I'm having some strange characters show up on a site search using Google. I've gone through the WordPress files and could not find anything strange. Also ran a malware detect on the site. The WordPress version is the latest.

I'm looking for some guidance on where to check to figure this out.

Edit: I should also mention that the traffic and CPU usage on the site were quite high. As well, we did not actually see those characters on the pages.

When it was brought to my attention, I checked when Google cached the page, which was 8PM the night before, however, that morning there was nothing wrong with any page on the site.

As well, all of the pages showing up on the site search with the characters are valid pages.

Google Search

  • Under the website name it's shown that "This site may be hacked." !! Oct 26, 2015 at 14:03
  • Yes, it does. Unfortunately that tells me nothing which I don't already know
    – Tanner
    Oct 26, 2015 at 14:08
  • 1
    Did you check the "Security Issues" section of the Search Console? Oct 26, 2015 at 14:08
  • "that tells me nothing which I don't already know" - so you know your site has been hacked? If so, why didn't you state that in your question?
    – MrWhite
    Oct 26, 2015 at 15:49
  • @w3d I thought my question and 'domain-hacks' tag implied that, as well as noting that I ran a malware detect, and that my Wordpress version is up to date (implying all security fixes are in place)
    – Tanner
    Oct 26, 2015 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


Your site is hacked. There's some security breach on your web.

There are a lot of thing that you can do, but first things that you should do:

You should get the backup up (both web and database) and then fix / upgrade everything and change passwords. Scan the site for suspicious code, and remove unresponsive / unnecessary plugins or modules.


Agreeing with @josip, it could very possibly be that your website has been hacked. Cleaning the infected files in WordPress is one thing, cleaning your searchresults is another.

You could use Google Webmaster Tools ( link below ) to request a removal of the bad URL's, or alternatively you could use Google Webmaster Tools and request a re-index of your entire website.

  • I removed the external link to prevent link rot. Please put the important elements of the content in your answer.
    – John Conde
    Nov 29, 2016 at 21:37

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