A new client is asking me to improve his website's ranking. he says his former SEO expert is claiming that because his site was defaced a few times for long periods its almost impossible for him to improve the site's ranking.

How much effect does multiple site defacing have on SEO. what can be done to see what the damage is in retrospect? Are there any tools that can quantify or indicate such damage? And is there anything I can do to undo such damage?

  • What specifically do you refer to by "website defacing"?
    – zigojacko
    Jan 29, 2014 at 9:26
  • @GeoffJackson - it was hacked, content was changed and embedded links to porn sites etc.
    – buzibuzi
    Jan 30, 2014 at 10:35
  • Then serious damage could have been done to the authority and reputation of the domain... I'll add my answer.
    – zigojacko
    Jan 30, 2014 at 11:05

2 Answers 2


Here is my answer based on the reply to my comment that you provided.

  1. Scan the website through Securi and check that everything has been fully cleaned up now and it is safe for visitors to use.
  2. Check Google Webmaster Tools for any warnings or messages to see if they have caught wind of the seriousness of any issues (hacking/malware/unnatural links).
  3. Check the backlink profile with a tool such as ahrefs to ensure there have been no harmful inbound links built to the website as part of the hacking.
  4. Make sure the website is still fully indexed in Google using the site operator (site:domain.com).
  5. Providing all the above steps tick the boxes, then creating great content on the website will get Google re-crawling the website and it will be possible to improve the organic search rankings with the correct methodology and practices (i.e correctly built and structured website that provides great content that the intended audience want).
  • Remember that you can disavow any inbound links you don't want associated with your site. Jan 30, 2014 at 11:42
  • As a side note, I don't recommend anyone touches the disavow tool unless they seriously know what it does, what it is for and how it works. Hence the exclusion of that in my answer.
    – zigojacko
    Jan 30, 2014 at 11:57

Site rankings build up only slowly over a period of couple of months. Change the site and rankings should build up then.

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