How hacking hurts your website’s ranking in search results


When your website’s down, it takes your search rankings down too.

The first page of search engine results is prime real estate. And every webmaster is trying to get their website to show up there. But just when you think you finally landed a slice of that coveted real estate, you find your site’s ranking has dropped like a rock. Sometimes, it means your site was hacked.

Why hackers hack

Often, they want to pick your pockets. They’re not just nerdy teenagers looking for an ego trip. No, they’re hacking to get rich quick, using your passwords, your identity, your banking information, your credit card information, and anything else they can get their hands on. That’s why they’re called cyber criminals.

Other times, they want to use your website or computer for their clandestine activities – pirated software, phony prescription drugs, pirated music – and pick other people’s pockets.

These cyber pirates opt to leech your computer juice or good reputation for their questionable activities instead of doing the hard work of building a reputable business themselves.

To do this, they identify a vulnerability in a software, create a software that exploits that vulnerability, then send their program into the web to comb for unsuspecting sites that have the vulnerable software. 

If your site is one of them, it gets attacked. Once the hacker has gained access to your site, they will either spam your site or install malware.

The difference between spam and malware

Hacks can take on two faces: spam and malware.

We’re all familiar with email spam. Who hasn’t gotten those emails posing as a well-known brand name that wants you to verify your information or claiming that a destitute widow’s son is dying in the hospital? 

Well, website spam is text that is riddled with links to the scammer’s website. This kind of spamming can be happening without your knowledge. Many times, the code with spammy links is hidden deep in your website and is redirecting your site’s visitors to the scammer’s website.

Malware is malicious software that takes over your website or computer and uses it to spread the infection. Your computer may become part of a botnet, a zombie army of computers that unleash copious amounts of viruses and spam into cyberspace. These botnets then harvest sensitive financial and identity information from a broader range of victims.

This video from Google gives an excellent overview of the hows and whys of hacking: