In the Internet age, a lot of companies have realized the importance of having an online presence. These days, one can easily look up a company via search engine and buy its services or products online. The process of search engine optimization, or SEO, has now become paramount for any company. Usually, businesses need to follow a series of rules or best practices to optimize their rankings, and one of the factors that can increase rankings is web security.
How is Web Security Related to SEO?
Imagine infected or hacked websites as elementary school students with the common cold. Since a cold is highly contagious, schools and parents typically bar a sick student from attending school to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus. In the online world, a search engine serves as the de facto school administrator that detects infected websites and blacklists them from showing up on their search rankings. To make matters worse, often a search engine will display an ominous warning message to visitors of an infected website to warn them not to proceed with entering the site. This poses a real threat to anyone’s online business. A simple warning sign could drastically reduce your overall web traffic, which means less business for your website; however, you can overcome these issues by improving your website’s cybersecurity. Here are three ways to protect and maintain your SEO using web security.
When you purchasing goods on a website, information of your transaction is usually transferred to that website’s server where it will be stored in its internal database. Anyone with basic computing knowledge could easily intercept or copy this information while it is transferring between the customer and the web server. Any visitor’s personal and credit card information is easily at risk in this situation. This is where Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) can play a role in protecting your information.
Have you ever noticed those green locks that websites have next to the URL bar? This usually means that the information handled by a website is encrypted by SSL protection. Even if your information is stolen, a hacker will be unable to intercept that information.
Next time you are making a purchase or entering your information online, remember to look for the green padlock to determine if you can trust your information being transmitted to that site. If you own a website, talk to your web hosting company and ask them if they provide SSL certificates for customers at a cost-effective price, which will not only increase trust with customers but also help your search engine rankings.
Keep the Bugs Away
If you have been surfing the Internet for a while, you have surely heard the words malware and spyware. To keep things simple, malware is a general term used to refer to a software virus. For instance, spyware, which is a form of malware, is the term used for software that was designed to spy on you while you are using your computer. Malware doesn’t always have to be tied to software or for personal computers. It can also be used to infect websites to trick users into giving up personal and private information. Once a search engine notices that you are distributing malware to your users, it can blacklist your website . Keep your site malware-free by installing a malware scanning service. For a list of free security software, visit staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/free-security-check-ups/.
Web Application Firewall
Going back to our grade school example from earlier, didn’t you hate getting your annual vaccines when you were a kid? Well, there was a good reason why every student in your school was required to get vaccinated. Vaccines prevent you from catching any harmful viruses and are primarily used as a preventative measure. For websites, a great countermeasure vaccine that can help keep your site safe is a web application firewall. It analyzes incoming traffic to your website and filters out the innocent users from the malicious hackers. A web application firewall (WAF) can be really effective since it has the ability to prevent a wide range of attacks, from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to simple phishing attempts that lure users into downloading dangerous software. Keeping your website clean and safe from hackers will not only improve your brand’s credibility, but it will also keep you out of the doghouse with search engine rankings.
Getting a website ranked high with online search engines has become one of the toughest tasks in online marketing. Competition sure won’t go anytime soon, so don’t let your hard work go to waste. Protect your website and improve your SEO at the same time by using these tips.
About the Author
Damian Park is the communications manager at Cloudbric, an elite full-service web security solution for all small- and medium-sized businesses.