There are some SEO experts, who often act complacent when the security of their website is concerned. They like to put security-related matters to the IT people if the said site is vulnerable to cyber hackers or if the SEOs want to implement some hacking prevention steps. Though this is a subject of debate, it is the truth. The security of your website or the absence of the same could affect your site directly and crucially, and this means the website’s organic search. Therefore, you must not overlook website security if you want to run your SEO and digital marketing campaigns successfully.

Before we delve deeper into this article, let us understand what hacking means briefly. Hacking happens when an unscrupulous person accesses your website or computer network without your consent. Hacking leads to security threats, access and tampering of confidential data, or redirect visitors to some hacker’s website.

According to an article published on huffpost.com, keeping your site safe and secure is not a one-time activity. You need to work on your site’s security constantly to run your SEO campaigns successfully. Read on to learn more about SEO, Hacking and your site’s security threats.

Tools employed by hackers

The cyber hackers use many tools to access your website and sensitive information. Some of these are:

Spamming

When it comes to website spamming, it typically happens when some hacker includes hypertext to your web page, and when visitors click on it, the page would link to that hacker’s preferred destination. Integrating spammy or malicious links to a hacker’s site on websites having substantial traffic coming to them has a possibility of improving Google rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). You need to keep an eye on suspicious hyperlinks that could damage your website and affects its security.

Malware

It is a tool designed to disable or damage a particular network, the common goal of online hackers being data theft or data breach. The possible consequences of a malware attack are too much to bear, which means a heavy monetary loss to your business.

The damaging effects of hacking

There are many adverse effects of hacking on SEO including:

Malicious code

If discovered by Google that your website has malicious code, the search engine would show a warning message when visitors browse your site, and so asking them to avoid the website. Your site may be removed completely from Google to protect visitors. It would definitely affect your SEO. The possible effects are a dip in traffic, bounce rates, time spent on your site, and pages for each session would be adversely affected. It would affect user experience and rankings in the SERPs. The visitors will not trust your website when they know it has malicious code, affecting SEO and the bottom line.

SEO spamming

Based on the findings of GoDaddy, it was found that more than 73 percent of websites affected by hacking were damaged due to SEO spamming. Now, a thing like this could be premeditated and on purpose or an effort to harm your website that has the authority and has top visibility and rankings. If you have more doubts about how to make your website secure from hackers and improve rankings, look for platforms like SEO by Social Market Way or similar ones.

Most of the time, quality sites are changed into link farms and users are deceived with malware or phishing links. The cyber hackers may also use SQL injections to make your site spammy, making recovery extremely challenging.

Blacklisting

Did you know that your hacked website could annoy Google, thus affecting your site’s rankings in the SERPs? It could affect your site’s performance as well as lead to possible numerous manual actions in Search Console once search engines like Google flag your site.

It would result in more cyber attacks and threats to your site through malware sans the webmaster’s knowledge. It will put your business website at greater risks and losses, with respect to online visibility and bottom line. All these lead to much conundrum because when your site is blacklisted or flagged, it would badly affect your site’s online visibility. If such a situation happens, your website requires proper evaluation. Next, you need to clean your site and remove the penalties. If not flagged after your website has malware, it could lead to increased threats and Google penalization.

Backlinks

Google cautiously evaluates the complete reputation as well as the value of all links and domains that are related to one another. When your site is hacked, links are included to your website, and most probably the ones that have little value, thus adversely affecting your optimization efforts.

Your site will have too many backlinks from dubious sources that would affect rankings because Google will stop trusting your website.

Common security threats and their possible prevention

There are a couple of aspects to put your business website in jeopardy. These are:

Plug-in installation from dubious sources: There are plugins like the ones used in content management systems such as WordPress that are not always safe. Hackers look for sites that use unsafe and outmoded plugins and find means to damage those websites. Therefore, install a plug-in from trusted sources after thorough research and update them regularly.

Unsafe credentials might lead to data threats: You must always create secure passwords for all online accounts, thus making these hard to guess. You can prevent data breaches and cyber attacks via penetration testing, which evaluates and tests whether your network is secure or not. These tests also detect the possible vulnerabilities within your website.

Server sharing also affects your website’s security: You must avoid sharing a server because in such a case, a hacker could easily upload a malicious or spammy file. The hackers might also give access to your site to other online hackers.

Final thoughts

Today, many websites are affected due to cyber attacks, threats, malicious codes, and dubious links. When you have a business to operate, the SEO experts should offer some recommendations as far as the security of a site is concerned. Once you detect any data breach or threat, it is your onus to take the right security measures.

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