Categories: Security, malware & hacked sites :

Hacked pages problem

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Hacked pages problem 1337lay 7/4/13 3:09 AM
Hi All,

My site was hacked late last year time. They created spam pages that were cloaked to only be seen by search bots and the content on these pages linked to a bunch of sites.
They then hacked other sites and created similar pages on there to link to the pages they created on my site in an attempt to get the pages indexed.

Google did index the lot and my links went up into the thousands in webmaster tools - this is how i found these pages.

So what i did was remove the scripts from my website that was the source of creating these spam pages. I also contacted the owners of the others sites that the spammer hacked and notified them of the situation and to remove their spam pages and clean up their site files.

I then returned 410 header response on the spam page URLs on my website. 7 months down the line now, Google are still showing these links from the other site to my spam pages, which no longer exist. I also checked the pages of the other webmaster's site and they have definitely removed them and are returning 404 response.

Could these links be hurting my site's performance in Google because i have suffered a drop from page one to page two in SERPs after Penguin 2.0 on one of my main high traffic search phrases? It's kind of annoying because they have been removed yet, Google still shows them as links to my site in WMT.

Also am i correct in returning a 410 instead of 404 response code?

Re: Hacked pages problem Aaseesh Marina 7/4/13 7:30 AM

If you see 404s reported in Webmaster Tools for URLs that don’t exist on your site, you can safely ignore them. We don’t know which URLs are important to you vs. which are supposed to 404, so we show you all the 404s we found on your site and let you decide which, if any, require your attention.

Currently Google treats 410s (Gone) nearly the same as 404s (Not found), so it’s immaterial to us whether you return one or the other. Do take a look at this article for more information:

Additionally, If you feel that you site's ranking has dropped, you can follow the suggestions in this article to help improve you site's visibility in the search results:

Re: Hacked pages problem 1337lay 7/5/13 4:14 AM
Hi Aaseesh,

Many thanks for your reply and the links to those helpful posts.

You answered my question about 404 / 410 however, regarding the spam pages that have been removed from both my site and the other webmasters' sites, my question was whether these will have a negative effect on my site's performance.

My main concern is that in Webmaster Tools > Link to your site, these links are still showing. As mentioned several times, they have all been removed. So why is Webmaster Tools still showing me that i still have these links to these spam pages on my site which no longer exist? I can understand it if these pages were removed recently but it's been at least 6 months now.

Since Penguin algo is based on links, i'm just worried that my drop in performance is not related to these links, especially when i already cleaned these up very quickly after my site was hacked.
Re: Hacked pages problem Aaseesh Marina 7/5/13 4:25 AM

The 404'd pages shouldn't affect your site's ranking so you can ignore them.

As for the links shown in Webmaster Tools, could you share your website with us so we can take a look at what's happening?

Re: Hacked pages problem 1337lay 7/5/13 6:04 AM
Thanks - equityreleasesupermarket . co . uk
Re: Hacked pages problem 1337lay 7/9/13 9:27 AM
Hi Aaseesh,

Any updates on this please?
Re: Hacked pages problem Aaseesh Marina 7/12/13 4:13 AM

The links from 404 pages shouldn't affect your site and it could take sometime for Webmaster Tools to update the list. However you should look at your link profile and take care of any unnatural links. For instance, links from the following URLs are not considered organic:

Hope this helps.
Re: Hacked pages problem Mibu Kotarou 7/12/13 8:48 AM
Hi Aaseesh,

I was wondering if you would be able to elaborate on those two links. Is it the fact that they are obviously spun article syndication or is it the sites themselves.