How Your Website Security Affects SEO?
Posted: Nov 07, 2019
Websites are prone to attacks from malicious sources. Because of this, you have to think about the security of your website. After all, security – or lack thereof – of the site could affect SEO. It’s important to understand how that could happen. That way, you would be able to take issues relating to the site’s security or insecurity more seriously. Remember that your website is your digital asset. As with all assets, you need to identify ways of securing it.
Sadly, many online businesses are not taking the issue of securing their websites seriously. For years, most of these businesses never understood the relationship between web security and SEO. Businesses that grasped these two related issues enjoyed – and continue to benefit from – improved SEO results. This article provides all the information that should help you get a better grasp of this issue.Importance of HTTPS Encryption
When talking about security of your website, the first thought is on factors such as HTTPS. Evidently, it’s the clearest sign that the website is either secure or not. Secure sites come with the HTTPS encryption. Insecure sites, on the other hand, appear with the HTTP encryption. Back in 2018, Google announced its intentions to label all HTTP sites as insecure within a year. For that reason, many sites with the HTTP changed to HTTPS.
If you are having a single domain then you can find SSL certificate at cheap price in the market. Thus, many sites chose the cheapest SSL certificate. That way, they are now able to provide all the assurance that visitors need to appreciate how secure the sites are. Did that affect the sites SEO? Yes, it affects! Sites that never implemented this Google directive have suffered. Primarily, they have suffered a significant reduction in number of visitors. Today, visitors are more likely to stop navigating through your site if it lacks the HTTPS encryption.
Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that HTTPS isn’t the only measure that guarantees the security of your website. Basically, HTTPS should be the priority. However, your efforts shouldn’t stop there.Hacking
Secondly, hacking could render your website unreachable, inaccessible, and useless to the thousands or millions of visitors who regularly search it for information. If hacking happens on your website, your best SEO efforts would be failed. Hacking has adverse effects on your SEO efforts too, especially regarding Google ranking. For starters, the search engine might drop it from its current position. Additionally, search engines might opt to ban it completely.
Hacking is often the result of numerous activities that include:
a) Presence of malware on the site
c) Targeted attacksBlacklisting
As previously stated, Google – and the other search engines – might choose to blacklist your site. In such instances, you are as powerless as a toothless dog. Blacklisting is just but one of the penalties that Google might institute against you. More interestingly, the search engines don’t blacklist all malware-attacked websites. Sadly, yours might just be one of those that end up on the list of blacklisted sites. To worsen the situation, Google doesn’t tell it you of the blacklisting!Crawling Errors
Lack of security could make your website susceptible to crawling errors. Google relies on its crawling capabilities – that happen via GoogleBot – to rank websites. Subsequently, you would be right in concluding that crawling has a direct bearing on your SEO and SERP! For those reasons, anything that causes crawling errors would be doing your online business a major disservice! Without crawling, your site will experience a major reduction in number of visitors.Spamming
When talking about effect of security on SEO you also have to look at spamming. According to GoDaddy, two-thirds of the time hacking happens for SEO spamming. What this means is your website will mostly be under intense attacks designed to make it lose value as an authoritative source. When this happens, visitors will again move to a different source for all the information that they need. Additionally, spamming could be the reason for blacklisting too!
What’s the solution to all these?Taking Proactive Actions
First, you have to take the appropriate proactive rather than reactive actions. For starters, be ready for attacks. Do not stubbornly believe in the ultimate security of your website. Even the most secure websites are prone to malware attack by hackers and other sources. Watch out for malicious bots and block their ability to access your website. While at it, don’t forget that malicious bots are effective at mimicking legitimate crawlers!Adding Plugins and Extensions
Secondly, you can also boost your SEO by adding the appropriate plugins and extensions. By doing that, you would be making your WordPress site more secure. This solution would only be effective if you focus on upgrading your plugins. Outdated plugins are a favorite of hackers due to their known vulnerabilities. Any outdated software on your WordPress platform increases the probability of attracting the interest of hackers!SSL Certificate is Mandatory
Lastly, it’s worth stating that getting an SSL certificate is now mandatory. Here, you have no option. Visitors will always leave tons of private and sensitive details on your website. Without the appropriate SSL certificate, all those details could fall into the hands of third parties who use them illegally. SSL certificate provides your site a viable benefit. It could also differentiate your site from others with whom it shares several similarities!
Without a doubt, security plays a crucial role in a site’s SEO. An insecure site is prone to cybercrime, which is now more sophisticated and harder to detect. In examining the security of your website, you should also consider its effects – or lack thereof – to your visitors and clients. Secure sites are not as weak in the face of tons of attacks from different malware. Therefore, keep it secure to give your SEO efforts a significant boost!