contains when it is queried over the search engine.
Blacklisting By Antivirus Companies
Blacklisting By Norton
Norton uses a rating service to rank your website. A website owner needs to register their website with a form offered by Norton and then Norton’s crawlers scan the website over the following parameters:
- Drive-by downloads
- Anomaly presence
- IE-only attacks
- Suspicious redirections
After checking the following parameters, the crawlers pass a decision whether the given website queried is malicious or not.
Blacklisting By McAfee
McAfee’s Web Advisor is the software that runs whenever a user is running a browser and like a companion, makes the user experience more secure. It has the following features apart from detection and blocking of malware and phishing websites – typo protection, scanning of downloads and checking the proper working of the firewall.
Blacklisting By MalwareBytes
In MalwareBytes, if it finds that the targeted website originates from a malicious IP or malicious server, a website is blacklisted. However, there have been cases of false positives being generated by MalwareBytes labs therefore, it is not really a suggested blacklist check authority.
In such a highly competitive world where businesses are mushrooming at a rapid rate, it becomes necessary for a firm to have a website hosted for their promotion in the e-commerce world. However, if the website of a company gets blacklisted, then it causes a huge impact on the revenue generated by the company.
Blacklisting of a website can cause a whopping 95% drop in the website traffic which in turn would affect the revenue. Users lose trust over the website as they consider that their data is no longer secure on that website.
Hence the web owner must be cautious about their website and keep checking for any such malicious scripts or hyperlinks available.
How To Remove Website From The Blacklist?
Let us discuss a few defensive measures on how to avoid blacklisting your website.
Removing File Infections
In order to remove the files infected by malware, it is important that you as a website administrator must be able to modify the files hosted in the server. You may reconstruct your website from your previous backups provided those backups are not infected.
In case, you are trying to delete the malicious files from the FTP server access, make absolutely sure your website does have malware-free backup. In case you’re unsure about how to get rid of the infected files, then seek help from experts.
Removing Infections From Tables And Database
By logging into your database, admin panel, you can take care of the infected tables and databases. After taking a proper backup of the clean data, you can navigate to the database or table which you suspect has been infected with malware and then remove it or take steps to quarantine the same.
Most providers provide PHPMyAdmin in the cPanel to assist in the user experience that is simple and user friendly.
Also, you can check for common malicious PHP functions such as
str_replace, etc. However, these functions are also used by plugins in order to carry out legitimate operations. Hence, you must test changes at every step and prevent the accidental breaking of the website.
Block Attacks By Strengthening The Website Firewall
In this manner, no one shall be able to brute-force the credentials to the admin console. Your website must also be self-sufficient to mitigate any sort of DDoS attacks by proper detection of an increase in the number of fake visits.
Apart from this, keep the overall security of the website updated by patching the vulnerabilities as when you spot them during routine security checks.
Removing Your Website From Google’s Blacklist
In case you wish to remove a website that has been blacklisted from Google Search Engine, follow the steps:
- Register your website in Google Search Console.
- Navigate to Manual Actions or Security Issues section in the console.
- Look for the URLs based on which Google blacklisted your website as malicious.
- Remove those hyperlinks from your website through logging in to the admin console.
- Submit a request to Google Search Console.
Removing Your Website From Yandex’s Blacklist
By following these steps, you can remove your website from the blacklist of Yandex:
- Sign into the console of Yandex and register your website.
- Stop the web server over which your website is running.
- Conduct a scan on the malicious version as well as a clean and uninfected version of your website’s backup.
- Compare the results of the scans and look out for the irregularities in the same. Remove the malicious codes that seem suspicious.
- Test the changes in case it causes any breaks on the websites. If the change in the code doesn’t cause any damage to the website, then commit the new changes and update all the programs.
- Submit a request to Yandex Websmaster for blacklist removal.
Removing Your Website From McAfee’s Blacklist
If your website appears on the blacklist of McAfee, thus the following steps will make sure you return to the secure area:
- Login to https://www.trustedsource.org/
- Select the relevant category from the drop-down menu. In most of the cases, the database is a real-time one which gets updated frequently and the content remains fresh.
- In the comment section, mention the steps you have taken to resolve the issue like removal of malware from (file names), Web Application Firewall (if any) etc.
- Enter the email ID on which you wish to receive updates of the review and submit it.
So, to sum up, in today’s extremely competitive business environment, blacklisting is a big issue. Also, it goes without saying that a safe website ensures increased visitors and more clients. Hence, it is a best practice to secure your website and get it verified. The best way to do this is to opt for a security solution that monitors your website continuously and protects your website from getting infected in the first place.