How to remove “This site may be hacked” in Google Search Console

In the second of our posts on using Google Search Console, we look at how you can tell Google that your site is no longer compromised if a “This site may be hacked” message is displaying above your website in search results. This can happen if your site has been the victim of hackers, spam or phishing scams.

Sign up to get updates via Google Search Console

If Google add “This site may be hacked” to your search listings, they will notify you via your Google Search Console. Even if your site is currently fine, it’s a good idea to sign up for email notifications on Google Search Console, so you’ll get an email if your site is ever marked as hacked. If your site is compromised, you’ll also get a notification as soon as Google re-reviews your site and confirms that it’s clean.

To turn on email notifications, go to Search Console Preferences (access via the gear icon in the top right hand corner).

Resolve any security issues

Before you can ask Google to remove the “This site may be hacked” message from search results, you will need to take action to resolve any security problems on your website. There are a number of resources that can help you do this, including the Stop Badware website and Google’s 7 step process to recover a hacked site. If you’re stuck, get in touch, we may be able to help.

Request a review

Once you are confident the security issues have been resolved, you can let Google know and ask them to re-review your site.

To do this, navigate to the message within the Security Issues area of Google Search Console, where Google will have provided information on the areas they believe are affected.

Select “Request a review” and provide details of how you resolved the security issues.

Once a review is requested, Google will review your site to confirm the compromised content is no longer available. This can take up to several weeks, depending on the type of security issue you experienced. As soon as Google confirms that your site is clean, you will receive a notification via Google Search Console and the “This site may be hacked” message will be removed from search results within 72 hours.

If your site fails the review, the infected URLs will be displayed in the Security Issues section of Google Search Console and the message will remain on your search listings. In this situation, you’ll need to repeat the process of cleaning your site and resolving any issues that remain, before you can re-submit your site to Google.

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Our industry expert

James Patten

Technical Director

Responsible for overseeing every website build, Jim is our resident expert in data and API integration, email and DNS configurations, and all things technical. He takes every client’s vision for their new website and brings it to life, integrating automated systems to save them time.

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