Seeing strange text in the search results is not great for website owner. More often than not you have a WordPress website and the site has been compromised (Hacked). Unfortunately this is the nature of owning a WordPress site.  Here is an example of the text you may see:

You may go to you site and everything looks absolutely normal. However when you look under the hood there are some text inserts that should not be there at all. 

Ideally you should rebuild you site to be sure to remove any malicious files that can be found on the server. Here are some other ideas to clean up the site and then after that we can look at some additional ways to secure your site. 

  • Scan the site for malware – this is a decent plugin and does a simple search for malware – it’s free and more often than not does a great job. Anti malware plugin  
  • Generally the text above is inserted into the seo of the site – so check any seo plugins you have and see if you see any text that should not be there
  • Browse the site in FTP and see if you notice any files that should not be there – checking the htacess file and index php files first. 
  • Go to your posts list page and see if the page contains multiple posts that should not be there
  • Next go to the user page – make sure there are no new admins that have been added
  • Change all your passwords – FTP / control panel and any admin WordPress users 
  • If by now you have no idea what I am talking about then please consult an expert it will save frustration and allot of time

More often than not the above will get the site clean however do not stop here:

  • Make sure your WordPress is up to date and using the latest version
  • Make sure you have a back up of your site
  • Update all plugins in your website – remove any plugins that you don’t use 
  • Update your WordPress theme – remove any default themes you have and that you are not using
  • Securing your website is the next step and fundamentally there are allot of work you can do however for starters install a firewall – security plugin. This is one of our favourite free plugins 

Ok so now you making headway – the site is responding better and seems all is in order. Next you need to try and hurry the process with google to change the text. Google will pick up the changes however can take a week or more. You can hurry this process by registering with Google webmaster tools  Note it is called google search central now. Add your domain and validate it to confirm ownership. Navigate to the health section – here you will find warnings about your site been hacked. You will see a link to request a review. Submit your request and if your site is clean you will see the warnings removed within a few hours and a response from google in your mail box.  

Guys keep your site up to date a WordPress site is not a once off purchase and deploy. You need to look after it. To close off i suggest searching and reading up on WAF , Cloud flare WAF and Cloudbric – some additional security measures you can put in place. 

As a basic cost estimate a clean up could cost from one hour to several hours however generally we clean up and secure most websites within 2 hours and cost you around R1000. 

If you need help – contact us