Was your Site Hacked? How to Recover from a Google Malware Attack
Every month we get great questions from our Business Support members focused on a wide variety of issues. With all the controversy surrounding links and the Google penalties we decided to upgrade the following question to be published so that you could learn from it as well...
Help! My site was recently hacked and we got the dreaded "malware warning" labeled on our search results. Our rankings then completely disappeared. We downloaded and checked our site and found nothing. We also changed our server log-in info and upgraded our overall security. Nevertheless that hasn't helped us get back in Google. What can we do?
Answer: Ouch! Nothing is worse than typing your site name into Google and finding that it has been labeled with the dreaded - This site may harm your computer warning, like the graphic below.
Click-thru on the malware warning notice in Google and you will usually be presented with a further page that looks like the following:
Surprisingly, there is some good news in seeing the above messages. It means your site is still in Google and not completely removed which is common when Google identifies malware on a site. But, as you stated in your question, your rankings completely disappeared which is common since...
Google does the following when it believes a site has been hacked or infected with malware:
- They put a hacked flag on the suspected site within their ranking
- They remove the site from ranking competitively in Google by suppressing it in keyword searches.
- They attempt to contact the site owner at any or all of the possible email
addresses tied to the site: