Most internet users rely on Google search to provide them with the results they need; which is why over 93% of internet users conduct their searches on Google. In return, they trust that Google will not only provide the results they need for their queries, but that they would be satisfactory. This means web owners have to focus on creating quality content, optimise their site’s responsiveness to all device types including mobile; generally all the things we have come to understand as basic SEO best practices.
However, most people haven’t really considered site security as one of the factors that affect search engine optimisation. It is clear why web security can directly affect SEO since Google’s main goal is providing users with access to quality content in a safe environment. Studies have shown that web security is no longer an indirect factor that affects SEO (since say a hacked site can’t easily be accessed by Googlebot), but a necessity.
A Godaddy report shows that 73.9% of all web hackings are done for SEO proposes; which means the hackers go as far as adding links to sites or an entire webpage whose content might cause your site to get blacklisted. What is more, some of them even show a different website to Googlebot, which leads to a significant decline in your search ranking.
Once this occurs, the effects are crippling so that the only available option is to be proactive and monitor your website’s security. See the exercise as one of the critical SEO efforts for your site. While protecting yourself, also protect the interest of your visitors. If they find that their devices are often infested with viruses after visiting your site, they won’t come back.
The same applies to your use of WordPress plugins. Ensure you conduct a thorough check on every plugin and script you intend using on your site. Run background checks on the companies you buy from through Google and find if the plugins are frequently hacked. It is common to find businesses who purchase plugins from their authors, then add hidden links in them which will serve their own purposes against the interest of the new owner.
In most cases, finding out that a site has been compromised is impossible for most owners. Some of them rely on Google’s ban notification to know if their security has been breached. Such practice is not recommended. Not only does it show you are not proactive, but only a few hacked sites get banned. In fact, study shows that only 10% of compromised sites get banned and consequently notified. The rest will have to figure this out themselves and put appropriate measures in place.
However, what cannot be overlooked is the significant negative impact security breaches have on your site. Most web owners would rather redesign their sites and rework their content than pay attention to the security needs of their site. Today, web security has come to be a crucial SEO necessity which has to be incorporated in your website for optimal performance.