A website is required for every organization, business, or government. A website that isn’t secure is worse than none.
Unsecure websites can lead to severe problems. Your website could go down for days, and your customers’ data could be compromised. You may also lose your market reputation. If this is a ransomware hack, you might have to pay thousands of dollars to gain access to your data or systems again. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that cyber-criminals will honor their promises once the ransom has been paid.
But that’s not the only problem. Unsecure websites can make your SEO and marketing efforts useless. Did you know that SEO rankings on search engines depend on your website’s security and your business?
This blog will discuss why cybersecurity best practices are essential for website performance and search rankings.
How can Cyber-Attacks affect your website’s search ranking?
As human life becomes increasingly digitalized, technology and machines are getting smarter. Cybercriminals have an easier time gaining access to large networks that are digitalized. Nobody wants to do business with someone who has not secured their network perimeter. Google is not an exception.
The no.1 Search Engine puts safety first for website rankings. Websites that are not secure can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks and financial and sensitive data theft. This can also lead to reputation damage. Google penalizes such websites and reduces their organic ranking in search engines. Websites with poor security might even be blacklisted.
You must be vigilant about website security. Your development team must be trained in Cyber Incident Response, Planning, and Ransomware Prevention. You must give them a plan of attack or a Ransomware Response Workflow that they can refer back to in the event of an incident. This will ensure that your website rankings don’t drop to rock bottom.
How do Cyberattacks Impact SEO and Marketing?
Let’s look closer at the devastating consequences cyber-attacks can have on your business. This will affect not only your reputation but also your SEO.
- SEO Spam: Hackers can use your website security weakness to profit from SEO Spam. They could exploit your website’s weaknesses to flood it with spammy keywords and links that redirect all users to their malicious website. SEO Spam can quickly cause your website to drop in search engine rankings. Google will penalize you, and your users may also receive security warnings from browsers about your website, which can significantly impact your chances of attracting organic visitors.
- Google could blocklist the owner of this site. It will add your website to the blocklist to protect users against cyberattacks. Even more frightening is the fact that Google will do this without warning.
- Bad site reviews: Website reviews can be a powerful tool to influence consumer demand for goods or services. As word of mouth is a powerful tool for business success, it is essential to get positive reviews online. This view is supported by the popularity of websites that allow users to leave reviews, such as Rated By Students.
- Google Maps reviews and Google My Business reviews improve websites’ SERP ranking. Negative reviews can be left by customers and users who are affected or have noticed security problems. This will negatively impact the website’s SERP performance. Your search ranking will suffer if your website has too many negative reviews. Customers may avoid visiting your website if they have more bad experiences.
- Crawling errors: Search engines can use many bots to crawl, rank, index, and perform other tasks. Crawling activity on your website can be considered normal. Some bots have become malicious and disrupt website traffic due to technological advances.
- These bots can also steal data and content that they can republish elsewhere. They can also look for weaknesses in the website. Many malicious bots can significantly decrease traffic to the site and impact its ranking on search engines.
How to Improve SEO Security
You can do many things to make your website more secure online.
- Conducting regular network audits. These include assessing activity-related data for security vulnerabilities. It is worth investing in a breach readiness assessment of your site and your business if you are heavily dependent on it for customers or business.
- Conduct a regular site vulnerability audit. This helps identify vulnerabilities in your website and customer pain points.
- Installing malware-scanning and antivirus software. These programs will identify infected files and codes.
- Use an intruder detection system. These systems monitor traffic patterns and connect to alert administrators about suspicious activity.
- Firewall: A firewall helps increase network security by preventing unauthorized access, unwanted traffic, and malicious software.
- WordPress security hardening. It protects against hackers looking for obsolete software with design flaws.
- Having an Incident Respond Plan: A vital part of any security strategy is a cyber-crisis response plan. This plan outlines what to do if you are attacked and how to protect your site and sensitive information.
Cyberattacks can cause havoc for even the most resilient companies, as you can see. Therefore, it is important to think about cyber security for your website and to regularly monitor suspicious activity to protect your reputation and customer data and stay at the top.
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