The Unusual string "?wpcf7=json" Will It Hurt My SEO?

I am doing SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) for this site. Since what I have now is only about an average of 100 visitors from Google Daily. And upon checking some Google stuff and just found out some unusual thing happening at my pages.

Anybody experiencing this kind of unusual string added at the end of your post Url? [ ?wpcf7=json ] at Google result . According to Google it has indexed about 57 pages out of 357 Indexed by Google is having an unusual string like this  [ ?wpcf7=json ]. Below figure shows how I get the details of this. ( I just type + ?wpcf7=json ) as shown in below captured image.


Actually there are no much specific information about this string but I believe there are lots of blog infected by this scenario.

Upon searching I and research I found the following information which might be of help to those who have the same problem.

What is wpcf7 ?

Upon googling the word wpcf7 most of the associated result is showing from the plug-in Contact Form 7 although it is not installed at my site at the moment it was one of the plug-in that I tested for this site. And it does not work well with me that I have decided to change it for a different plug-in. [ Contact Form 7 ]

What is json ?

According to wikipedia

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) (pronounced /?d?e?s?n/, like Jason) is a lightweight computer data interchange format. It is a text-based, human-readable format for representing simple data structures and associative arrays (called objects). The JSON format is specified in RFC 4627 by Douglas Crockford. The official Internet media type for JSON is application/json.

The JSON format is often used for transmitting structured data over a network connection in a process called serialization. Its main application is in Ajax web application programming, where it serves as an alternative to the traditional use of the XML format.

What about WordPress support ?

Upon searching I found that there is only one thread about this topics here. The thread does not show the cure for this thing so I am thinking that based on one of its comment that it is not harmful.

Is it harmful to SEO ?

I believe it is, since it is taken as a duplicate content . An example is and both of them is cached by google and both of them show same content and we all know that it is not good to have a duplicate content from Google point of view.

Is it bad for my site ?

In an SEO point of view yes it is. But other than that I don’t have any idea. Actually I don’t have particular answer for this question. But I did a little experiment and it goes like this :

I choose two site which I know is also doing SEO in their site and I tried typing their URL + ?wpcf7=json string and find what will be the result. And the result is as follows :

I tried and it leads me to Yugatech Home page

I tried and it leads me to Marhgil Home Page

I tried searching if any of this above site mentioned has an indexed page by google with the same string and I found out that there is none. I did the same exercise as above.


I believed that there is some leak at my theme, and this I don’t know where. I will continue to check if this indexed page by google will try to increase and after that I have to decided on my next step. I just make a “nofollow” for my feeds the other day.

What can you do to Help Me ?

If any of you has any idea about this problem or do you have any solution It would be glad to know your opinion. BTW there is not much answer in the web regarding this problem, So it is a great opportunity for you to have visitors at you site if you can give a good answer.


Dexter Panganiban

Dexter is a person who loves technology,new gadget, SEO, Social Media and Christianity. Follow him at twitter via @techathand and add him @ Google+ and contact us at [email protected]

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  1. 2

    I am not familiar about WordPress Platform and the plug-in that you’ve mentioned on your post but I guess that you can clean this malicious script by changing your theme or re-installing the same theme again.

  2. 6

    I accidentally add on my header. When i check today my site not in top 25 for my keyword anymore.
    I already remove that line. Should i request reconsideration or just let google bots check later.

  3. 8

    nice to see you back france.. Well Google webmaster just report the latest problems encountered and not the total. Diminishing values means that Google see less problem as time pass by

  4. 9

    hello it is me
    just to let you know that it is working….robots.txt has got rid of duplicate contents. I have another question anyway. Till some days ago if i looked in my google webamster tools I saw that my robots.txt excluded about 220 duplicate contents with the famous wpcf7=json string. Today i checked it again and I found out that now robots.txt has excluded just 130 duplicate contents…what about the others 90??…why is that? does it happen to you too?

    france’s last blog post..Wii Tv Guide Channel

  5. 11

    i think to wait for google to crawl my not indexed posts. I have about 200 posts…it is a little hard to browse them one by one. if google will index those posts anyway…well, i will wait
    thanks my friend!

  6. 12
    Dexter |

    @ France,

    Yup it is in the process

    The best thing to do in order for your other post to be indexed is identify those post that is not yet indexed and try linking to them from your new post.

    The hardest part is to know which site is not yet indexed. If you have less content it will be easier but if you have lots.. It is means more work.

  7. 13

    hi there dexter
    the code i wrote on the robots.txt are working and in fact many duplicated contents with the string have disappeard. Now anyway i have seen that some posts are not indexed by google. I think that this is due to the fact that google indexed the posts with the “wpcf7json” string while the it didnt index the orginal posts. did it happen to you? I think that in the end google will index all the posts anyway. please tell me if i am right!

  8. 14

    @ France,

    Yup and I made it specifically for Google Bot. Because even you write “?” in the title it will not go to the Post Slug.

    Our conversation will be of great help to others. Since lot of site is infected with this.

  9. 15

    ok, I studied your robots.txt
    you were smart because you used
    Disallow: /*?*

    with the * before and after. in this way you got rid of the string right away!
    very good dexter!
    thanks for write a comment in my post! 🙂

  10. 16

    @ France,

    Thanks for asking that.. Well actually, it might work for you, But I believe not for me since my post slug contains “wpcf7json”, this post itself might be in trouble if I am going to implement it.

    Most of the index site start with ” /?wpcf7=json ”

    The reawson I added * at the end is sometimes I am seeing duplicated ?wpcf7=json with in the link.

    I have never seen any indexed url with other string in the front.

  11. 18

    hi dexter…so i just finished study a long article about robots.txt
    i think yuo made a mistake. in fact you should also include in your robot file this
    Disallow: /*?wpcf7=json
    in fact you want to block any webaddress containing
    ?wpcf7=json after but also before any link of your website….i check this on Google webmaster tool and it worked….waiting for your reply

  12. 19

    @ France,

    It takes about 2 weeks for those links to be removed from Google index.. Slowly it will be pushed at the farthers SERP then will be removed..

  13. 20

    one last question…
    I applied the changes you suggested in the robots.txt a couple of days ago, but i still see the string in google. how long does it take before google deletes all the ?wpcf7=json links????
    thanks dexter for your great help!

  14. 27


    So I installed the new version of the plugin (contact-form- but that weird wpcf7=json query string is still there on all my blog posts.

    Can somebody tell me how to remove it please?


  15. 29


    I use the Contact Form 7 on my site and have noticed this string on my firestats today – though today is the first time it’s happened.

    It’s only happening for one post – and this post has 12217 hits under the direct URL, and now 157 under the ?wpcf7=json URL. It’ll be interesting to monitor the hits as they increase, to see if this latest string prevents the correct URL from increasing.

    Please let me know how your robots.txt testing goes.



  16. 31

    @ France and to all have the same problem sa mine…

    I am now testing some changes in the robots.txt as per Marhgil recommendation.. I tried searching information about it.. and I believe it will not be only benefecial for this problem but beneficial for the site in totality

  17. 33

    hi there…i enjoyed your article since i am concerned about ?wpcf7=json
    i hope the author of the plugin is gonna take it seriously and fix it…i would hate to get rid of it plugin since i raelly like it!!

  18. 34

    @ Marhgil

    Thanks for that information. The information you provide will help not only in this particular problem on some other problem as well.

    @ AJ Batac

    As far as I know, a duplicate content in the web harms the SEO of a certain page. Could you please give me more Idea on your basis that it will not harm your SEO.

    an example Seach results shows is shown in search result and
    is also shown in search result.. although the later is only a supplemental page.

  19. 36

    I don’t know if it has a negative effect. However, if you want it to be deindexed, or any other URL that has question mark in it, you can modify the robots.txt file as suggested by Google here.

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