Black hat SEO's are notorious for trying to take the easy route to ranking in Google's search engine, even if it means immoral or illegal behavior. There are many ways they do this. Some of which you've probably seen, but never knew why someone would do something like that. For instance, have you ever noticed really strange comments on a blog that seemed like garbled English? You might've rolled your eyes and said, "Wow, that guy really needs to take an English course.", but the reality is that the person who left that comment wasn't a person at all. It was a robot.
Some "black hatters" will create a piece of content using a simple language called "spintax". Spintax allows them to write a piece of content once, and then "spin" it to make variations in the language occur. Usually, this is done by putting in variant synonyms for particular terms in the content. The program that can read the spintax will randomize all of the verbs or adjectives they put in synonyms for, and then spit out an original piece of content that is truly unique, albeit crumby. For legitimate companies, these kinds of techniques haven't worked for a long time. Nonetheless, black hat SEO's still use them to try and game the system, and they're getting more sophisticated at it. As SEO becomes a more important part of marketing, and programming becomes more popular, we're starting to see more of these black hat SEO's operate on the web. One particular black hat SEO technique that targets Wordpress and BlogEngine websites has recently caught the eye of the SEO community because the technique does more than just create spammy blog posts.
This black hat SEO technique takes advantage of security holes in themes and plugins for the Wordpress and BlogEngine platforms. Once the black hatter finds a security hole, they inject code into the site that's invisible to people looking at the site, but that's still readable to the search engine bots. The code then shows up as a page on the website that has links to another website. In most cases, links from a website to your website can have a positive impact on your website's search engine ranking. However, this can also hurt your website, or the person's website that is linking to you, depending on a number of factors. In this instance, it's bad because the person now has a link on their website to a "less than reputable" website. Due to the nature of the site these black hatters are promoting, I will not mention the URL. However, I can tell you that as of writing this post they are still benefiting from loads of traffic from Google. The good news is that Google will take manual action against the site soon, and the black hatters be forced to move on. They won't stop though. They'll continue to use this technique because it's quick and cheap for them to do.
So, how do you prevent your Wordpress or BlogEngine website from being hacked by nefarious black hat SEO's? First, you need a managed hosting solution. Sure, there are a lot of inexpensive shared hosting providers out there, but they will not screen your themes or plugins, and they definitely won't be updating Wordpress for you. Wordpress, in particular, is the biggest hacker target on the web. This is because roughly 33% of all websites are built in Wordpress, and while it has a large support community, it isn't very hard for hackers to find a site with a security flaw when nobody is paying attention to their site updates. So, make sure you have someone in your corner. Hire a reputable company to manage your site, so that you can sleep better at night. Give us a call today, we can help.