Are you losing rankings on Google due to your site security?
If your website gets hacked, your website’s ranking on Google will tank. No doubt about it. And when it tanks – it is almost impossible to gain back what you lost. It takes months sometimes to recover.
We’ve seen this time and time again. Companies losing out on thousands of dollars in sales – because their site can no longer be found or visitors leave the site due to issues. We live in a world of growing online bad guys. We are blocking, changing locks, and building firewalls all the time to keep ahead. (The good thing is that – we are always one step ahead!)
And did you know, that even if your site is not hacked, the daily attacks from these intolerable hackers can negatively or even prevent Google from accessing your site. Your site could also be blacklisted or banned from some search engines (i.e. Google)! This is like putting a business in a penalty box for not having good business practices.
So, if you don’t have your site set-up on a vault-like hosting and security set-up, now is the time.
Why does Google care about secure sites?
Google has more than 200 different factors that impact how they rank websites. Some of the most important factors include: on-page optimization, link structure, structured markups, site speed, user experience, mobile friendliness and website security.
Google wants to present the best sites for their searchers. And if sites are broken or not secure – Google views these sites in a negative light sometimes.
Googlebots have to be able to crawl your site to understand what you do. If they can’t crawl your site due to malware or hackers slowing your site down – they move on. And when Googlebots move on – you won’t be found.
Here is your checklist to improving site security
1. Update Your Site’s Software Regularly.
Outdated plugins can create issues with your site, or even worse, open up vulnerabilities to security. If you don’t keep your site updated, you can count on fighting the malware battle.
2. Backup Your Website Daily.
Make sure your website is backed up daily. This way you can change out your site quickly in case your site is attached. Also, be sure to store your backups remotely on Dropbox or Google Drive so you can access them if your site is compromised.
3. Ensure you have an SSL Certificate.
The “s” at the end of the “http” on a URL indicates that your website has encryption in place. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transport Protocol Security – indicatint that a site has an SSL certificate. A website with HTTPS/SSL protection does four important things – encrypts a user’s activity, prevents files from being corrupted as they are transferred, authenticates visitors which prevents attacks and it builds visitor trust. Google gives priority to sites with SSL encyrption so it is an important SEO ranking factor!
4. Have a Website Monitoring System.
Google won’t send you an email to inform your company that you have malware on your site. You have to be proactive and keep an eye out for threats. Wordfence is a great plugin for monitoring and blocking threats.
5. Hosting Service with Firewall.
You can find cheap hosting everywhere. But not every firewall is the same! Be sure to find a hosting partner that has a good track record in keeping sites safe.
Unsurprisingly, the first of our SEO ranking factors has to do with having the right kind of security. Specifically, that’s a URL that Google’s bots can easily reach and crawl.
Google has to be able to visit the website and easily be able to understand what each page is about.