by | 30 Aug 2016

How to avoid Google blacklisting?

Google finds thousands of new malicious websites every day. Some of these websites are created for malicious purposes, but most are legitimate business sites that have been infected without the knowledge of their owners. Are you one of them? If you are not careful about your eCommerce site, you could be the next one to be blacklisted by Google. Can you afford that? Certainly not!

Why my website could be blacklisted by Google?

Your website is certainly providing items to shop and great services to users and seems to be perfectly healthy. In reality, it has a vulnerability. A hacker can create a software program to exploit this vulnerability on many websites as possible throughout the Web.

Your eCommerce site may be only one of the thousands affected, like an infection can enter through a small wound to spread to your entire body. Once a hacker has found a way into a site by exploiting a vulnerability, you must assume they can now execute any action on your website (adding spammy text, hiding malware, etc).

One of the most common ways a hacker can invade an online shop, is to exploit an outdated or insecure software, in order to steal login credentials and to inject a malware in your server to steal your customers data. Your site is compromised, and your reputation is exposed.

How to know if my website is blacklisted by Google?

Most often, your website may function normally, and your could be completely unaware you have been victimized.  However, when a search engine like Google is visiting your site (as they visit many sites to index their content), Google’s algorithm may notice a strange behavior. For example, a reputable eCommerce site selling shoes, in which a bulk of links to a spammy pharmaceutical site has been integrated.

In other cases, more than simple spammy content or links, the hacker could have injected a malware inside your server (a bot, worm or virus). It is very dangerous because your eCommerce has now become a host to distribute the malware to your customers (or potential ones). Hackers use these kinds of malware to steal credentials and financial information for online banking.

Fortunately (or not), Google is using a variety of automated tools to assess your website and identify common signs of hacked websites.  When something suspicious is detected, they had a notification to the search results to alert you and your potential visitors that your site has been compromised.  In this case, you should have received an alert by email or a notification in your Google Webmaster Tools account.

How to prevent your website from being blacklisted by Google?

It is always tough to hear that your website has been hacked. The positive news is that with this knowledge you can begin to clean your website and fix the detected vulnerability. However, it is not always so easy to identify the vulnerability, and it takes time before the « Warning label » is removed from the search results. It can takes days, weeks, even month to recover your website because it can involve manual investigation.

Times is money, and SMBs do not have this luxury. That’s why 60% of SMBs go out of business within six months after an attack. The best solution to avoid to be blacklisted by Google and to close your online shop is to adopt a comprehensive cybersecurity solution.

Today’s cloud-based IT security solutions are perfect for SMBs because they are easy to install, configure and manage, and should provide automatic, real-time protection from most threats. Take advantage of a 30 day free trial to test OZON cloud-based cybersecurity solution, dedicated to protect sites of eCommerce SMBs. So, what are you waiting for? Try it now!