Suppose your website has become compromised, with hackers and malicious code or software having gained access through an unexpected back door. If this is the case for you, then it is time for action (and we don’t mean to continue using the security plugin or service that didn’t do its job!)
There is a whole slew of problems that can come through the door of a compromised website. Some of the consequences are dealt to you as the owner, like being locked out of your own site or sabotaging its loading speed for a ransom. Others directly affect your potential consumers, stealing their sensitive information or emailing them more malware with your name on it!
At present, there is a highly prevalent hack that is affecting millions of websites, including WordPress platform sites. It has severe ramifications on your established SEO and Google ranking, causing it to sink and sometimes even cause you to become blacklisted! Let’s dive into what this rapidly spreading Japanese Keyword Hack is all about.
The Japanese Keyword Hack, what is it?
The name for this hack describes the cause it has for those affected. When this malware compromises a site, there is an overwhelming amount of spam links that point back to it. These links are long, abrasive strings of Japanese characters. Both the link titles and description contents have been converted to something no one can read.
Why do I see a lot of Japanese SEO spam?
The spam is a result of the malicious codes injected into your website’s script during the malware attack. Your site becomes a breeding ground for newly created web pages full of keyword spam and links that direct visitors to foreign, dangerous websites.
How can I become affected by this malware attack?
The most prevalent reason individuals are becoming hacked by the Japanese keyword hack is that they are not actively updating their website’s CMS platform. Do you have a website built with WordPress, Magento, OpenCart, or Drupal? When updates are ignored, security loopholes are created, and hackers are able to move right on in. Some other reasons are listed below:
Third-Party Plugins can Provide Access
Be sure that the plugins you install are credible and undergo routine maintenance. Just like outdated CMS platforms, outdated plugins can also act as open back doors to your website when neglected. It is important to verify the credibility of the plugins you download for your sites, or best of all, trust an experienced agency to vet them for you. (Our team here at OCGnow will also host and maintain your site for a hassle-free online presence that grows your traffic!)
Befuddled File Permissions Can be at Fault
You can compare how file permissions work to that of a turnstile at an amusement park. If you don’t have the pass, you can’t get through, while other visitors have Express passes they can use for special access. If a file that makes up the structure of your website contains very important and sensitive information, but is not protected by a properly set file permission, it can be open for admittance to the wrong people.
How Can I Tell If My Site Has Been Infected?
When your site is searched for on Google, the most relevant and popular page is usually shown as your first result. Depending on your ranking, another link or two might follow the top choice, guiding your visitors to a contact page or must-see blog post by your brand.
To tell if you have the Japanese keyword hack, simply search for your site. These pages will be littered with Japanese characters and other strings of random characters. Of course, if you get these top results when you search your keywords, countless viewers are too! Searching for your site with the prefix “site:” before your URL, or “site:(insert your URL here)” for example, will yield a whole list of other infected pages.
Does This Malware Attack Cause Any Damage To My Website?
The most direct answer is: absolutely. An immediate and notable effect takes place on your brand’s image to visitors searching for your product or services. When they receive a very unsightly and spammy mess with your name on it, they know they need to watch out!
Next, and most importantly, is the damage this hack does to your website’s SEO. Once the malicious code is injected, the spam pages and posts begin to populate. Worst of all, an immense amount of backlinks (links embedded in your pages that go out to spam sites at other locations) can be created quickly and cause a long-term impact on your SEO. Many sites have seen as significant as a 50% reduction in their ranking and trust with Google!
Once these penalties begin to be applied, it could only be a matter of time before Google determines your site is dangerous enough for visitors that it gets blacklisted and de-indexed. Essentially, what is happening is the hacker uses your hard-earned SEO clout for their own gain until, of course, search engines shut down your rankings. It can take a long time to recover from the ramifications.
In some cases, website owners are finding that their hosting providers are suspending their accounts. Some hosting providers will take your site offline once it has become infected and begun to spam search engines. The site will be replaced with a warning message, leaving visitors to your site with nothing but a message saying, “This account has been suspended.”
Have you noticed some odd behaviors or downward traffic trends from your website lately? Maybe you aren’t sure where to start but want some assurance about keeping your website protected from infections like the Japanese keyword hack. Our team of professionals at OCGnow can help. We will remove any infections, clean the site, and harden it against any future attacks. Our services also include repairing any damaged SEO and reliably maintaining the site’s updates. Call us at (904) 600-3600 today or visit us at www.OCGnow.com to learn more.