How Web Security Can Affect Your SEO

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Hacker attacks have evolved over time. They have become sophisticated, smarter, and more difficult to detect. They spread fast through all our systems without us even noticing. The worst thing is that these attacks can both damage our online reputations and ruin SEO efforts on multiple levels! Naturally, this created buzz around web security and protecting ourselves online. Today, internet users are aware that their data is at risk every time they surf the web.

How Google Forces Us to Implement HTTPS

It all started in 2014 when Google declared HTTPS, a type of encryption, as a main factor when ranking websites. Back then, it emphasized that it wouldn’t be such a big deal from the very beginning. Statistics tell us the same.

Backlinko, a website covering all things SEO, recently analyzed 1 million Google search results and came to a conclusion that the sites using HTTPS rank higher. It also mentions, though, that the connection between high rankings and HTTPS is still fairly weak — switching to HTTPS for SEO purposes won’t necessarily guarantee better visibility.

Chrome 68 Update Impact on User Experience

Google wants to nudge its users from unsafe sites and make their browsing experiences safer. That’s where SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) steps in. By investing in a valid SSL certificate, you’re creating an encrypted connection between your site and your visitors’ browsers.

Your site will be labeled with a green address bar and a green padlock, which tell visitors that your site is “secure.” Starting with Chrome 68, which is said to debut in July 2018, the browser will mark all other sites as “not secure.”

Changes to HTTPS resulted in a much greater adoption of it! Google’s stats show that 81 out of the top 100 sites were using HTTPS in 2017.

The Rise of Cyberattacks

The unfortunate truth is that cybercrimes are more frequent today than ever before. They create a unique necessity for all website owners out there: understanding the most common hacker attacks and the way they can damage SEO. Although not all of us are tech-savvy, we can start with the basics and do everything we can to improve our website security!

Have you ever received a message or an email with a clickable link that releases a virus? Nowadays, “malware,” any software which is intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, is a term every Internet user stumbles across.

Hackers often use phishing or spoofing techniques to present themselves as a trustworthy source. Once we fall for it and click on the link or press a button to download something, our computer is immediately infected.

Fortunately, Google protects us with a quick and easy reaction – it blacklists all websites that are dangerous or guilty of malware distribution. Although you’re a victim, your website is labeled as spam for a certain period of time, meaning all of your SEO efforts are gone.

Website defacements are also among the most common cyber attacks. They’re attacks that change the visual appearance of a website or web page. Defacers are hackers who break into a web server and replace the hosted website with one of their own. This can cause some serious damage to the website owner’s reputation.

Instead of focusing on hackers, let’s find out what can we do to improve website security and maintain SEO efforts!

Every website is susceptible to hackers, even if you may not think so! Aside from securing your site with SSL, you should also take the following steps:

Web Security Tips

  1. 1

    Come up with strong passwords that contain upper and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers

  2. 2

    Update your antivirus and run scans regularly

  3. 3

    Register your domain name with a reliable registrar, and choose a trusted web hosting service

  4. 4

    Make sure your CMS (Content Management Software) and plugins are up to date

  5. 5

    Backup your website so you can recover your data in case you get hacked

  6. 6

    Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to protect your servers from unwanted traffic, and make sure it has data centers in multiple locations.

Key Takeaways

Users rely on Google when leaving sensitive info online! For them, this green padlock serves as a guarantee of safety and the most effective way to separate the wheat from the chaff. This is why investing in HTTPS and other security measures won’t only help rank your website higher, but will also make it safer, boost your online reputation, and give you the opportunity to build trust among users!