SEO Traffic Websites

Climbing back to the top of Google after a hacking

Written by Peter Visser

I know it isn’t fair. Your website gets hacked, and Google drops you from the rankings.

A double whammy! We all love being kicked whilst on the ground though so I shouldn’t complain. What can we do? Google is just a machine after all and all she sees is a website that has been compromised.

But I’m back now

It look me months to get to the top of Google for a small number of keywords. For those of you who don’t know, web design and SEO marketing are extremely hard to rank for. You are competing with other professionals, and since I have only been at it since November, these guys with 5 years of link building and blogging are tough to beat.

I am still waiting for a couple of other keywords to recover, but they seem to be on their way. I just need to continue with what I was doing before.

How to dig yourself out of a hole

A few days ago I wasn’t even on the map for ‘SEO Marketing Services Online’, and now I am back at no. 1. How did that happen? The answer is: a lot of hard work.

#1 – Blogging and fresh content

If you look back at the previous blog posts I have written you will see that I have released a new article every single day, and sometimes twice a day. This is because I want Google to know that I am alive by creating loads of fresh new content on a regular basis.

#2 – Fix all of my broken links

Google hates broken links, so I used this tool ( to find all of the links that were broken on my site. Once I had a list, I used a 301 redirect to make sure they go to the relevant pages on my site. I actually found out that I had duplicate content on a backup version of my website from the hacking. So I removed that as well.

#3 – Improve my Panda score

Despite what my urges are telling me I am not going to make a bad joke about a Panda doing a slam dunk in the NBA. Instead I am going to talk about Google’s new Panda score. This should really be a blog post in itself, because the topic is so big, but I think I should briefly mention it.

I added ‘relevant content’ to the sidebar of my blog. Google loves to see dynamic content on your website and having relevant posts displayed is one small way to achieve that. I also made sure that the majority of my pages have more than 200 words written on them. I am still thinking of a way to achieve this without damaging my home page conversion and simplicity. However, writing all these blog posts goes a long way to achieving that goal. The next thing I need to do is look for any broken coding within my website. This will bump me up just a little bit further.

#4 – Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

Google tends to give you a little bit more respect by having these. It means that you take your business seriously. The problem is that businesses tend to copy the Privacy Policy of others and just changing out their business name and address. So Google really loves it when you write your own. So that is what I did. I wrote my own, really unique, Privacy Policy. This isn’t always necessary, but after the hacking I needed every little bit of help I could get. I wrote most of the Terms of Service, but you need a bit more legal mumbo jumbo in there which I had to get help with.

So there you have it. I am at the top of Google again for a small number of keywords and this is what I did to try and salvage my site from the wreck it was left it, in Google’s eyes of course.

About the author

Peter Visser

Peter has been in the online space since 2008 when he created his first online company. Since then he’s made all of his money online. As well as designing and implementing custom strategies for businesses, he is also an avid fan of any kind of beer.