Sometimes vulnerable websites, such as outdated WordPress websites, become compromised. The hacked/hijacked websites can then be defaced, used to attempt to distribute malware, or used to steal people’s information. Google provides examples of this here. If Google notices this they will temporarily penalize a site in search engines and send webmasters a hacked content message or a “social engineering message” assuming the webmaster is using Search Console.

Social Engineering Content Detected Error

Here’s what the Social Engineering Content Detected Error looks like:

It reads:

Social engineering content detected on

To: Webmaster of,

Google’s Safe Browsing systems have detected that some pages on your site might be hacked or might include third party resources such as ads that are designed to trick users into installing malicious software or giving up sensitive information. To protect your site’s visitors, your site has been demoted in Google’s search results and browsers such as Google Chrome now display a warning when users visit your site.

How To Fix the Social Engineering Content Detected Error:

Google offers up some tips to identifying the problem pages, and in Search Console you can see the compromised pages. IF you have only 1 compromised page, the home page, please read below. IF you have compromised pages, you’ll need to find the hole in your site, secure it and update your site.

Once your site is updated, you can request a review of the site. Google will then review the site in about 3 business days, and they will manually remove the penalty and you’ll be good to go.

Once the site is fixed, you’ll get a message that looks like this:

Is Google Accidentally Sending Out Social Engineering Content Detected Error Messages?

I received the above message in May 2018. In this case, the site in question was not hacked at all. I submitted the site for a review to get the issue resolved. Apparently, other people have had the same problem in the past.



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