Every website owner’s dream is to score higher in search engine optimization rankings and have their site viewed by millions of people online. Individuals, companies and organizations spend so much money creating a site and maintaining that the last thing one wants to hear is all this effort going to waste due to insecurity issues. The internet is rapidly becoming dangerous with every new invention as cyber attackers and terrorists plot new ways to access information illegally.
An individual may work very hard, investing in quality content backlinks and proper optimization; however, if the site is not secure, all this will go to waste. Most search engines, especially Google, take their users’ safety seriously. They expect you to consider the same and thus take stringent measures against the site that are likely to affect your ratings if your security is substandard.
What happens to your SEO strategy when you’re hacked?
Hacking has become a common phenomenon in the digital age. Hackers with malicious intent can gain access to your site and compromise on its security thereby affecting your strategy. Here are some of the ways that site security can affect your strategy.
If your site is hacked due to insecurity, you are likely to suffer a massive blow as all the effort you have put in to grow your ranks suddenly go to waste. However, hackers may gain access to your site with the sole intention of putting backlinks to their sites. This act is dangerous it may place your business in danger leading to blacklisting if you are linked to sites that carry out illegal activities.
Being blacklisted or removed from search engines negatively affects search engine optimization as it reduces your online influence and followers. Unsecure sites are also likely to rank poorly on search engines as they would not want to expose people to a site where information may be altered; this means such a site would never appear among the top results for a search engine.
Low ratings due to frequent bounced rates
Visitors to you site may be faced with several pop up messages alerting them that the site is insecure causing them to abandon the pages and increasing your site bounce rates. A high bounce rate indicates that your site is not meeting a need making it rank poorly in ratings.
The content may be useful and meet all the other search engine optimization criteria for a good ranking; however, if you continually experience high bounce rates due to unsecure connection, this may negatively affect your ratings. Users who value their secure sites avoid visiting sites where their information may be hacked. If the site is constantly highlighted as a potentially harmful one, it may ultimately face closure.
Leads to crawling errors
Malicious software use the same bots as Google bots. Repeated attempts to attack your site hinder the proper channel of information, giving legitimate Google bots a tough time identifying and analyzing your data. This action occurs as they are continually struggling for the same channels, and malware with a higher frequency than Google bots may eventually take over, limiting access to your information.
When Google is unable to crawl through a site, it cannot rank it making it score poorly on search results. The low score is not due to lack of required content but its inability to access this information giving it low ratings.
Leads to SEO spams
Search engine optimization spam harms your site as it allows hackers to introduce spam information or lines of code to the site, lowering its overall performance. Hackers are likely to utilize your resources to pass their knowledge and swindle unsuspecting or vulnerable users by sharing emails and collecting personal information or credit card details. Spammers may also use your content in getting search engine optimization ranks that may otherwise not be highly ranked. This action may see your site lose all its legitimate ranks.
SEO spams may also lead to a site being closed if malware is introduced through links. To protect the online space, the sites are penalized and removed, meaning that it will take more time to rebuild the website and get the required information to help it gain higher search engine rankings.
Suppose your site is considered unsafe or successfully hacked, its creditability is destroyed, and the journey of mending your reputation and creating a site people are comfortable visiting may take a while. It therefore means that you will get low traffic which affects your rankings as pages with low traffic are not likely to appear at the top of search engines.
Lost Clients and Low Traffic
One of the reasons why hacking becomes easy is the lack of an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate provides a protective layer between the server and browser ensuring that clients’ details are safe and classified. It provides a cushion to prevent leakage of information or the transfer of sensitive data, and personal information such as account balance and avoids theft through credit cards.
Websites without the SSL certificate are likely to get hacked, exposing their clients to danger. It is due to this reason that major search engines such as Google have placed the SSL certificate as one of their requirements to help you score highly on rankings. They have gone a step further to warn online users from using these sites, placing an unsecured alert to every site that does not have the certificate.
This action means that every time clients visit a page that is not HTTPS, they get a warning message. Statistics have shown that nearly 82% of online users will retreat from a site with an unsecured connection, meaning losing a large chunk of potential clients. Mainly if you sell products, online customers may not be willing to put their information or visit your site, often affecting your traffic and negatively impacting your rankings.
It is imperative that you properly invest in your secure practices to ensure you do not lose all the work you have worked so hard to build due to insecurity issues. Having proper detection and protection mechanisms will also help you make more sales and build steady organic traffic that is likely to see you transform your business and have high search engine optimization ratings.