An SEO professional was concerned about malware hacks that their site had, back in December. They made sure that there are no security issues in Google Search Console.
However, the indexed pages that were indexed on Google as a result of the malware hack are still showing in the search results.
They double-checked, and they do have a proper 404 set up. They were just wondering: what else can they do?
They can’t just clean it up from the search results because there’s a lot and they can’t use the temporary removal tool, because there have been hundreds of thousands of URLs that were being shown in the search results.
John answered that he would double-check that these pages are actually removed.
Because some types of website hacks are done in a way that if you check manually, it looks like the pages were removed.
But in actuality, for Google, all the pages are still there. He said as well that he would check with the Inspect URL tool on some of those pages, just to double-check: is it really entirely cleaned up?
Or, could there be something leftover that is trying to hide?
That’s the basis for everything else.
On the other hand, there are other things you can do as well. First, make sure that the more visible pages are manually removed.
This means searching for your company name for your website, searching for your primary products, those types of things, and seeing the pages that show up in the search results.
And making sure that anything that you don’t want to have shown is not there.
Usually this results in probably up to 100 URLs where you’re saying “Oh, these were hacked. I want them removed as quickly as possible.” For these, use the removal tool.
This is the fastest way to clean things up. The removal tool takes these URLs out within about a day.
This helps take care of things – especially for those pages that are visible to users within the search results.
The other thing they can do is that for any remaining URLs, they will be re-crawled over time. But usually, when it comes to lots of URLs on a website, that’s something that takes a couple of months.
On one hand, you could just leave these and say “Well, they’re not visible for people unless you explicitly search for the keywords, or they had content, or you do a site:query of your site.” And they will drop out over time.
Just leave them be for a half a year.
Then, you can check again afterwards to see if they’re actually entirely cleaned up.
Additionally, you can use the URL removal tool using the prefix setting if you want to resolve this as quickly as humanly possible.
This happens at approximately the 24:07 mark in the video.