Link Injection Spam on WordPress Site Affecting SEO

wordpress hack affecting seo

First day of the month of September and yet it started an annoying day since I found out that one of our client’s site rankings dropped. Last month its rankings was pretty fine since it was found on the top 10 and now it’s all gone. What’s wrong? Therefore I do site analysis with this WordPress site. First I checked through webmaster tool and no errors was found even malwares nothing was found.

Google Webmaster tool

Or even through using the safe browsing diagnostic tool by Google, nothing was found.

safebrowsing search tool

Although I found nothing at first, but I am truly suspecting that there is something wrong with that site and therefore I do further website check. Looking at the homepage I notice something. To show what I found out see it below.

hacked site

What is doing with that kind of link on that site and it’s pointing to a website offering “cheap online drugs”? And I said to myself, my assumption seems to be true. That site was hacked and this one is a kind of a black hat spam.

link injection spam on WordPress Site

With that mark left by a spammer, I’ve done some investigation and I search also about WordPress site that was hacked. We all know that website hacking is common nowadays, wherein it’s a form of illegally accessing the information of a website especially those password protected ones and some hack a site in order to distort , modify or worst leave a spam on a website.

And it is truly annoying, even I search about website hacking on Google, it is even worse you’ll find website that are offering service or materials to teach you on how to hack. Why there are those kinds of people or bot existing, who seem to be victorious in hacking or making someone to fell badly. You do all your best and existed a lot of effort to share quality contents and yet there are those who find ways to make an easy money plus degrading the reputation of their victim’s website. While searching, I found out the best tool that can help you detecting if your site has signs of spamming and hacking.

Thanks to Sucuri, I had able to identify those invisible ones.

sucuri site check

Why invisible? Take a look at the site there is no sign of links or spam but Sucuri found out that there is a website aside from the one found on the side bar.

See the image below. Who would notice that there is a hidden link or text behind?

outside appearance of a hacked site

 And when I do inspecting the element, you’ll find out that a link injection spam was done. And it’s a pharma link injected on the image. Definitely a sign of black hat technique.

inspect element

And also to double check I do searching the “spam keyword + the hack site” And I found out that all of the pages was infected since this was injected on the header of the website. Truly alarming and annoying.

spam search result

Here’s more when I open the website there lots of injected pharma spam links.

inside the hack site

I felt that the site seem to be a dumping one. Where there lots of crappy links plus these are all unrelated to the site. Thanks to Sucuri those spam was found out and FYI they have also a wordpress plug-in that can help in assuring site security. And actually this kind off technique is known as Blackhat SEO Spam injection where in a hidden link was injected and cannot be found out through our naked eye but can be find and indexed by the spider thus giving credit to the site that is linking to but a penalty for the victim website since it is against the Google Guidelines and it is under “HIDDEN TEXT”.

And that is the reason why the keyword rankings were all not found. The site was penalized due to spam issues and the hidden text violation. Through our naked eye we can’t actually notice an injected link but through using tools and also search queries plus internal check-up of the site you can find out all of these.

To solve the issue, just manually remove it or change the image file that is infected or the installed website header. After changing it make sure that you are going to monitor the site regularly. And when your site was hacked this one could actually help it’s from Google webmaster central .

And for ways on preventing it, here is an awesome comprehensive list that can help you : 14 ways on preventing a wordpress site from hacking . You can also use the WordPress guide on what will you do when your site was hacked.

And here’s also a video from Matt Cutts about what you will do after when your website was hacked.

For your site protection I would recommend that you must be on hand with your site and check it regulary and fight these hackers.

Al Gomez

SEO Consultant, Online Marketer & Blogger, Web Developer & DLINKERS Founder.

“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”