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    Site Hacked, Repaired But Still Slipping


    Hi, my web design site was hacked (via wordpress) which meant my host took the site down for a few days, now repaired & showing in Google as I would expect, I am slipping daily in the rankings - from 4th on page one for the desired search terms to now page 2.
    This is my livelihood, so any tips or thoughts would be appreciated. on Webmaster Tools the image for my site is still showing an image of the hack page, so is it possible that Google just need to re-crawl the site & all might be ok? I've a mortgage to pay, so this is pretty urgent & devastating.
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    The ranks are probably plummeting because of the hack.

    I'd guess that once Google takes notice that the malicious codes are gone, your ranks would be restored.

    Keep us posted on how it goes. Thanks

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    Thanks for reply, it seems to be on on elastic at the moment - at 1am last night page 2, at 8am today just scraping back on to the bottom of page 1.
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    This is bad, I'm still slipping 3 weeks on - you would think with all the 'brain power' that google uses to analyse such stuff that innocent victims would not be punished like this. From 4th on page one to top of second page now to about 6th on page 2.

    Anyone have any further advice?
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    Originally Posted by beelzebomb
    This is bad, I'm still slipping 3 weeks on - you would think with all the 'brain power' that google uses to analyse such stuff that innocent victims would not be punished like this. From 4th on page one to top of second page now to about 6th on page 2.

    Anyone have any further advice?
    Whats your site?.
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    Originally Posted by beelzebomb
    Hi, I can't post links yet, www .fizzwebdesign .co.uk
    Well, I don't see any obvious problems with your site, but I'm no technical expert.. maybe someone else will check it out for you who is a bit more on the ball than me in that respect.

    Has google crawled your site again since it was cleaned?

    I would say I'm surprised your site ranked for anything in the first place though because you lack any good links.. most of your link profile is NoFollow comments, you have links from your clients but they don't seem to have any value.

    No linky no ranky.. as a wise man once said on here .
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    Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure what you mean? it ranked because the SEO/keywording was tweaked until it was good enough to get where I wanted to be figuring.
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    Originally Posted by beelzebomb
    Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure what you mean? it ranked because the SEO/keywording was tweaked until it was good enough to get where I wanted to be figuring.
    Takes more than just onsite stuff to rank for something even slightly competitive, you need links.
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    I'm not following your train of thought? The site was number 4 on page one for the relevant key terms prior to the hacking.
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    Originally Posted by beelzebomb
    I'm not following your train of thought? The site was number 4 on page one for the relevant key terms prior to the hacking.
    Since you stated your hosting provider took the site down and depending on how long it was down will have an effect on your serp rankings.

    Suggestion, if all thinks have been fixed, wait it out a few weeks. Then see where you stand in the serps.

    FYI
    I scanned for backlinks to your site. I only found 118, none of them really stood out as top quality. About 10 % were passing link juice.

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    I understand your thought process here and I agree.
    If you were #4 then got hacked, and lost your ranking because of the hack, fixed it but haven't recovered to pre-hack rankings, perhaps you haven't completely fixed what was hacked. What did the hack do? In other words you may have fixed your site so the hack doesn't exist there but what the hack accomplish might still be in play...causing the ranking loss.

    Did you happen to read up on the hack it's self, to maybe see what it was doing? I don't know, just offering another way to look at it.

    Assuming you've seen this already, but worth posting anyway...have you seen This
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    Originally Posted by beelzebomb
    I'm not following your train of thought? The site was number 4 on page one for the relevant key terms prior to the hacking.
    How old is your website? Sometimes Google ranks a newer site without very many links higher in the rankings for a while until it gets its legs under it, then drops it to where it belongs in the rankings.
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    The site is a year & a half old - started on page 7 or so & through careful tweaking I got it to where I wanted it to be over a period of months.

    Not really sure what I can do about backlinks (or indeed how much weight they hold these days versus good keywording) as a web designer most backlinks are going to be sites I designed, so actual relevance of the links will only be that I designed the site they sit on anyway.

    The hack was pointless nonsense, just a page with poor graphics playing poor music basically saying you've been hacked. It was hacked through wordpress login - I'm told by my host (FVS) that there is a bit of a spate of WordPress/Joomla hacks exploiting the logins right now.

    I did download the index.php hack page to look it over, I still have that.

    My site has been restored from my own backup after being completely deleted from the server, so I'm fairly sure nothing bad is still there - Google isn't flagging it as having malware either. Yet it still drops!
    Last edited by beelzebomb; Sep 26th, 2012 at 04:46 PM.
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    I've been debating on whether or not to weigh in here because I don't have a definitive answer. My gut instinct is that your backlink profile is not beefy enough to get you to rank at the top. But, I must admit that it's a little strange that you were ranking well and now after repairing the hack you are not.

    I can think of a few possibilities (some of which were already mentioned.)

    1. It's possible that your ranking drop had nothing to do with the previous hack but was coincidental. Perhaps you lost a key backlink or two?

    2. It's possible that it will just take some more time to rise back up again. Who knows exactly how Google works but perhaps they slapped a "we temporarily don't trust this site" type of thing on you. If that's the case, how long you stay at a lower ranking may depend on how long the hack was present for.

    3. Is your traffic down significantly? If not, is it at all possible that when you were seeing yourself on page 1 that you were seeing personalized results? Perhaps you always have been on page 2?

    I think #2 is most likely but I'm really just speculating.

    I guess the answer here is to either wait it out, or better yet, work at earning some natural links to kick your competitors' butts.
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    Originally Posted by Dr.Marie
    I think #2 is most likely but I'm really just speculating.
    I'm sort of hoping it is this too. No, I wasn't seeing personalised results, I have Google set up to cover this.

    The site was compromised for about 3-4 days but taken down by my host before Google got to flag it as malware.

    If I look on the bright side, there's always more to learn & take on board SEO-wise. For example, reducing crawl errors due to wordpress and canonicalisation (which I always thought was the process of making a new pope) - 2 things I'd not considered before as I didn't need too.

    So maybe, in theory, if it is Google just taking time to re-trust my site, it might eventually rank higher now than before the hack!
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