Understanding the Significance of Website Security in SEO Ranking
Cybercrimes are increasing rapidly, and search engines are doing all they can to mitigate this menace. They continue to cost organisations and users hundreds of billions of dollars. As a result, there has been an increasing need to protect systems from cyber-attacks.
A good online security strategy will go a long way in offering a comprehensive solution to protect your network from cyber threats while improving your SEO rankings. This article deals with the SEO ranking bit. Before we go any further, it will be prudent to understand the meaning of website ranking.
You are running a website because you want to be visible on search engine results pages. Better rankings in search engines mean that your searchers will be able to easily and quickly find you.
In addition, when you are visible in search engines, you can expect increased traffic, which means that you increase your leads, conversion rates, and revenues.
Google uses several factors to rank websites. One factor that Google looks at when ranking websites is the security of your website. If your website is insecure, expect dismal performance in search engine results pages.
Understanding the Link Between Website Security and SEO
Google wants to ensure that website owners adequately protect users from privacy intrusions and insecurity threats. Because Google cannot be directly involved in securing websites, it spurs security by ranking secure websites higher than insecure websites in the search engine results pages.
Website security and Search Engine Optimisation are intimately related. So, one of the most vital things you need to do to boost your rankings is to make your website secure. Let us look at the following points to see how this is possible.
1. Your Website Many Get Blacklisted
One major problem with insecure websites is that hackers have the freedom to do what they want at any time. As a result, they can easily access your unprotected website to plant malicious and harmful links.
In the end, your website is pushed to places you do not want it to be. For instance, search engines will identify your website as a spam website. In the worst cases, Google will blacklist your website.
A blacklisted website is as good as dead. If you used to rank high in the SERPs, your website would be relegated to the bottom. With all the efforts you might have put in to ensure that you beat your competitors, getting blacklisted can be so disheartening.
2. Lack of HTTPS Will Impact Your Google Rankings
HTTP + SSL = HTTPS, this simple equation can spell a cover of security for the in-transit communications on your website. The S at the end of the ‘HTTPS’ part of your URL address is an indication that your website is secure.
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol carries an SSL-2048 bit key that ensures that communications between web servers and web visitors are protected.
In 2014 when Google rolled out an updated SEO algorithm, it appeared that HTTPS websites would receive much favour for website ranking.
It meant that if your website had tied in ranks with your competitors’ website in all the other ranking factors, but your website is HTTPS, Google would rank your website higher than your competitors’ websites.
To encourage webmasters to make the HTTP to HTTPS migration, Google has continually given the HTTPS factor much weight. A study conducted by Ahrefs, Brain Dean, SimilarWeb, SEMRush, and MrketMuse reveals a moderate correlation between HTTPS and high rankings in the SERPs.
3. Ignoring Website Security Might Lead to SEO Spam
If your website is not secure, attackers can easily access it and insert malicious links that might contain malware or spammy keywords. Such might have negative SEO impacts. For example, when hackers infiltrate your website with spammy links, Google might penalise your website by dropping its ranks.
4. Security Breaches May Lead to Compromised Customer Data
RiskBased report reveals that 36 million records were exposed due to data breaches. From the report, it is clear that data breaches and hacks have become a menace. Improper security measures have been the primary reasons why cybersecurity threats occur
SEO is just a secondary benefit of website security. With website security, data comes first, and then SEO will follow. So, secure your website and improve your rankings while protecting your data from data breaches.
How To Fix Website Security for Better Ranking?
You now wish to ensure that your website is secure, and you are probably wondering how you can do that. Well, there are so many website security tips that you can use. However, for this article, I will pay much attention to the three most vital tips that you can follow.
Buy SSL Certificate
I have mentioned the SSL certificate several times in this article. This is because it carries a lot of weight in website security and SEO.
The SSL certificate is a small cryptographic tool that encrypts data as it moves between web servers and web browsers. Therefore, it would be impossible for a hacker to intercept the encrypted communication to read or decipher its meaning.
SSL certificates are mainly effective in protecting sensitive data as it travels between two points on the internet. For the sake of your website’s safety, you must buy SSL certificate and install one.
There are so many reliable online SSL certificate providers that you can choose from. The CheapSSLShop is one such store to buy SSL certificates
Use strong passwords
Without mentioning passwords, any effective network security policy is incomplete. Passwords act as the first line of defence that will protect your network from unauthorised access. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the best password practices to secure your website from data breaches and related cyber vulnerabilities.
Use Security Plugins
If you are powering your website using a Content Management System such as WordPress, it would be crucial to fortify your website security using security plugins. Some of the best security plugins that you can work with include the following.
- iThemes Security
- Anti-malware Security
- Bulletproof Security Pro
Google and other search engines are taking cybersecurity seriously. To ensure that webmasters protect web visitors against cybersecurity breaches, search engines rank secure websites higher than insecure websites in the SERPs. So the ball is in your coat. You either choose to secure your website and top the search engine pages or decide to remain un-secured and vanish at the bottom.