This is a question I get quite a bit so I thought it would make sense to go over it briefly in a post. Having malware on your site can dramatically impact your rankings or even worse get you de-indexed so it is an absolutely critical topic to understand. First let me talk a bit about how the Malware might have gotten there in the first place.
Malware is often injected into a site when some component of that site has a security exploit. This could be a number of things like an old plugin, an insecure PHP directory script, or even security holes that your hosting company has not patched on their end. The last problem is easy to solve, pick a hosting provider that you can trust, I personally recommend HostGator for standard hosting and ZippyKid for WordPress hosting. If your hosting provider is insecure it doesn’t matter how secure your site is.
If you’re running WordPress or any third party PHP scripts make sure you are running the latest versions, same goes for any plugins you might have installed. Decide whether you want to manage your site’s security or not, and if not, hire someone who will.
Okay, so you think their might be malware on your site, how can you be sure? Google will actually tell you if they have detected any malware on your site for free in Google Webmaster Tools. To access this feature simply select “Malware” under “Health” on the sidebar as shown below:
If you see anything other than “Google has not detected any malware on this site.” Then you have a problem. There are two routes you can take:
- If you are technically savvy enough to detect and remove the malware yourself, dig in!
- If you are not technically savvy enough to detect and remove the malware yourself, hire someone. I personally use and highly recommend Jesse from AdminDaily, they have gotten me out of more than a few jams. (Oh and tell them Morgan sent you to get the best pricing!)
That’s it. Simple and completely free to detect malware using Google’s own tools. I recommend checking this at least once a week to make sure that you remove any malware as close as possible to the day it was added. If malware sits on your site for too long your site could decrease in ranking or get de-indexed completely so you never really can check for it too often.
Thanks for reading and as always I welcome any questions, comments, or recommendations you’d like to share! Comment and let your voice be heard!