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We use webmaster tools to monitor our websites, and in the past couple of months some of our sites have been compromised and had various pages inserted. These pages created URLs that Google would index and recognise.

As part of the process to remedy these issues, we setup IIS to reset the connection of any visitors to our server that contained keywords of these pages (mulberry, michael kors handbags etc.). This also applied to any POST/GET requests, as we thought this could be how the pages were getting inserted.

However as a result, this has meant that webmaster tools sent out a large volume of notifications related to connection errors ("your site is not responding"), but when we investigate, it is only applying to the old sites pages that were maliciously inserted, because when those pages are crawled/requested, we reset the connection.

We have requested Google to re-index the site but it appears that these pages are still being crawled and causing the same problems. Is there a reason that google is retaining the page URLs and not removing them from its index?

Any help/advice is much appreciated.

Our webserver runs windows 2008 R2 with IIS 7.5, CF10 and PHP (both CF and PHP sites have been compromised with this issue, and the reports are from both)

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

404 and 410 is the best return status for removed pages

It sounds like you made things more complicated than they need to be. When a site is hacked and additional pages are inserted the best solution is simply to remove those pages and ensure that these pages return a server-side response of 404 Not Found or 410 Gone. Disconnecting the connection is not desirable for users or bots and may increase the time it takes Google to drop the URLS from the index.

Manually removing urls can help too

Depending on the volume of urls that needs removing you could remove the urls manually in Webmaster Tools, but also ensure that they return the correct status codes.

What to expect when your expecting!

When you use 404 and 410 you should expect an increase of crawl errors in Webmaster Tools, this does not mean your site is not working but acknowledging the page now returns that status. Do not attempt to 301 redirect these urls purely to satisfy Webmaster Tools, simply marked as fixed in a couple of months.

How long does this process take?

It normally takes a few weeks to months depending on the volume of URLS for Google to remove URLS using any form of status code, this is to ensure that you actually do want the URLS removed and its not an administration error, so you should expect a few to many crawls before Google takes action.

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