Let's first define SEO and cybersecurity to better understand why they are related to SEO.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation is referred to as SEO. It’s the reason you see so many high-ranking websites on search engines’ organic listings, such as Google, Bing, and others. It is the act of optimising a website so that the search engine gives it a top priority and displays it as the top result for queries involving particular keywords.
The most crucial aspect of a website’s existence is its SEO; this is demonstrated by the fact that 70% of clicks go to the top five Google results. Therefore, the website will become more well-known and successful if it achieves a high ranking and is chosen as one of the top five websites to show up on the search list.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the practice of guarding against hackers and other online criminals while maintaining the privacy and accessibility of data for intended/authorized users.
The leading search engines’ ranking algorithms are mostly concerned with cybersecurity. The likelihood that visitors will find a company’s products and services increases with the rating of the site in the leading search engines. But when a phenomenon grows in popularity, hacking danger also rises.
Customers won’t want to visit a company’s website again if the security is compromised. The business should prioritise cybersecurity while also focusing on its SEO (search engine optimisation) spending.
The repercussions of a company website being hacked include the ones listed below.
- Website traffic may be diverted to servers operated by outside parties.
- It’s possible to get the internal server error 50X.
- There may be widespread 404 errors or content not found issues.
- Malicious malware may infiltrate the website’s core code, contaminating everyone who visits the website.
- Phishing attacks can infiltrate the website’s core code to deceive users.
Let's examine how your company's SEO could be impacted by a cybersecurity compromise.
Penalty and blacklisting
Visitors should avoid visiting websites that have recently been the target of cyberattacks. Cyberattacks may be detrimental to a company’s reputation, clients, and online search rankings, among other things.
Top search engines like Google, Bing, and others penalise hacked sites with long-term SEO penalties. They aim to protect their customers from the threat of online criminality. By implementing appropriate online security precautions, such as safeguarding with SSL certificates, the integrity of the website may be protected.
Some malware-infected websites may potentially be blacklisted by search engines.
Every business, small or large, wants their website to load as quickly as possible. A quicker website implies more active users. Due to the effects of cyberattacks, websites may be unavailable for hours, days, or even months. Long-term downtime might raise serious issues and lead to SERP (search engine results pages) dropdowns. Google detects a security vulnerability when the website is offline and not responding.
Malicious content changes
Cybercriminals aren’t just interested in stealing data; they also have other goals. The majority of cyberattacks against websites are focused on SEO. Following a compromise, hackers may change the website’s content using a variety of methods, including adding outbound connections, establishing new covert web pages, changing the material that search engines see, etc. The site’s reputation in search engines like Google is harmed by this type of modification, which lowers its rating.
Important site reviews
Reviews of websites are becoming increasingly important to aid in search engine rankings. Sites with favourable reviews rank higher on Google, whereas those with bad reviews are given lower priority. Cyber assaults might therefore have an effect on your company’s SEO.
By preventing search engine bots from accessing company websites and their information, hackers trying to hijack the website can deter visitors.
How can businesses improve cybersecurity to prevent SEO problems?
Prevention is a preferable way forward. To improve cybersecurity, the company should make sure that they have the right protocols in place:
Scan regularly for vulnerabilities
A system’s vulnerability refers to any openings or weaknesses in the company’s software, firmware, or hardware that a cybercriminal may use to carry out unlawful operations. Only when vulnerabilities are found and recognised can they be controlled. The vulnerability scan lists every machine discovered on the network and highlights any that need more attention.
Strengthen website security – Installing an SSL certificate is the first step that organisations can take to protect cybersecurity. Top search engines like Google use this security standard as a ranking indication. Businesses should make sure that their websites have the correct SSL certificates. The SSL certificate offers online communication security and safeguards sensitive data belonging to company clients, such as passwords, credit card details, and other data. It provides data encryption while in transit and safeguards against unauthorised users or hackers. SSL certificate vendors like Cloudflare offer affordable SSL certificates and much more.
Other security precautions that businesses must follow include using strong passwords, updating software regularly, employing automatic backups, establishing firewalls, etc.
In conclusion, corporate SEO activities are very much related to cybersecurity. Depending on how important cybersecurity is to a business, they should schedule and allocate the proper amount of time, money, and resources to ensuring their website, software and firmware are secured properly.