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How to run away from Google’s blacklists

It became normal for Google to blacklist some websites. It happens on a daily basis due to hack attacks, malware, and other general site weaknesses. Sometimes thousands pages a day happen to be blacklisted. Checking if a domain name is blacklisted for spamming or blacklisted by Google, can be done with a service such as a blacklist API. It means those pages are unsecure for visitors (because of malware and other harmful phenomenon) and are marked as such. You can check your status with our service and find out if it is time to panic.

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Blacklisted sites can be a real nightmare for hosting providers. Customers might not understand why their site was blacklisted and will blame their hosting provider for the problems. No matter whose fault it is, hosting providers should and must be prepared to help their customers. It is so important because every second a site is blacklisted contributes to the loss in value of your customer’s brand. The nature of your response could result in keeping a happy client or losing a frustrated one.

Any website can be blacklisted, even those sites that have robust security measures in place, but blacklisting is especially often problem for small businesses. Such companies can’t afford IT security experts so they count on you for site maintenance. Others are often connected to you through a reseller that might not know anything about those problems, so it results in them turning to you for help.

So, if you’re wondering what to do, read the following lines. Getting the site out of Google’s blacklist is not so easy and simple. They really search for evidence that site is clean and secure. It can last from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the damage. Since time is money and your client’s business might suffer great damage by being blacklisted, you should try the fastest ways of getting the site back on track.

One of the fastest ways is restoring the site from a previously backed-up, clean version. It may not help if the site is really infected with malware, but in those cases with minor damage it does the trick. If you are not sure if should you offer managed or self-serve back-up services, well the ideal situation is when you use both. But only you can know if your business is big and sophisticated enough for that.

Managed backup and monitoring services are those that use a proactive approach, which gives the user peace of mind because their accounts are protected against threats. Even if an incident happens, a plan is ready to mitigate the damage and return the accounts to normal in no time.

Managed services are a premium option and require the web source to insure needed resources such as hardware, software, security, and disaster recovery with business continuity for each managed account. For smaller business users this service might be unprofitable since their accounts could be repaired by a backup solution.

Managed backup and monitoring services are that white glove attention that might not be approved by every user’s budget. Or, if the user has enough IT skills or resources available to manage a simple browser-based backup solution, they may not need a managed backup service. Either way, web hosts should offer a cloud-based, self-service option. Solutions like that are much cheaper, faster, and they give your client more control over their situation. All of that results in a customer’s positive opinion of your service. With all that, providing hands-on support is recommended.

Self-service backup gives your clients an opportunity to manage their own site restore functions, and also reduces staff and IT infrastructure you need to maintain. The result is lower operating costs, higher profits, and a greater focus on customer satisfaction.

In the end, you can always recommend to your customers some of the tools they can use to find if they are truly blacklisted. The most obvious place for the checkup is unquestionably Google’s Webmaster Tools.

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If that is the case, they can do something to fix the situation: either contact you or do their own self-service, depending of their possibilities as said before. Finally, when the site has been fully restored, Google recommends for your clients to use cURL, Wget or the Fetch as Google tool in Google Search Console to verify that their site is clean and free of any damage. After that step, they should submit an online review request to have Google remove the blacklist warnings. In that way, your client’s issues will be resolved in a few hours. If they skip the step of checking site for damage, this process could last much longer.

Blacklisting issue resolution can mean a lot for your business. It can show you as a helpful, supportive, and quality host, or a lousy host that doesn’t care for their clients. With your care and professionalism, you can win yourself much-deserved and needed loyalty and appreciation from your clients.

 

Written by Branimir Grabovac

Branimir founded a hosting company when he was 15 and sold it three years later to one of the biggest Croatian hosting companies. Branimir has 3+ years of experience in business development and more then 8 years of experience in web design and programming.

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