How to save your SEO efforts after your website is hacked

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How to save your SEO efforts after your website is hacked

Was your website hacked recently? You probably did everything to bring your website back into the game like updating the CMS, securing all backdoors, removing any infected files, etc., but the deed was still done.

Is your website still getting the same amount of traffic that it used to? Or has it been reduced? It is probably the latter because website hacking can affect SEO a lot. 

In this blog, you will learn how to save your SEO efforts after recovering a hacked website.

How does a website hack affect your SEO activities?

When anyone hacks your website, Google discovers malicious code on that website. It leads to your website getting flagged. Thus, Google does not allow any traffic to your website until you fix the issue. If you use Google Search Console, you will receive information about the reason why your website may have been brought down. 

So, SEO-invested activities are put on hold and also you might end up at square one!

The more you delay in recovering your hacked website, the worse it is for your SEO. 

What can happen if you delay recovering your website:

  • There will be a massive dip in the search engine ranking of your website.
  • Even if your website appears in the search results, when the users click on your website they will receive a warning, “This site has been compromised.” 
  • If any user still clicks on your website despite the warning, the Google Safe Browsing database will give the user a browser warning about your website being compromised. 

But, fear not – there is a way to save your SEO efforts! You can still recover the SEO of your website if you act fast, preferably within 24 hours. 

Let us see how to salvage lost organic marketing efforts, step by step.

How to recover website SEO after a hack?

Recovering the SEO of a hacked website is not as complicated a process as it seems. Although an SEO agency can do this for you effectively, here is a complete step-wise guide for your understanding.

Check website for malware 

The foremost step of this process is to run a Malware scan. A Malware scan will patch all the backdoors and remove any infected files. It will ensure that no trace of malware or hacker content is on your site. But make sure the scan is fast.

Set up redirects 

When your website is hacked, the hacker might create temporary pages on your website. Setting up a 301 notice redirects this page. So, whenever any user visits your website, the website is redirected to a blog post. Also, it notifies the visitor that the URL is compromised. Can you imagine how much this can improve your user experience? And the great news is that you do not even lose your indexed pages. Need an SEO agency to do this for you? Connect with us today!

SEO Damage Assessment

As discussed earlier, Google has a safe browsing list where it constantly updates any URLs that are hacked and unsafe to visit. It makes sure that the user is informed of all the unsafe web resources.

This list of unsafe websites is categorized by Google into:

  • Attack Sites: Websites that host software that can potentially infect the computer of the user who visits the website. 
  • Compromised Sites: Websites that contain the host spam content added by the hacker or the websites that have been hacked. 

You need to check if your website falls under any of these categories under Google’s Safe Browsing List. You can do it by visiting the Safe Browsing Site Status.

Replace “example.com” with the hostname of your website to check the status.

  • Check Google Search Console 

Sign in to Google Search Console. Go to the “Messages” panel on the left-hand side. If your website is affected by malware, you will receive a message there. On the left, click on the “Security Issues” link. Here you can find out if Google Crawler has detected malware on your website.

  • Check your mail

If there is an email address on your website, Google will often mail that email address informing you that someone has hacked your website. Any email address with support or administrative email address like [email protected]’ ‘[email protected][email protected], is more likely to receive these messages.

  • Request Malware Review 

Before your website is set to go online, you should request a Malware Review. This final step is crucial to ensure no more security issues are on your website. The review will get done within a short period. If the scan finds out that your website is free from infections, you will be able to get back your SEO status within 24 hours. To request a Malware Review, go to Google Search Console. Then click on the section called “Security Issues Report.”

  • Final check of your website 

Go to Google and search the site:yourdomainname. All the pages on your website that Google indexed previously will appear on the search results. If your site is still infected, the search engine will be flagged with messages like:

  • “This site may be compromised”
  • “This site may harm your computer”

It will mean that your website SEO has still not recovered, and you need to repeat all the steps. But if there are no such messages, your website is safe to run again with recovered SEO.

These are all the steps of recovering your website SEO. Once you perform all these steps, your website will be ready to run again. Never overlook even the most insignificant vulnerabilities in your website. Do not leave behind any loophole or scope of security attack. Whether or not someone will still hack your website is not entirely in your control, but take all the protective measures you can.

SEOTonic can manage all your organic marketing efforts. If you want a trusted brand to properly safeguard your website, SEOTonic is your committed and reliable SEO agency and troubleshooter pal.