How to recover SEO rankings after a hack

Has your website been hacked? Here’s everything you can do to reduce the damage and recover your SEO rankings.

Recover Your Seo Rankings

After spending months of time and resources working on the search engine optimisation (SEO) of your website, the worst thing that can happen is for it to be hacked.

Unfortunately for many websites, hacking is an all too familiar problem, and it can massively impact SEO performance.

Has your website been hacked? 

If so, don’t fret because we know the steps you can take to get it back online and perform well on search engine results pages (SERPs) again. 

Continue reading and find out how to recover quickly.

What happens to your website after it’s been hacked?

Unfortunately, many people don’t know their website has been hacked because it can be done in many different ways.

A couple of ways to find out your website has been hacked is to visit it and see if it’s down, or if customers get in touch to tell you. 

Google will also notify you if this has been the case, so you can act quickly.

If Google does discover your website has been hacked, it will restrict all traffic and notify you of the problem via Google Search Console and email. The act of restricting traffic will, of course, disrupt your SEO performance. With this in mind, be sure that there is someone on hand to monitor this regularly!

Website traffic will drop considerably, as will your ranking on search engines.

How long does it take to recover SEO after a hack?

If the hack is discovered quickly and you take the following steps to clean up your website, you should start to see traffic coming back after around 24 hours.

The longer the site is not indexed by Google as a result, the longer it takes to reclaim your once prominent positions.

This is why you must tackle a hacking situation as quickly as possible.

Steps to take to recover SEO after a hack

When your website is hacked, it not only impacts your SEO performance but it can hurt your business. With organic traffic completely halted by Google, you must follow the below steps to not only bring your website back under your control but also get your SEO back on track.

1. Check your website for malware

So, you’ve discovered that your website has been hacked.

The first thing you must do is check for any malware. You can do this by running a malware scan (a security plug-in like Jetpack can perform this) to ensure your website is free of malware or any dangerous content the hackers left behind.

If you find any infected files, remove them, patch all backdoors and update your plug-ins. The key first step to recovering after a hack is to quickly and efficiently remove any malicious content.

The longer you take to do this, the lower your website will plummet, and the harder it will be to recover your SEO.

2. Set up 301 redirects

The next thing to do is set up 301 redirects for any temporary pages that the hacker may have created. These redirects can point to a blog post or notice that informs users that they’ve visited a compromised URL, and to go back.

This not only helps to improve user experience but it means you don’t lose indexed pages.

3. Google Transparency Report

Google has a safe browsing list which allows users to check URLs against Google’s list of unsafe web resources.

Currently, Google classifies affected websites into two categories, which are:

  • Attack sites – Websites hosting software capable of affecting the visitor’s computer or device.
  • Compromised sites – Websites that have been hacked or websites that host spam content added by a hacker.

You can check how safe your website is with a Google Transparency Report.

4. Check Google Search Console

Next, sign into your Google Search Console account. If you don’t have one already, you should sign up immediately.

Check your ‘Messages’ tab. If your website has been hacked, there should be a message there alerting you. If Google can still detect malware, it will be listed in the ‘Security Issues’ tab.

5. Request malware review

If you still have malware on your website or think you’ve removed it all, you can request a malware review from Google.

This review – which shouldn’t take too long – ensures all the security issues are addressed before the website is reinstated.

Hopefully, your website is free from any malicious content. If so, you’ll regain your SEO status within around 24 hours after the completion of the review.

To request this search, head to the ‘Security Issues’ tab on Google Search Console and click ‘Request a Review’ where your website’s problems are outlined.

Need help recovering SEO?

Has your website recently been hacked and you’ve managed to clean and get it up and running but you’re struggling to get your SEO back on track? Well, at Paramount Digital, we can help!

We’re experts in all things SEO so we know a thing or two about enhancing a website’s performance on search engines. If you’re seeking a professional and reliable SEO agency to get your website back on page one of Google, then we’re ideal for you.

We specialise in all types of SEO, such as local SEO, e-commerce SEO, content marketing, and more.

We can get your business back on track, so what are you waiting for? Get in touch with Paramount Digital today and we’ll make you visible on search engines once again.


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