More and more webmasters become victims of hackers who put hidden links at their blogs. At Google Webmaster Groups I read daily approximately every tenth blogger complains that his site has been hacked.
A few red flags that might mean your site has been attacked by a hacker:
- your site has been dropped out of Google index without any reason;
- you get a rise of unusual traffic (especially for searches that have nothing to do with your site);
- Google webmaster tools report unusual keywords in your site content:
I can’t say I always support the way Google handles problems but I find it impressive how they cooperate with webmasters to fight hackers.
- Prior to taking any actions Google does its best to notify a webmaster of possible problems:
- they notify a webmaster via Google tools;
- they send an email alert to a webmaster to a most probable email address (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc).
Note: they are reported to be more eager to notify the owner of the site that has never been caught for breaking Google guidelines.
- They are reported to be fast and efficient at returning the cleaned site back to index and recovering its rankings.
And at the end a few simple tips on avoiding the problem or handling it:
- always make sure your WordPress version is up-to-date (you can install automatic upgrade plugin that will save you of the trouble);
- make sure your hosting provider handles the situation properly (if not, better move your site to a more secure company);
- follow Google’s advice and once your site is cleaned, request your site reinclusion at Google webmaster tools.