Google penalties can be a real killer if your website gets dinged. Read on to learn how to avoid Google penalties by securing your website.
Do you feel a tinge of panic every time Google announces an update to their algorithm? You’re not alone. Google penalties, which are a large downturn in your website’s rankings, can be caused by a change in the algorithm ranking signals.
With Google’s stated goal to make the web safer and more secure, the security of your website can have a big impact on your rankings. This means even if you have great SEO otherwise, an insecure website could be causing your website to get hit with google penalties.
This article will show you how to secure your website to avoid any damage to your rankings.
Switch to HTTPS to Improve Security
HTTPS is now a ranking signal in the google algorithm. That means that if you have not switched your website to HTTPS, you are being hit with a google penalty.
HTTPS makes your website more secure. Once you upgrade and add a 2048-bit key certificate to your website, your website data will be encrypted as it goes from your servers to your visitor’s screen.
Without it, your website could essentially be hijacked. Hackers could read and even alter information. If your website asks users to input any personal information, whether that is an email address or a credit card number, you need HTTPS.
Otherwise, you’re putting your customers’ sensitive data at risk. If you want help managing your website, including SSL encryption, check out our services.
No wonder google puts a penalty on insecure websites.
What Are Blackhat SEO Hijackers?
Your website is incredibly valuable for hackers looking to use it for SEO. According to Google, SEO is one of the main reasons hackers target websites.
Once a hacker gains access to your website, they can exploit it in a number of ways.
A big one is modifying your website so that it redirects customers to a malicious website instead. All your good SEO efforts will be used to boost the hacker’s attack site, putting your loyal visitor base at risk.
You likely won’t have any indication that this is happening until you see the effect on your traffic; by then it might be too late. If a visitor complains that they’re having trouble accessing your website, take it seriously. You might have been hacked.
Link injection is another damaging black hat SEO practice. This is when a hacker inserts links into your web pages that lead to their target page.
Since the number of links leading page to a page are a major ranking signal, a hacker can improve the ranking on their website by linking to it hundreds of times on websites like yours.
The google algorithm penalizes this sort of link-building very harshly. Unfortunately, if your website has been hijacked, it means you’ll get slapped with a major google penalty.
How to Avoid Hijackers (and the Google Penalties They Cause)
You need to be vigilant and make sure that you are taking steps to secure your website against hackers.
We’ve talked before about how WordPress users are leaving their sites vulnerable and how you can resolve it. The same tips that protect your data also help keep your website safe from hackers.
Frequent updates, smart data hosting, and the principle of least privilege will reduce website vulnerabilities and keep your website safe from these google penalties.
People don’t always realize how important security is to your google rankings. While you want to focus on putting out great content and improving your SEO, don’t forget about website security.
Taking steps to secure your website will keep both your rankings and your visitors’ data safe, so stamp out website vulnerabilities today!