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How to Find & Remove SEO Spam on WordPress

How to Find & Remove SEO Spam on WordPress

A search engine uses various factors to examine where a website should rank in search results. One of the most significant factors is the quantity and quality of the incoming links on a website. Generally, the more high quality links a website has, the higher it will rank. Sometimes it may be possible that your website will rank high because of SEO spamming.

What is SEO spam?

SEO spammers use a variety of techniques to insert links and content on other websites to improve the website’s search engine rankings. This is known as spamdexing that allows pushing their low-quality sites to rank high in search engine rankings.

Common SEO spam techniques include:

  • Add a spammy comment on blog posts
  • To insert links into existing pages on the website.
  • Developing new pages with full links and spammy content.
  • Posting spam content
  • Add other applications to your website, which are populated with spam links and content. 

How SEO spam hurt your website?

  • Forcing your website to rank lower in search results.
  • The search engines may blacklist your website.
  • When people search for your business, spam starts appearing.
  • Your site might have other issues if it is compromised by SEO.

How to find SEO spam on WordPress?

Many signs indicate the SEO spam on your website, such as:

  • If Google finds an unusual link or activities, then that penalized your site.
  • Google search console penalty notification that indicates SEO spam.
  • Increases traffic all of sudden to your website in Google Analytics may be related to SEO spam.
  • If you notice a significant jump in the number of backlinks coming to your site or dome low-quality site suddenly linking to your website, then its related to SEO spam.
  • If any new posts or pages are being added in WordPress without your knowledge, then its clear indication that your website is being used for SEO spam.

How to locate and remove SEO spam from your website?

Tracking

Track down by eliminating the entry point that the hacker used. You can manually scan the files. 

Most likely locations are:

  • wp-content/uploads/*.php(use random PHP file name)
  • wp-includes/images/smilies/*.php.xl
  • wp-includes/wp-dB-class.php
  • wp-includes/images/*.php

Using Anti-virus

Install up-to-date server-side security software from WordPress such as ClamAV, which is much effective.

Scanning

Use third-party tools for scanning your website to identify any spam pages or compromised files. Thirty party tools may help you to locate the malicious files in the directory.

Install the WordPress plugin and scan your files to make sure they are correct. These scanners will spot malicious code that has been added to your files.

Change the password

If you found SEO spam in your WordPress database, then it’s safe to generate new WordPress SALT keys and change your password for your FTP accounts, database, and other accounts also. Check the email addresses of all users, remove unauthorized WordPress users, and change all WordPress user passwords.

Examine recently modified files

Log in to your web server and run the specific command to identify recently modified files that help you to identify SEO spam files.

Check .htaccess file

This file is a common attack point for SEO spammers. Manually examine your .htaccess file of WordPress.

Remove Spam Pages

It may be possible that you find spam pages in your website’s folder and WordPress database. Locate the spam pages with the help of Google Search Console and Ahrefs and remove them manually.

Reinstallation

Backup using plugins from WordPress and then reinstall them from a trusted source. Check your theme files or completely reinstall the theme to make sure it’s not compromised. It’s a good idea to replace your WordPress core files with the latest versions.

Resubmission

If Google detected the spam on your website, then it may already be penalized. Repair your website and go to Google’s search engine console, and using the Remove URLs feature cancels the references that Google has to the infected pages. Then go to the search traffic and request a review of your website.

Your website is now clean then also make sure that it remains protected in the future. Here are some suggestions

Install a security plugin that monitors and protects your website.

Using WordPress backup plugin, take a complete backup of your website so that you can restore your website. Hire a digital marketing agency for doing all this work that makes you concentrate only on your business.

After taking all these steps, stop worrying about your website and focus on boosting your business.

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