The Damage Hacking can do to your SEO Efforts
DeanM on March 2, 2020 at 10:30 am
The security, or lack thereof, of a website can have devastating effects on every aspect of your website, including your site’s organic performance. This is why website security is such a vital aspect of marketing plans and shouldn’t just be ignored or left at the bottom of your IT team’s pile.
So, what exactly is hacking? Hacking is when someone gains access to a website or a network without permission. This is most often done to try and access sensitive information such as credit and debit card details or to redirect traffic to a specific website. The common tools used are malware and spamming. Malware is most often used by hackers looking to create a data breach as it damages or disables a specific network. This can have long-lasting and long-reaching effects on your business and result in huge financial losses for your company as well as a loss in trust that is incredible difficult to get back.
Website spamming, on the other hand, adds hypertext to a webpage that will link to the hacker’s chosen destination when clicked on by a user. This attempts to fast track ethical SEO work by increasing search engine rankings by increasing linked traffic to their own site.
What Are the Effects of Hacking?
A study conducted by GoDaddy found that almost three quarters of hacked websites were hacked in order to spam for SEO reasons. In most cases, legitimate websites are turned into link farms where customers are tricked with malware or phishing links.
Malicious code can be devastating for your website. If detected by Google, it will warn users to steer clear of your site and potentially even remove your site from search engines to safeguard their users. This will, of course, have an effect on your SEO value. Overall visits will drop significantly, metrics such as pages per session, will be reduced and users will grow to distrust your business if your site has had security issues, which will affect your rankings and, ultimately, your bottom line.
If there are redirects, they often lead users to phishing sites or malicious content. When this is observed by Google, it hurts your organic SEO ranking and hacking can lead to being blacklisted and further penalised by search engines.
It’s vital your website is protected. Make sure you research any plugins before installing them to ensure they’re safe and well-reviewed. Once you have installed them, always make sure they’re updated. Use strong passwords for all online accounts and consider using your own server, if possible.
Web security is as much a marketing issue as it is an IT one. Protect your SEO rankings by making everything as secure as possible so your business can truly thrive.
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