Google can drive lots of customers to your sites, and an SEO spammer understands it perfectly. But instead of ranking its pages legitimately, SEO spammers hack the already ranked site and inject its links to the pages.
Creating your site, and then ranking it takes time and effort.
Moreover, Google ignores and penalizes the scam sites. So they gain access to a legitimate website, and then via links and keywords, they paved the path to their scam site.
SEO Spam is also known as Spamdexing or search engine spamming.
How Does An SEO Spam Hack Work?
SEO Spammer will do everything to hide that they have hijacked your site. That’s why people often find out late that their website has been used for SEO spam.
After injecting the site with malicious code, they take over the control of the website. With a simple script, they hide the links into the footer of the sites. The links are well hidden.
They also create thousands of new pages on your site. Also, Sucuri has found the site running on the subdomain.
Another way is to add the code to the site that is only readable by the Google crawlers. Everything will be normal and fine at the surface, but once you dive into the coding, you will find that Google is crawling a whole different site, with separate pages and content.
Is Your Site Infected With SEO Malware?
The SEO Spammer plays all the tricks to hide the SEO spam going on your site, but you can run a few tests to validate your website’s security.
Run Sucuri Malware Test
You can run the Free Sucuri Malware Scanner Test to find out if there is any malware on your site. It is an excellent tool that you can use at no cost.
Google Safe Browsing
If your site is not secure, Google will know it. You can go to Google’s safe browsing site status, and find if Google finds your site secure.
However, the point of SEO spam is to stay low under Google’s radar, so this check-up might not be that accurate.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console has a feature to detect the security issues with your site and pages.
Again, it is the property of Google, and the SEO Spam is designed to fool Google, so there is not much reliability.
But you can look for other signs of hacking or SEO spamming, such as a sudden drop in the traffic, or keywords that are not related to your site.
The hack is not visible to you because SEO spammers have designed it that way so that it does not become apparent to you. The hook here could be your location, IP address, or browser’s cache.
- Search your site from Incognito Mode
- Try changing your IP address, and then search your website on Google
- Search your site from anyone else’s device
Contact Your Hosting Provider
The final solution is to contact your hosting provider and ask them to run a security test on your site.
ServerGuy has various security tools, and we regularly monitor the site for any hacking attempt.
Check with your hosting provider if they are observing inconsistencies with your site.
How to Protect your Site?
Though no site is 100% secure, you can do the best. The best would be enough to protect your website from SEO spamming attacks.
Few things you can do:
Update: Update your theme, WordPress and Plugins updated. Don’t ignore the updates, as the updates mean patching of the security issues. If you keep using the outdated plugins and themes, you are giving a massive advantage to hackers.
Strong Passwords: Everyone knows to have a strong password is essential to keep the site secure, but still people use simple passwords. You should make sure that the password consists of multiple characters, and it is long.
Secure Username: Also, ensure that the username is also strong. Make your login page as safe as possible.
Firewall: A firewall prevents many types of hacking attempts. A web application firewall is essential if you are running a large site. At ServerGuy, we provide free firewall protection to all our clients.
Scan Regularly: Before fixing any infection, one has to be aware of it. That’s why regular scanning of the site for malware is critical. You can do it manually or automate tools to perform the job.
Back-Up: Keep backup of your site. In any unfortunate event, if you have to begin from scratch, you will have a backup of your website. You can use plugins to automate backup. Also, hosting providers create regular backups.
What after Infection?
It is vital to act quickly if your site has been infected with the spamdexing.
This spam will not go by updating the sites or just running a malware scanner; you will have to remove the malicious scripts and codes from the site.
Google will not be able to identify the difference between your original site and the site that Google is crawling. And as a result, there is a risk that Google will penalize your domain.
Another scenario is that the visitor will find your site, and from a look, they will think your site is some spam site, and they will leave it never to return again.
The process of cleaning the site is not simple. It depends on what kind of changes the hacker has made to your site.
But what you can do to make a backup of your site, and reinstall the fresh WordPress (or any other platform). Then you have to import the backup. But it does not always work.
You may have to take the professional service.
Also Read: How to Clean Hacked WordPress Site?
The best way is to be updated and keep the site secure with various plugins and firewalls.
You should not compromise with the web hosting as the quality hosting provider can help you a lot in such stressful situations.
At ServerGuy, we take strict measures to prevent sites from any hacking attempt. Moreover, we make regular backups and monitor the website for any issue.
Contact us regarding any hosting service.