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    What's the best methodology to clean up hacked content?


    What's the best way to get rid of hacked content that is being redirected to spammy links? Do you recommend a noindex tag and 404 not found for every page or is there a better combination? And if I do use the 404 not found, should I add the noindex tag there as well? In what kind of a scenario does the Google URL remover tool help since it comes with a rider that the content may be back in the SERPs after 90 days? How often should the Google Disavow Tool be used?
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    Hi Neelakantan,

    Hmm... Well first - for the hacked content: I'm not sure I get what's happened. Most often when content is hacked, additional code is added to the source which renders as links in the browser. The way to get rid of that is to remove the added source code (the links) and revert the page back to it's original (pre-hacked) state.

    Regarding the "noindex tag and 404" question: You cannot use both. If the page exists you could use a noindex tag, but if it was created by hackers, why would you want to remove it from the index rather than delete it? Noindex/404 wouldn't be a consideration unless the hackers had added new pages to your site, or links to pages (on your domain) that do not exist... In either case I would remove the links/pages and allow them to return a 404 error code.

    If you remove the pages and allow them to show as 404, there's no real need to remove any pages using the url removal tool... If you wish to remove non-existent URL's from the index whilst waiting for google to discover that the pages now return 404 codes, you could use the removal tool to speed things up, (also it has other uses which are not connected to hacked sites).

    Disavow Tool: You should use it every time you audit your incoming links and discover new links which need disavowing.

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    • Will-O-The-Wisp agrees
    ClickyB
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    Thanks a tonne, ClickyB. You've cleared my head.
    Neelakantan

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