Did you know that SEO and Cyber security both go hand in hand and that your business’ online security has a direct effect on your SEO performance?
Your website could be hacked for several different reasons, for example:
- To spread propaganda
- To send spam emails
- To mine cryptocurrency
- To change your content
If Google suspects that your site has been hacked, then they will attach a warning message under your website name. This suspicion could be because there are signs of your website being compromised due to cyber criminals. This can negatively affect the traffic your site receives because it is highly likely people will avoid clicking on it. In turn, this is concerning as user behaviour affects search rankings and if your site is not being clicked on then Google may view it as being incorrectly ranked.
HTTP vs HTTPS
It’s important for your site to use HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) as not doing so means that your site will have a ‘not secure’ label attached to it. This is a problem in SEO as not only does it put off visitors, which will sequentially damage your site traffic, but it is also a ranking factor. After all, HTTPS is an extension of HTTP but it is more secure and has an encryption code.
Your site after a hack
There are a range of different consequences and damages that can come from a hack, for example:
- ‘Error 404 – Content not found’
- Redirected traffic
- Malicious code
- Data Breach/ Data loss
- Reputation Damage
To add a little bit more detail, a malicious code could spread to all your visitors whereas a data breach can compromise personal information like sensitive banking details or you may also suffer file losses. ‘Error 404’ is a common error on the internet, however when Google notices this error message is connected to your site for long periods of time, it can massively affect your SEO efforts. This can be caused when hackers delete some of your web files and pages which can lead to multiple or isolated errors on your site. It is important to remember that if a hacker has redirected codes or injected unwanted HTML, this may cause your site to be blacklisted.
After a hack, your website may need to take downtime, however if it’s for a significant period, this could seriously affect your SEO. After all, not only will the downtime keep customers from your site and reduce the number of conversion that a campaign obtains, it may cause a reduction in its ranking too. We believe that it is important to be proactive when it comes to cyber security and ensure that it plays a part in your SEO at all times in order to be as successful as possible.