Imagine opening your WordPress site and seeing it infested with spam links! If this has happened to you, then you are the victim of spam link injection - one of the sneakiest and most well-disguised hacks out there.
Now, you could spend your entire day manually removing these links from all your webpages – only to see them return in a few days. We know how frustrating this can be. This is why in this article, we'll show you the best method of removing spam injections from your site. We’ll also see how you can prevent such website attacks in the future.
But first, let's see exactly what hackers do to your infected website – using spam link injections.
WordPress spam link injection is a hacker's malicious attempt to infect your top-ranked website pages. By inserting spam links into your website page, hackers try to redirect your website users to their spam websites. They do this to gain a higher ranking for their website pages on any search engine ranking page or SERP.
Here are what hackers do with your infected website:
How does this hack affect your online business? Well, the most direct impact is on your SEO ranking. It may have taken you months or even years to get a higher rank for your website on Google or other search engines. All that effort is wiped out in a matter of days. Besides, your site could be suspended by your web hosting company, or even blacklisted by Google.
This is serious business. So, let’s understand how you go about fixing a website infected by spam link injections.
As mentioned earlier, it is an arduous task to remove every spam link from your website and database files. To effectively clean your infected site, you can use either of the following methods:
Next, let us look at each of these methods in detail - along with their pros and cons.
This is a much faster method of detecting and cleaning your site from any spam link injections. Once you have installed the security plugin, the automatic process can be completed in less than 5 minutes.
Thanks to WordPress's global popularity, there are several free and paid WordPress security plugins available in the market. While we do not recommend free plugins, you can always opt for paid tools like Sucuri, Wordfence, or MalCare. The best part about these tools is that they are easy to install and use - even for novice users with minimal WordPress technical know-how.
For example, here is how you can use the MalCare security plugin for your website:
This entire process would not take more than 5 minutes. So, in just a few minutes, you can get rid of all those spam link injections from your website.
From our experience, we recommend the MalCare tool as it can find all spam links in just a few minutes – irrespective of the size of your website or database.
As compared to using a security plugin, the manual method of scanning and cleaning is far more technical and requires you to have more advanced WordPress know-how - for troubleshooting in case things go wrong.
Here are the steps that you need to perform to scan and remove the spam link infection from your site:
For easy backups, you can install and use a backup plugin like BlogVault designed especially for WordPress websites.
Here, you can view three crucial folders – wp-admin, wp-includes, and wp-content – that hackers commonly target to insert spam links.
This should take care of all your spam links directly present on your site.
As you can see, the manual method is rather complicated and time-consuming.
After getting rid of the spam link injection, you have to ensure that your website is never infected again. Next, we shall list some preventive measures to avoid any future attacks on your site.
To prevent future spam link injections on your site, we recommend that you implement the following preventive measures on your site and the WP Core, installed plugins/themes, and your hosting:
As discussed, spam link injections are among the common types of attacks hackers launch on the site. Considering the effect they have on your website’s SEO ranking, it’s important that you are equipped with the knowledge and tools to remove and prevent these hacks on your site.
The immediate step in case of a hack is to clean your site. Manual scanning and cleaning methods are quite complicated – and not suited for non-technical WP users. On the other hand, a security plugin is easy to implement and saves you both time and effort.
As a step further, we highly recommend investing in a WordPress security plugin to prevent any future attacks on your site. In fact, most plugins even offer most of the preventive measures listed in this article integrated into their offerings. Or, you could invest in an affordable WordPress support and maintenance service like ThriveWP for businesses of all sizes - that does all this and more for you.
Have you had an experience with a spam hack? We would love to hear from you. Share your comments, suggestions or any questions you have – and we will respond to you in good time.