What Will Happen When Your Joomla Website Is Hacked

In previous posts, we have discussed how you know if your Joomla website is hacked and what to do when you discover that it’s hacked. Right now, we want to discuss what will happen to your Joomla website when it’s hacked.

According to our experience on the subject, here’s what will happen when your Joomla website gets hacked:

In the first week

This is what will happen within the first week of the hacking of your website:

  • Google will stop indexing your website: Google, the search engine that you work hard all the time to ensure that your website and your new pages are listed in, will stop indexing new pages on your website. Your old pages will remain indexed (this is because Google hasn’t re-indexed old pages yet to see if they were also hacked), but Google will refuse to index your new pages.
  • Yahoo and Bing will stop indexing your website: Similarly to Google, Yahoo and Bing will refuse to index new pages, but will leave already indexed pages in their index.

  • Users visiting your website will stop visiting it because they will either notice that it is hacked, or worse, their PCs will get infected by a virus just for visiting your website.

What to do at this point?

  • Fix the problem and search engines will resume (almost immediately) indexing of your new pages (and will also index “skipped” pages that were not indexed when your website was hacked).

In the second week

Below is what will happen 1 week after your website gets hacked:

  • Search engines will display something like “This website may harm your computer” next to the search results related to your Joomla website and will still not index your pages.
  • Your website will be reported as a “threat” or as an “infected website” to security websites.

What to do at this point?

  • Fix the problem and search engines will gradually remove the warning next to your website’s results in the SERPs. Search engines will resume indexing of your website in a week or two.

In the third week

Below is what will happen 2 weeks after your website gets hacked:

  • Google will penalize your website with the 50 penalty (which means that if a page of yours used to rank as #3 for a keyword when your website was clean, will rank as #53 for the same keyword now that it is infected).
  • Security websites will check your Joomla website and will list it as “infected” and will add it to a blacklist.

  • Your hosting provider will be informed that your website is hacked and will be asked to disable it until you fix the problem.

What to do at this point?

  • Fix the problem immediately and then wait for Google to re-index you (the process will now take a month or two). Do not apply for a re-consideration request with Google at this point.
  • Contact all the security websites that have blacklisted your website and inform them that your website is now clean.

Over three weeks

Below is what will happen when your website is hacked for more than 3 weeks with no action from your side:

  • Google will delist you completely from it SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Your Joomla website will no longer appear in the SERPs, even at the hundredth page. If you type site:http://www.yourdomainname.com in the Google search field and type enter you will get nothing. This is a complete Google ban and it’s really hard to restore your website to Google at this point.
  • Your hosting provider may disable your website and then inform you of the problem immediately. Note that hosting providers are legally responsible for their networks (that your website is part of), and that’s why they are extremely proactive in these matters.

  • Desktop anti-virus software will prevent individuals from visiting your website.

What to do at this point?

  • Fix your website immediately and then submit a reconsideration request with Google and hope for the best. Note that the reconsideration request may take as little as a couple of months and as many as several years (especially if you haven’t fully fixed the problem).
  • Email each and every website/anti-virus software that has blacklisted you and tell them about the situation and then hope for the best.

As you can see from the above, the longer you leave your website hacked, the harder it becomes to restore its Internet presence to its pre-hacked state. You must be very pro-active and you must have a sense of urgency when your website gets hacked. If you need help cleaning up your Joomla website and/or in trying to restore it to its previous standings in the SERPs, then please contact us. Note that we offer Joomla Emergency Services – so you can contact us as soon as you notice that your website is hacked, even if it’s 3 AM in the morning!

One Response to “What Will Happen When Your Joomla Website Is Hacked”
  1. Pingback by 21 Reasons Why Your Joomla Website Doesn’t Get Traffic | itoctopus — November 14, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

    […] Your Joomla website keeps on getting hacked: Website hacks are common nowadays and Google expects that any website, regardless of its importance, will get hacked at one point. Google will not penalize your website if it’s hacked once in a blue moon. But, if your Joomla website is repeatedly hacked, or if it’s left with a virus for an extended period of time, then Google will ultimately delist it entirely! […]

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