What is malicious code?
Malicious code is website code that is there to harm, not to benefit. Malicious code can damage your SEO, or worse, your reputation. If your web template contains a virus, it could cause damage to the computers of those who visit your website. These malicious links and little programs are often built into free or cheap web templates. They don’t charge you because they get so much more benefit from your site but piggy-backing off your success.
What are bad neighbourhoods?
Malicious code embedded in your website’s back end can contain viruses but more commonly it contains links put there by the creator of your website template. These links are often to “bad neighbourhoods” such as gambling or pornography sites and the code diverts a lot of the SEO power away from your website and to those bad neighbourhoods.
Why is malicious code so bad?
Google will penalise you for two things here – links to bad neighbourhoods and hidden text. Often these links don’t appear on your actual website because they are hidden or obscured in some way. Perhaps they’re positioned behind a photo or they are coloured the same as the background. Google will be mad, and when Google gets mad, Google will smack.
How do you identify malicious code?
Is your website underperforming despite your best efforts at SEO? Has someone received a warning when they click a link to your site? Have you had a message via Webmaster Tools or had an issue diagnosed by an SEO tool?
Right click on your website and go to “view page source”
Scroll down checking all the links on the page – they’ll be blue and probably quite plentiful. Look for any that seem “dodgy”.
Alternatively, you can use web based tools to diagnose any issues or ask a web designer to take a look. Sometimes malicious code can be extra tricky to spot to the untrained eye, buried so deep only an expert can find it. Need help? Our experts can check your site for malicious code.
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