Are Your Website’s Google Rankings Being Stolen?
A new website scam has appeared in the last few weeks, of greatest concern is that it’s virtually impossible to detect!
Even if you have website security tools like Wordfence, Sucuri, or Cerber you are still vulnerable because they are not always detecting this new scam.
What Is This New Website Scam?
As you know every website in the world is scanned by Google so that they can list them in their search results – in very basic terms!
To do this Google uses its Googlebot software (explanation below) and this scam targets this helpful process and redirects it to other websites. This results in your domain authority and SEO work being stolen and your website’s carefully crafted metadata being replaced with a spammy version – in examples below the websites meta description has been replaced with Japanese (we think) alphabet characters or Viagra advertising.
Now for the clever bit!
If you view your website or check the code nothing has changed, your page title and meta description is still the same. If you clicked on the spam links, you would still be directed to your own website. What this scam is doing is far worse though, in effect it’s stealing your search rankings making it harder for new customers to find your website.
The Googlebot is a web crawling software (also known as a spider or web crawler) that gathers the web page information used to supply Google search engine results pages (SERP). Googlebot collects documents from the web to build Google’s search index.
How To Check If Your Website Has Been Hacked?
To check if your website has been hacked by this scam just search for your website using the search string below.
What Can You Do To Fix And Protect Your Website?
Unfortunately, at this time the scam seems immune to all the usual ways you or your web team could enhance your website’s security including Wordfence, updating your website software (WordPress, PHP, Plugins etc.)
Currently, the only effective way we have found of fixing the issue is to manually remove it. If you think your website is affected and you need help fixing it, get in touch and we can help.
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