What to do if your WordPress site is blacklisted by Google

So, your website was recently added to the Google blacklist. The bad news is that this will mean a lot less traffic going to your site, among other pitfalls. 

Although there’s good news too. You don’t have to resign your website to the blacklist forever. In fact, there’s action you can take today to get your website fully functional again.

In this article, we’ll talk you through getting your site off the Google blacklist – and how to keep it that way. 

But before we get to that, let’s talk basics.

What is the Google blacklist?

Before fixing the problem – yes, it can be fixed – it’s important to understand what exactly is going on with your website.

Also known as a blocklist or Safe Browsing list, the Google blacklist is a database of websites and IP addresses flagged as unsafe. Google adds 1000s of websites everyday, so don’t worry, because you’re not alone.

How to check if your website is blacklisted by Google

There are a few different ways to know if you’ve been hacked and added to the Google blacklist:

  • Google has contacted you to tell you that you’ve been hacked.
  • Google Search Console displays security issues on certain webpages.
  • A sudden and unexplained drop in website traffic.
  • You see a browser warning message when visiting your website (see below image).


Why does Google blacklist websites?

There are several reasons why Google might blacklist your site. Here are the main ones:

  • Malware
    Malicious software implemented by hackers or spreading from unsafe plugins can infect your device, steal data, or install unwanted programmes.
  • Phishing
    Hackers can trick your users into revealing personal information like passwords or credit card details.
  • Black hat SEO techniques
    Disapproved SEO practices like keyword stuffing or building links from spam sites can get you added to the Google blacklist..
  • Spam
    Unsolicited emails or website content that is unwanted or misleading can get your website flagged for the Google blacklist.
  • Illegal content
    Content that violates copyright laws or promotes illegal activities can result in blacklisting.
  • Security issues
    Websites with severe security weaknesses that could be exploited by hackers to launch attacks may be blacklisted.

What the Google blacklist means for your website

If your website has been added to the blacklist, you’ll want to have it removed ASAP. Otherwise, your site will continue to suffer from:

  • Traffic loss
    Warnings displayed in browsers discourage users from visiting, leading to a decline in traffic of up to 95%.
  • Revenue impact
    Less traffic will lead to a loss in earnings from advertising, sales, or subscriptions.
  • Brand reputation damage
    Being blacklisted implies a security risk. This can negatively impact user trust.
  • SEO impact
    Blacklisted websites are typically delisted from search results or ranked lower. This makes it harder for users to find your site organically.
  • Technical challenges
    Removing a website from the Google blacklist requires identifying and fixing the security issues. This can be complex and require technical expertise. If you don’t have this expertise, you should consider hiring a professional.   

How to remove your domain from the Google blacklist

The first thing to consider here is: ‘Do I have the skillset to do this myself?’ 

If not, take the time to hire a professional to do the job for you. If you’re confident that you can do it yourself, follow the below steps.

Step 1: Identify and fix the issue

Firstly, it’s important to diagnose what triggered the blacklisting. To identify the issue, access your Google Search Console account. If you don’t have one, creating one should be your first step. 

Once you’ve logged in, go to the “Security Issues” section found under Security & Manual Actions. It’s here that you’ll find the specific reason for the blacklisting. This will usually be malware, viruses, SEO spam, or injected SQL code.

Step 2: Fix the problem

Depending on the problem, you might have to:

  • Run a malware scan
    Use one of the many WordPress malware scanners to identify malware on your site
  • Remove a malicious plugin
    If a poorly coded, malicious, or outdated plugin is affecting your WordPress site, you can either perform an update or find a more reputable plugin.
  • Review site changes
    Check your website for any unplanned or unauthorised changes to your site.
  • Clean infected databases
    Manually clean your databases if Google has flagged them as infected.
  • Restore from a backup
    This of course depends on whether you’ve been taking regular backups or not. You can do this going forwards with WordPress backup plugins like UpdraftPlus

Step 3: Request a website review from Google

Now that you’ve cleaned your website, it’s time for Google to have another look. Do this by going to the “Security Issues” section of Google Search Console and clicking the “Request a Review” button. 

Be sure to double-check that you’ve removed every trace of malware before doing this. Otherwise, your request will be rejected and you won’t be able to submit another for 30 days.

It’s important to be crystal clear on how you’ve fixed or updated your site since you were added to the Google blacklist. 

Remember to keep things concise and to the point. You can also include screenshots or any other evidence you think is relevant.

Step 4: Give it some time

You’ll of course want to get your website up and running right away, but be patient. Google can take anywhere between a few hours and several days to review your website.

Keeping your website off the Google blacklist

It’s important that once your site is off the Google blacklist you take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Let’s call it ‘Step 4.5’. 

Here’s a short list of actions to keep you off the blacklist:


How long does it take to have your website removed from the Google blacklist?

It can take anywhere between a few hours to several days. It depends on how severe the issue (or issues) is and Google’s workload at the time.

Why does Google blacklist websites?

There are several reasons why Google might blacklist your WordPress site:

  • Malware.
  • Phishing.
  • Spam.
  • Illegal content.
  • Security issues.

How can being on the Google blacklist damage my business?

Being blacklisted by Google can be very damaging for website and business owners, causing issues like:

  • Traffic loss.
  • Potential loss of revenue.
  • Data breaches.
  • Brand reputation damage.
  • Lower search rankings.

How should I monitor my site’s status after delisting?

After getting delisted, it’s important to stay on top of your website. Here’s are a few things you can do to ensure you don’t get blacklisted again:

  • Regular security checks
    Perform regular scans for malware, vulnerabilities, and outdated software to prevent future blacklisting.
  • Google Search Console
    Monitor your website’s health using Google Search Console. It can notify you of any potential security issues or warnings.
  • Periodic blacklist checks
    Use online tools or services that can check your website’s blacklist status periodically.

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