How to recover page-ranking in google after being pharmahacked?
February 23, 2011 3:21 PM   Subscribe

SEO Fliter: My blog recently got pharmahacked and my page-rank has died. Anything I can do to hasten recovery? Or am I permanently hosed?

So peeved. Used to come up on the second page for "toronto food blog" and first page for most restaurants I've posted about. Now... I'm nowhere to be seen.

Looking through my google webmaster tools, the drop-off in incoming search traffic definitely coincides with my blog being hacked last week. I think I've got it mostly under control, but it makes me cry inside to see my page ranking become nothing so quickly.

Ultimately, this is pretty trivial. Still, is there anything I can do to bring things back up faster? Or do I just have to wait until Googlebot likes me again?
posted by jlunar to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This recently happened to a contact of mine. Here's what we did:

1. Make sure to remove all offending pages, and examine your site for scripts and functionality that may have led to the vulnerability in the first place. Google will kick you out each time this happens, so best to prevent it from ever happening again.

2. Re-submit to google (must be logged-in to Google Webmaster Tools) with a very clear explanation for what happened. Best if you can a) identify the vulnerability that led to you being hacked and b) confirm that it's been eradicated.

3. You may not regain your same ranking. Our site certainly did not and it's led to a long period of frustration.

Others may have more success stories to share, but the above steps can help you get started.
posted by cior at 3:42 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

> I think I've got it mostly under control

Two qualifiers? You might be better off if you could state that you'd definitely got it 100% under control, and were sure it wouldn't happen again...
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:59 PM on February 23, 2011

Depending on your circumstances, if it is at all feasible, you may want to consider registering a new domain, moving your content to that, leave a placeholder site with a link to the new one, and start a campaign asking anyone who had linked to the old site to link to the new one instead.

I've not worked with a site penalized for malware, but I have worked on sites penalized for other reasons (some iffy SEO had been done), and this has usually ended up being the only solution that allowed the site to eventually rank normally.
posted by nonliteral at 6:32 PM on February 23, 2011

Best answer: You should probably wait for Google to refresh it's index. Here's an example of what it sees right now.
posted by pwnguin at 6:33 PM on February 23, 2011

Best answer: I hired a "pharmahack removal professional" that did a good job in cleaning it all up (i had tried, but after a while it would come back). He reinstalled most components and gave me some text to paste in the google webmaster tool reconsideration thingy as in "hey google, i was infected and now I really cleared it up, a pro got at it."

don't know if that is necessary, but my page rank and visits are intact, site has grown further since. for the 100$ i paid, it was good peace of mind,
posted by madeinitaly at 12:55 AM on February 24, 2011

Best answer: Fix it and make sure it stays fixed, then just give it a little time. Using Webmaster Tools may speed the process along a bit, but the most important part is that those links don't reappear.
posted by Nameless at 3:35 AM on February 24, 2011

Response by poster: I'm going to sit tight and wait for a re-crawl. I'll re-submit a little later down the line if I think it's necessary. Will keep hiring a pro in mind if I'm unable to eradicate the issue. Good to know that I can do that, at least.

As for an URL change... I doubt I'd change my URL - more work than its worth, I think. My blog isn't profit-generating in a significant way (a coffee a month - and not a Starbuck's coffee either..!) so there's isn't a financial loss. Just a status-loss. One that only I knew about, really.

Thank you guys, for your answers! Very helpful and much appreciated.
posted by jlunar at 11:51 AM on February 25, 2011

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