Incorporating cybersecurity into your SEO strategy

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Incorporating cybersecurity into your SEO strategy

30 second summary:

  • Website security directly impacts the website’s SEO performance as failure to comply with security requirements can result in low rankings or Google penalties.
  • Blacklisting, malicious bots that disrupt the crawling process, and spam attacks are among the main consequences of poor website security.
  • A “Website Unavailable” warning, the presence of strange JavaScript code, bad credentials, and frequent error messages can all be warning signs of a cyberattack on your website.
  • If you make security reviews a part of your SEO strategy, you can create a website that is cybersecurity attack resistant.

Every site needs to be secure, and there are no “too small” or “too unnecessary” sites for malicious attacks. Online businesses focus wholeheartedly on high search rankings for online reputation and profits. To that end, they often implement the most effective SEO tactics, from link building to great content marketing, to land on the Google search homepage. In addition to delivering the best content to users, Google also aims to make the internet a safe environment, so it values ​​the cybersecurity practices of websites.

In fact, hacks can affect not only your reputation but the organic search performance of your website as well. Cybersecurity and SEO therefore go hand in hand in building a company’s online reputation. If the website doesn’t mean the latest security compliance, it could be blacklisted by Google and suffer from spam attacks or malicious bot activity.

Therefore, we would like to give you effective advice on how to identify security gaps in good time, how to integrate the security reviews into your development strategy, why you should scan your website regularly and how you can protect your local networks.

Four main steps to improving website security

Security or the lack of security can seriously affect your SEO. We all know that the HTTP certificate is no longer a reliable way to secure the site, and that for the most part, HTTPS has become the flagship of the security standard. In 2014, Google started to prioritize the websites HTTPS in the search results.

When you focus on SEO and security, your business can drive success. The struggle to improve the website’s ranking and maintain cybersecurity is common to many companies. We therefore propose the following:

# 1: learn to spot the earliest warning signs

Cyber ​​attacks can cause malicious bot activity. Bots are always part of your traffic, but not all bots are harmless to website security. However, cyber criminals launch bots to crawl websites looking for vulnerable parts, data theft, or content crapping. Malicious bots use the same bandwidth as the “good” bots and normal visitors. Repeatedly running your server by malicious bots could cause the server to stop serving.

Cyber ​​criminals always rely on the weak sides of the website to hack them. Therefore, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and watch out for the following cyberattack warning signs that are designed to make your inner radar scream. Cyber ​​criminals can cause malicious bot activity.

Google Alerts and Notifications

If you’ve received a Google alert or you see a “Website unavailable” warning in your search results, we have bad news. This is a sign that your website has been hacked. To confirm this fact, go to the Google Search Console under the Security Issues section and look for the hacked URLs that Google detected.

Presence of strange JavaScript code

The presence of strange Java code in the source code of your website is a reliable warning sign. Javascript codes are often used by hackers to steal valuable personal information such as credit card details or passwords from your website. If you see any trace of strange looking code, remove it immediately.

Your credentials are not working

It’s not hard to guess that something will go wrong when you enter valid credentials and receive a “Wrong Password” notification. Your login information has been changed by cyber criminals.

You will often receive random popups or error messages

More than half of malicious attacks on websites are carried out by “black” SEOs who aim to improve the ranking of their own website. They target websites with prominent search rankings and include links or use Javascript to redirect users to their own malicious websites. SEO spam allows scammers to use high ranking websites to promote low quality content to a low mass and consequently improve their rankings. SEO spam has several negative effects:

  1. The site is blacklisted by the search engine.
  2. The site’s spam ranking can lower the site’s ranking
  3. The company’s reputation is dramatically damaged as visitors see a lot of spam content.

Very often, hackers use cross-site scripting or add their own code to your website’s source code to bypass the security system. So if you get such notifications, don’t ignore them. It’s time to do a serious scan to discover the malicious software.

# 2: Make the security clearance a part of your development strategy

If you are ever the subject of a cyber attack, financial loss is not the only consequence. The compromised website can face a number of problems Google penalties and skew the search results. When potential customers search for your website, the first thing they will most likely come across is a warning page that is preventing them from visiting your website. Consequently, making cybersecurity a part of your SEO strategy is important.

Trusting Google notifications is good advice. There is still more to be done. Learn how to predict potential threats and control the cybersecurity level. In addition to hiring your team of IT specialists, hire another cybersecurity expert as well. Just one qualified specialist helps you discover the website’s weak points and explain the cyber protection strategy for your e-commerce business.

# 3: use effective scanning tools

Another way to get rid of malicious intrusion is by using a file malware scanner. The system checks the website code to check web pages for malware or strange PHP or HTML files on your server. Examples of scanners that can prevent your website from being penalized, blacklisted and your search engine rankings maintained are Sucuri SiteCheck or Web Inspector.

Additionally, open source web analytics tools such as AWStats can scan your log files for suspicious activity. This tool provides data on each bot that crawled your website, bandwidth used, date of the last crawl and total number of hits, so you can spot malicious activity.

For example, the throughput of a bot does not exceed a few megabytes per month. If you get thousands of page hits from a single IP address in a short period of time, the available bandwidth is limited.

Lastly, use tools like Ahrefs and Majestic to check your backlink profile. Not only do they improve your website’s SEO, but they also look for unnecessary backlinks from SEO spammers.

# 4: protect your security and privacy with VPN

Regardless of where you are in a remote area, at home or in the office, there is no need to tighten local network security under any circumstances. A large network is very susceptible to human error, and the risks should not be underestimated compared to a small network. All users must ensure that they adhere to all standard safety measures. Regardless of the time and place of their work, they must ensure that the web application firewall is controlling the traffic and that the connections exist encrypted with a stable VPN.

There are three ways a VPN can significantly increase the security of your website. First, it encrypts all sensitive data so that hackers cannot access it. Second, VPN intercepts malicious software or phishing attempts to keep them from entering your system. Third, VPNs are a must for companies with remote workers who may be accessing corporate systems through public hotspots, as doing so without a VPN can create security breaches.

There is no shortage of quality VPN providers in today’s market. So do your research and choose the VPN that meets all of your business needs.

Conclusion

Internet security is important and it is very important. The security breach in the operation of your website can cause dramatic damage to the reputation and income of the ecommerce website. Cybersecurity needs to become a part of your SEO strategy for any ecommerce business looking to take the lead in the online sales market. Now that you know that web security is of paramount importance, it is time for the SEO and IT team to join forces and come up with a reliable strategy that will rank the website higher and keep your website safe.

Connie Benton is a senior content writer, guest writer, and avid blogger who helps B2B companies reach their audiences more effectively. You can find her on Twitter at @ ConnieB34412379.