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malign code from hacker in my WP theme files impacting SEO (1 post)

  1. heidger
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hello Word Press world!

    I am a photographer and run my website with the help of WordPress, I love it!

    Recently, I discovered that my google search rankings for my photo workshops that used to show up on page 1 in the result list (I was damn happy of that!) didn't even show up in the first ten pages.... I was shocked.
    A week earlier or so, I found malign code (or whatever term you would use) promoting the usual "pharmaceuticals"...apparently I was hacked. It sometimes showed up when I loaded a page and then disappeared to show the correct page.
    After searching for a while in my installation, I found this code to be in header.php of my theme file.

    As a remedy, I have done the following:
    - I removed the code in header.php in the editor (but, of course, I am not sure if there is more or if it can come back)
    - I changed the passwords for my hosting account and my WP FTP/database and also for the WP dashboard (where I write my posts and create new pages)

    My questions are:
    - Obviously, I have been penalized by Google for having this code in my pages... What is your experience with the SEO working again and the pages showing up again in site rankings after the website has been cleaned up?
    - Is there anything else I should do at this time to clean up what happened? (I did not backup the installation (stupid me!), as I didn't understand how to do that...) However, I do have the original theme files that I could use to copy over the existing files, just in case...
    - Is there anything I can do to prevent this to happen again? Are there any plugins to monitor any tampering or any other hacking attempts like that?

    Thanks so much!!

    Kind regards,
    -heidger

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