Web security & SEO: How Are They Connected?

Web security & SEO: How Are They Connected?


In the technological era, we live in today, businesses, organisations, government bodies and brands must have a presence in the digital world. A website is the first contact customers have online with a brand, and it can increase trust and credibility. However, websites also present a risk to the business and the customer if they are not secure. While the Internet has brought many benefits to business, it has also generated many pitfalls. This is why it’s very important to be updated on the latest Cyber news and take the proper actions to protect your businesses and customer data. Why are cybersecurity best practices essential for your website’s performance and search ranking? This blog has the answers.

Why is Cybersecurity important?

In today’s world, every business, organization or government body needs a website. The only thing worse than not having a website at all is having an unsecured website.

Being the victim of a cyber-attack can result in your site being down for days, customer data loss, and decreased goodwill. Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common, and if you’re unfortunate enough to be the target of one, you could be looking at shelling out thousands of dollars to get access to your systems or data again – with no guarantee that the cyber-criminals will honour their promise once the ransom is paid.

Not only does an unsecured website hinder your online brand, but it also makes any future SEO and marketing campaigns pointless. If you want to rank high on search engines, you must take steps to protect your website and business.

How do Cyber-Attacks Impact Your Website’s Search Ranking?

Cyber-attacks can have a big impact on your website’s search ranking, as they can decrease the trustworthiness and credibility of your site. Search engines take user experience into account when determining rankings. If your site has been attacked or is vulnerable to attacks, it will likely result in a negative user experience.

Search engines also consider the security of websites when determining search rankings, as they want to provide users with secure and trustworthy results. Sites without proper security run the risk of being subject to attacks, having their confidential data stolen, and harming their standing. If a website is unsecured, it could be penalized in search rankings, even blacklisted. On the other hand, a secure website may receive a boost.

In addition, a cyber-attack can result in your site being down for extended periods – again, resulting in a negative user experience and potentially hurting your search ranking.

What Are The Negative SEO And Marketing Implications Of Cyberattacks?

Cyber-attacks can be disastrous for your business, affecting your reputation, SEO ranking and marketing efforts. Let’s explore the damage they can potentially cause:

SEO Spam: 

A cyber-attack can sometimes result in your site being used for malicious activities such as SEO spam.  By taking advantage of your website’s weaknesses, hackers can trick your users into clicking on links to be redirected to their harmful site. This can lower your website’s search ranking and credibility. If you don’t keep your website safe, not only will Google penalize you, but web browsers might also warn users against visiting your site. This would significantly damage any opportunities to attract organic traffic.

Crawling errors:

Cyber-attacks can also result in crawling errors, which prevent search engines from correctly crawling, ranking and indexing your website. With the advancement of technology, some bots have become more harmful and can disrupt website traffic. These bots can steal data, steal unique content for republishing elsewhere, and look for vulnerabilities in the website. A large number of malicious bots on the site significantly worsens its traffic and affects its position on search engines. This can significantly harm your SEO efforts and lead to a decrease in search ranking.

Browser blacklisting:

Browser blacklisting is a technique used by search engines to identify and remove websites known to be insecure or harmful. When a browser identifies a website that is blacklisted, it will display a warning message informing users that the site may not be trustworthy. This can significantly harm the website’s reputation and cause users to avoid visiting it.

Blacklisting can occur when a website is hacked and used for malicious activities or vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. In addition, some search engines may blacklist a website if it contains malware or spyware.

Bad site reviews:

Cyber-attacks can also result in negative reviews and damage your online reputation. A website that is hacked or attacked often results in a poor user experience with slow loading times, errors, and potentially stolen personal information. This can lead to users leaving negative reviews about their experience on the site, causing potential customers to avoid visiting it.

Loss of customer trust and loyalty:

Cyber-attacks can also result in a loss of customer trust and loyalty. When confidential information or sensitive data is stolen from a website, customers may not feel secure using the site and may choose to take their business elsewhere. This can significantly harm your business’s reputation and make it difficult to attract new customers.

Decreased conversions:

All of the above negative impacts can decrease your business’s conversions and sales. A website that is not secure and suffers from SEO spam, crawling errors, browser blacklisting, bad site reviews, and a loss of customer trust will likely struggle to attract potential customers and convert them into actual purchases.

How Can You Improve Your Website’s Cybersecurity and SEO?

There are a few steps you can take to improve the cybersecurity of your website and boost your search ranking:

  • Regularly update software and plugins, as older versions may have security vulnerabilities that cyber-criminals can exploit.
  • Implement strong passwords and limit admin access to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.
  • Use secure hosting services with firewalls and malware detection.
  • Utilize HTTPS protocols to ensure data transmission is secure.
  • Regularly monitor and audit your website to identify and address any vulnerabilities.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity threats and implement necessary measures to protect against them.

Conclusion

Overall, maintaining a secure website helps protect against cyber-attacks and can positively impact your search ranking and attract potential customers. Be proactive in ensuring the security of your website to avoid harmful consequences for your customers, business and your online presence.