What is a URL blacklist and how do I fix it?

Samuel Walker Last updated: March 14, 2023 Read time: 15 minutes Disclosure

Your site is the most essential business tool today. This post covers everything about URL blacklist threat, and how to fix it if you have become a victim already.

Sneak peek at URL blacklist

URL blacklisting is one of the emerging threats to websites today. Most search engines and other authorities use web crawlers to detect and remove suspicious websites’ URLs from their respective indexes. They do so against websites involved in phishing schemes, trojan horse attacks, spamming, trolling, and other such dubious activities. This way, they protect the users from cyber-attacks via accessing any malicious website. Also, it notifies the site owner about any malicious attempt. Nonetheless, URL blacklisting limits the site’s online traffic, affecting its reputation. This guide elaborates on the effective methods to avoid and fix URL blacklisting.

Keeping in mind the ever-increasing number of cyberattacks, your website’s security should be your top-most priority. Also, your site acts as the window to your business’s image. That means, keeping it clean and stunning is part of marketing and closing deals.

URL blacklisting is one of many complex challenges you will come across within cyberspace.

Web crawlers and authorities blacklist dubious site URLs and IPs for safety reasons.

According to our market research, Google bans around 10,000 site URLs daily for questionable content. All the URLs that get ban are unreliable sources for the users.

What is a URL blacklist?

URL blacklisting is a method where web crawlers and authorities blacklist or drop a site URL from their corresponding index, such as Bing, McAfee, Google, Norton Web, etc.

They do as such on finding the sites as possibly infected, which may be in different structures. For example, phishing plans, Trojan horses, spams, trolling, etc.

Thus, the authorities and web indexes keep users from pushing forward to the site and advising the website owner, thereby obstructing the attackers’ malicious aims.

For example, antivirus suits can secure their customers’ PCs by denying admittance to websites known for disseminating illegal software, drive-by-downloads, and malicious payloads. (Just to give you an example.)

For site owners, the most significant blacklisting authority is Google. The Safe Browsing section of Google handles the wellbeing of more than 3 billion users every day over the organization’s setup of services, which involve: 

  • Android 
  • Chrome 
  • Gmail 
  • Google Search 
  • Google Ads 

With the detection of a dangerous site, Safe Browsing will signal the website and show alerts on Google Search and Chrome.

How does a URL get blacklisted

Security is one of the main reasons authorities blacklist website URLs. For example, websites with unsafe plugins or pose severe threats like trojan horse attacks or phishing schemes are likely to be blacklisted. Usually, you’ll see a warning page urging you to leave the website. 

Here are some of the reasons why websites are blacklisted. 

Phishing schemes

This a common cyber-attack that malicious actors use to steal personal information like bank account details and login credentials. Usually, hackers lure you into opening attachments or clicking links containing malware. 

Making it worse, hackers can embed phishing links on websites, even without the site owner knowing, and can get penalized for it. So, scanning your website regularly to detect such attacks to avert the consequences is crucial.