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Have you ever been searching for something on Google and came across a message that says, “This site may harm your computer”?
Or maybe you got an email from Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools) saying your site has been compromised.
Hacked websites are harmful for users and also harmful for your business (if your company’s website is the one that’s been hacked).
Why a Hacked Website Is Bad for Your Business
When Hacked, Your Website Could Be Defaced or Redirected
A hacked website often means that your website gets defaced. You may have words like “Viagra,” “Cialis,” and “Propecia” painted all over your site. If you own a pharmacy, maybe that’s not so terrible. But if you’re an upscale remodeler, you probably don’t want “Viagra” all over your homepage!
In other website hacking scenarios, your homepage could turn into a homepage for a violent terrorist group. Or you might even find that your website redirects to a porn website. Believe it or not, these are all site hacks that the webmasters have dealt with at Blue Corona.
Website Security Is a Google Ranking Factor
Google not only gives secure websites a ranking boost, but it will actually drop your rankings if your website is hacked. Rankings are hard to earn (it takes some companies 6 months or more to see ranking improvements from strategic SEO investments), so we’d hate to see you lose them because of website hackers.
Your Click-Thru-Rate May Drop
Your website click-thru-rate is the number of times someone clicks on your search engine listing divided by the number of times your search engine listing is displayed (this number is called “Impressions”).
Would you click on a listing if you saw that it might harm your computer? Probably not. As you can imagine, hacked websites are often damaging to click-thru-rates.
“My Website Is Hacked But I Can’t See the Malicious Code!”
I’ll give you two tricks straight from our webmaster decks:
- Try com and see if warnings show up in the scan results
- Install WordFence Security on your WordPress site and run a scan – this tells you where the majority of malicious code is.
How to Get Rid of a Hack/Malicious Code
Once you find the malicious code, you can remove it yourself or tell your webmaster to do so. At Blue Corona, we take care of hacked websites as part of our ongoing webmaster services to our clients.
As a side note, hackers are getting more and more advanced, so even the best of webmasters can’t always prevent this from happening to you (check out our list of some of the most common WordPress security problems and how to fix them). But it’s important that your company has someone you can call to get you cleaned up in case it happens and to put some extra preventative security measures in place.
After You Fix Your Hacked Website…
How to Remove the “This Site May Harm Your Computer” Message in Google Search
In order to remove the “this site may harm your computer” message in Google search results once you’ve fixed your hacked website, you have to let Google know your site is now clean. You can do this through Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools):
- On the Search Console Home page, select the site you want.
- Click Health, and then click Malware.
- Click Request a review.
- Explain how you’ve removed the site hack and what measures you’ve got in place to prevent it from happening again.
According to Google, once they have confirmed your site is clean, it may take a day or two for the malware warning to be removed from your website listing in search results.
Need Webmaster Services?
Our webmaster services are included in our Virtual Online Marketing Manager package. To learn more, give us a call or fill out a form.
About The Author: As the Director of Web and Media, Chase oversees the overall health, growth, and and strategy of Blue Corona's Web Development, Design and Video services. He thrives on having candid conversations about a client's business goals that ultimately translate into a functioning, lead-driving website.
View more blogs by Chase Wolf