Here’s How a Lack of Web Security Can Harm SEO Potential

Search engine optimization to this day remains a top priority for a large share of online brands, blogs and businesses. Despite a variety of new and exciting marketing possibilities, SEO appeals to many due to the sheer amount of traffic it can drive and organic (i.e. free) method of functionality.

There are many technical aspects of SEO that brands dedicate their time to perfecting, such as content research and marketing, link building, keyword and topic selection, and on-page optimization. However, it’s important to remember that website security plays a much bigger role than people realize.

To illustrate, let’s look at how poor web security can actually damage your site’s SEO potential.

Secure Certificates Affect Rankings

One of the most important aspects of web security to consider is the presence of secure HTTPs certificates, pages with unsecured connections indicates lack of protection on the site and gives exposure to potential data leak.  Especially for brands that transmit or receive sensitive information such as payment data, secure certificates, are a must-have solution. Increasingly, brands and businesses can obtain secure certificates for their websites for no charge, meaning that pinging search engines with an unsecure indicator is no longer required.

Websites that lack secure certificates are at risk of being indirectly penalized in search engine results pages (SERPs). Given search engines have a vested interest in ensuring that the results they display are secure, websites that are operating with HTTP protocols rather than HTTPS stand to lose a lot of visibility and traffic in the process. Given the free to low cost dynamic surrounding secure certificates today, there is no excuse not to upgrade.

Security Breaches Can Result in Penalties

Smaller brands and businesses in particular may not take web security very seriously: after all, “who would want to break into my website?”. As it turns out, would-be hackers and spammers can find value in a variety of websites both large and small, whether it be to steal consumer information or to simply build black-hat links.

Ultimately, a compromise in your security often results in procedures and tactics that search engines can detect. If they suddenly see spammy links or other metrics that indicate an insecure website, then the potential for ranking prominently in most SERPs becomes vastly diminished. This is why using up-to-date plugins, enabling two-factor authentication wherever possible and creating strong passwords are so important from a SEO standpoint.

Browsers Alert Users to Security Flaws

Most people by this point have tried navigating to a particular website, only to be given a warning about the website’s security. Common occurrences with Google Chrome and other comparable browsers, this trend basically kills traffic to select websites if the security problems are not addressed in a short period of time.

Even in instances where your pages are still pinging search engines and their results pages, the fact is that warning messages from browsers often cause would-be visitors to turn around and look elsewhere. This in turn generates high bounce rates, which indicates to search engines that your pages and content are not relevant to the user experience.

By being aware of these potential security consequences, hopefully you will take the notion of site security more seriously. These potentially harmful consequences can take down even the most prosperous websites under select circumstances, so don’t wait until it becomes a problem: secure your website effectively beginning today!

Web Security

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