As more and more businesses move online, website security is gaining more and more traction. And it’s not without reason since the incidence of cyber-crime is increasing.
- In the first quarter of 2019, 1 billion data records were breached.
- 62 percent of businesses experienced phishing in 2018.
- Hackers are now attacking 39 times every hour (for the ones we know), which is – 2,244 times daily.
The list goes on: data security is now an essential requirement and not a luxury. To reinforce it, leaders like Google have started stressing on it, and rewarding websites that meet adequate standards.
Way back in 2014 — Google announced that they would prioritize websites that are using ‘https’ in place of those with ‘HTTP,’ for improved SEO rankings, to encourage data security measures.
Why does web security affect SEO?
As they say, “Better safe than sorry.” And Google, the world’s largest search engine, has taken that adage to heart.
To spur on safety precautions and discourage unsafe ones, Google declared they would place specific emphasis on safe websites when it comes to SEO rankings. Websites that weren’t using ‘https’ would display something like this, every time there was a visitor:
After research on Back Pain Chairs Lab and some other websites, we collect results about 67% of websites were flagged to be unsafe. With a drop in SEO rankings, also came a degradation and significant erosion of customer trust for these websites.
That’s where the security features you use become all-important. No business can afford a drop in SEO rankings in today’s world of competition – there’s just too much competition. But when these businesses upgrade the security on their website, essentially, they are not only getting their rankings up but are also preparing a barrier to prevent cyber-attacks: the exact thing that Google wants.
There are other ways where a lack of website security could be compromising that could affect SEO optimization:
Did you know that web-security directly affects SEO? That’s because criminals can use your unprotected website to plant malicious links and get you associated with places you don’t want to be.
This link building activity will make most search engines identify your website as spam – thereby undoing all the effort you’ve put in. Even worse, you’ll be blacklisted, sometimes even without knowing what’s been happening to you, and for how long.
Even after you identify and sort out the problem, it takes months to regain your lost status – and business.
Imagine visiting a website and Google flagging “Not Secure” on the URL. Would you still want to visit the site? Probably not. If it was me, I’d be out in seconds. That’s where the trust issue comes in. Unless you can gain their trust, customers aren’t going to visit you. They’ll just take their business elsewhere – leaving you to suffer extremely high bounce rates.
Even if you do fix it, many people are going to leave dissatisfied, no matter what. And the bad news is, 95% of people share negative experiences — which means your lousy news will propagate quickly.
3) Crawling errors
The major work for a bot is to crawl the website for vulnerability scan, domain mining, data theft, etc. However, Google bots also scans your website, but rising persistent automated software attacks make it failed to scan websites using malicious bots.
There should be a limit on a server for repeating automatic tasks using multiple bots. Without safeguards, overloaded-automatic-tasks may be interrupted and will start to restrict web traffic.
If the search console shows odd 403 or 503 error, which means that Google tried to crawl the error, but server shows it labeled, “missing.”
4) SEO Spam
Hackers gets entry into a website using vulnerability and hijack SEO attainments and insert their own hyperlinks and spam keyword into your top ranked pages. Hackers let you do all hard work to bring sites ahead of your competitors, but once you get the position in the search engine — they use their products for promotion.
SEO spam has been named, SEO poisoning. The common victims are small business websites, NGOs, and WP blogs. Be aware and watch — there should always be better security arrangements to prevent such crimes on your sites.
What is HTTPS?
We all know that HTTPS stands for “hypertext transfer protocol secure.” When you use it for your website, end-to-end data encryption is ensured between the client-server and your website. The HTTPS designation protects you against, among other things, data theft, and data manipulation.
The designation also allows you to share sensitive information like personal details, bank information, and travel bookings securely and communicate effectively without any risk of compromise.
In the case of ‘HTTP’ there is no secure end-to-end data encryption, which makes it vulnerable to cyber-crime and malicious attacks. Make sure you have the “S.”
The first step you need to take to migrate to “https” is to get a cheap SSL certificate for your website.
What’s an SSL certificate?
An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is a technology or a promise of trust that secures the link between your website and the client-server by ensuring end-to-end encryption.
When you install SSL certificate to your website ‘HTTP’, you unlock the advanced ‘https,’ which acts as a far more potent shield against digital crime. Based on its end-to-end data encryption, it is exponentially tricky, if not impossible, for even the best cyber-criminals to breach its walls.
With e-commerce growing at an astronomical pace all over the world and set to contribute 17% of all US retail sales by 2022, ensuring a secure environment for an online business is the need of the hour. With over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being produced every day, its safeguard can no longer be left to chance.
An SSL certificate has become even more critical in the present scenario and hence central to the solution of digital crime. You can go with an SSL certificate as per your website’s requirement like if you have a single domain SSL then, you can go with Comodo Essential SSL certificate.
Benefits of SSL certificate
Getting an SSL certificate will display a padlock means a secured website, boosting customer confidence
- Significant SEO rankings improvement, especially by Google.
- Drive-up sales and/ or customer engagement by boosting customer confidence.
- Regulatory compliance with PCI and DSS standards.
- Avoid a Google flagging in the form of a display of “Not Secure.”
There are plenty of SSL certificates to choose from. Some of the types are Extended Validation (EV), Domain Validated (DV), and Wildcard SSL certificate.
But it’s best to buy from market leaders like Comodo, GlobalSign, Geotrust SSL, and more.
With Google firmly committed to raising the bar for secure online business transactions, results are starting to show. Nearly 52 percent of the most popular 1 million websites have migrated to ‘https’ by 2018. That’s more than 500,000 websites. Businesses are slowly waking up to the fact that at the end of the day, they need Google to endorse them with a good SEO ranking, and they need customer trust.
It’s great that getting your website secured will also lead to better SEO. It’s a great incentive to do the right thing.