Before we know why cybersecurity is important to SEO, let’s first understand what SEO and cybersecurity mean.
What is SEO
SEO is an abbreviation for search engine optimization. It is an art to rank high in the organic listing of search engines like Google, Bing, etc. It is the process of optimizing the online content of a website so that the search engine prioritizes it (the website) and displays it as the top result for the search for certain keywords.
SEO is the most important thing for a website; It becomes clear that about 70% of the top five search engine Google results are clicked. So, if the website gets a good ranking and is selected among the top five websites that appear in the search list, it will gain popularity and success.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the art of protecting networks, devices and data from hackers or cyber criminals, and ensuring the confidentiality and availability of information to intended / authorized users.
Cybersecurity is the main focus of the ranking algorithms of the top search engines. The better a business site’s ranking on the top search engines, the more likely it is that its products and services will be discovered by visitors. However, with increasing popularity, the risk of hacking also increases.
When a company compromises the security of its website, customers will never want to go back to it. While the company is prioritizing its SEO investment (search engine optimization), it shouldn’t overlook the importance of cybersecurity.
If a corporate website falls victim to hackers, it can have the following effects
- Website traffic can be redirected to third party servers.
- Error 50X, internal server error can be generated.
- Massive 404 errors, content not found can be caused all over the website.
- Websites can be infected with malicious code that can spread infection to any visitor.
- Phishing attacks can infect websites to trick visitors.
Let’s see how a cybersecurity breach affects your company’s SEO.
Punishment and Black List –
Websites that are victims of cyberattacks are dangerous and risky for visitors. Cyber attacks can be harmful not only to the company’s reputation but also to the search performance of its customers and the company’s website.
Top search engines like Google, Bing, etc. impose long-term SEO penalties on compromised websites. They want to protect their users from the risk of cyber crime. The integrity of the website can be maintained through appropriate web security measures such as securing it with SSL certificates.
Search engines can also blacklist some malware-infected websites.
Dreaded downtime –
From a small company to a large multinational corporation, everyone prefers their website to run as fast as possible. A faster website means brisk business. Websites can be down for hours, days, or months due to the effects of cyber attacks. Prolonged downtime can be a serious concern and result in SERP (search engine results) dropdowns. When Google finds the website down, it detects that there has been a security breach.
Content changes –
Cyber criminals have multiple intentions and don’t just steal data. Most website cyber attacks are based on SEO. Once hacked, hackers use various tactics to modify the website’s content, such as: B. creating new covert web pages, adding outbound links, showing different content to search engines etc. Modifying the website damages the reputation of the website in search engines like google negatively affecting the ranking.
Site Reviews –
Site reviews are becoming a major factor in search engine ranking. Google gives preference to sites that receive positive reviews, and sites that receive negative reviews are affected. In this way, cyber attacks can affect your business search engine optimization.
Hackers attempting to hack the website can prevent search engine bots from accessing company pages and their content, which in turn keeps visitors away.
How Businesses Can Increase Cybersecurity to Avoid SEO Problems
Prevention is better than cure. To increase cybersecurity, the company should ensure the following:
Search site for vulnerabilities –
Vulnerability means holes or flaws in the company’s software, firmware or hardware that a cybercriminal can exploit to carry out unauthorized actions on a system. Vulnerabilities can only be managed if they are discovered and identified. The result of the vulnerability scan contains a list of all systems found on the network, with systems that require further attention being highlighted.
Strengthening website security – To ensure cybersecurity, companies can first install an SSL certificate. This security protocol is viewed as a ranking signal by top search engines like Google. Businesses should ensure that they are purchasing the correct SSL certificates for their website. The SSL certificate provides security for online communication and protects confidential information of business customers such as credit card numbers, name, address, password, etc. It enables data to be encrypted during transmission and protects it from unintentional users or hackers. You can get cheap SSL certificates from SSL certificate providers such as ClickSSL. They are an official partner of leading certification authorities and offer huge discounts on SSL products.
Organizations need to take other security measures, such as: For example, have strong passwords, change them frequently, use automated backups, install firewalls, keep software up-to-date, etc.
Web security and SEO are the two sides of the same coin. In short, cybersecurity is highly relevant to corporate SEO efforts. Organizations should plan and allocate appropriate time, resources, and budgets to cybersecurity based on their relevance.