A Short Guide to Integrating Cybersecurity Into Your SEO Strategy

All websites need to be secure, and when it comes to malicious attacks, there are no “too insignificant” or “too useless” sites. Every site is equally vulnerable to such threats and in need of apt security. Online businesses are entirely focused on higher SEO rankings for their online reputation as well as the bottom line. This is why they usually enforce the most practical SEO techniques, including content marketing, link building, mobile optimization, etc., to wind up on the first page of search results. However, besides providing the searchers with the best results for their query, Google (and other search engines) aims at making the web a safer place for the users. Therefore, they emphasize the websites’ cybersecurity practices. 

As a matter of fact, cyberattacks might not only harm your online business’ reputation but also your website’s organic search performance. Therefore, SEO and cybersecurity go hand in hand towards creating a business’ online reputation. If the site does not signify the latest security conformity, Google can blacklist it, or it may even experience spam attacks or malicious bot activities. Hence, integrating cybersecurity into your SEO strategy will help your business scale up for success.

This blog will discuss four foolproof ways to beat your competitors, identify the security vulnerabilities on time, incorporate security checks into your development strategy, and safeguard your local networks. 

4 Foolproof Steps to Boost Your Website Security

Lack of proper cybersecurity in place can severely impact your SEO. You must be probably aware of the fact that an HTTP certificate is not a safe way of securing a website, and the HTTPS has mainly turned into the poster boy of the security norm. A couple of years ago, Google began prioritizing sites with HTTPS in the SERPs. 

The best way to speed up your company on the journey to success is to focus on your SEO along with cybersecurity. It is wildly common for online businesses to struggle to increase their site’s search rankings and keep it cyber-safe at the same time, so here are four foolproof steps that help you overcome this problem. 

  1. Learn to Identify the Initial Warning Signs

Cyberattacks can give rise to malicious bot activities. While bots are always going to portray a portion of your traffic, not all bots are non-dangerous to your website’s security. Nonetheless, the primary purpose of the cybercriminals launching bots is to crawl websites in the SERPs for vulnerable sections, data theft, or content crapping. Malicious bots utilize the same bandwidth as harmless bots, and human site visitors do. If your server is exposed to repeated malicious bot activities, it may result in the server ceasing to serve the pages. 

When it comes to hacking a website, cybercriminals always turn to its weakest parts. Therefore it is crucial to be one step ahead and keep an eye on the following warning signals of cyberattacks that should make your internal radar scream. Cybercriminals can induce these malicious bot activities.

Google Alerts and Notifications

If you have got a Google alerts notification or saw a “Site not available” warning in the SERPs – bad news, it is an indication that someone has hacked your website. You can confirm this by going to Google Search Console. Check out your Security Issues section and search for the hacked URLs detected by Google. 

Presence of Unusual JavaScript Code

The presence of an unusual JavaScript code in your website’s source code is a vital warning sign. Usually, hackers use JavaScript codes to steal invaluable personal information such as credit card details or login credentials from your website. So in case you detect any unusual code, remove it right away. 

Your Login Credentials Stop Working

This shouldn’t be difficult to figure out that something is wrong when you enter the right login credentials and the “incorrect password” notification pops up on the screen. It is a clear-cut indication that cybercriminals have changed your password. 

You Get Recurrent Random Popups or Error Messages

The majority of the malicious attacks on websites are carried out by black hat SEO practitioners who aim to improve their own website’s search rankings. They target websites that have notable SEO rankings and embed links or use JavaScript codes to redirect visitors to their malicious sites. Spamdexing lets tricksters utilize high-ranking sites to promote their low-quality content and, as a result, increase their website’s rankings. Spamdexing has numerous adverse effects:

  • The search engine will blacklist the website.
  • The website’s spam ranking might decline the website’s organic rankings.
  • The site’s reputation will be seriously damaged as visitors will see too much spamming content. 

Most commonly, cybercriminals use cross-site scripting or embed their code into your website’s source code to sidestep its security system. So in case, you receive any of these alert notifications, do not overlook them. Run a thorough website scan quickly to detect the malicious software and get rid of it immediately. 

  1. Make Security Check a Part of Your Developing Strategy

If you ever get exposed to a cyberattack, financial losses are not the only thing you will have to worry about. Google might charge the compromised website with a range of penalties and misrepresent the search results. Every time a prospect will search for your website, they will first encounter a warning page, which will undoubtedly talk them out of visiting your website. Hence, it is crucial to make cybersecurity a part of your overall SEO strategy. 

While counting on Google alerts is an excellent piece of advice, that is not all you need to do. You should learn to anticipate the potential threats and control the cybersecurity standard. Apart from including your IT specialists team, employ another cybersecurity professional. That’s because only a truly qualified professional can help you detect your website’s vulnerabilities and elaborate on the cybersecurity strategy for your online business. 

  1. Utilize Efficient Scanning Tools

Another effective way to steer clear of malicious intervention is by utilizing a file malware scanner. The software scans your website code to go through web pages and look for malware or unusual PHP or HTML codes on your server. There are plenty of scanners available in the market that can help avoid your website from getting blacklisted or penalized and retain its SEO rankings. 

There are some even more advanced tools that can provide you with in-depth details about each bot that crawled your website, the bandwidth they used up, etc. enabling you to spot malicious activity on your site. In addition to this, you may also want to use some other tools too, which will allow you to monitor your backlink profile. Such tools are not only beneficial in enhancing your website’s SEO but also helps you detect useless backlinks from SEO spammers. 

  1. Safeguard Your Security and Privacy With a VPN

Regardless of where you are, whether at home or office, your local network security should always be strict no matter what. A vast network is highly vulnerable to human errors, and compared to the smaller networks; such risks cannot be underestimated. Every user must make sure that they are in compliance with the standard security norms. No matter at what time and which place you are working at, you must make sure that the Web Application Firewall is regulating the traffic and the connection is encrypted with a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN) to keep your online activities safe.

You must be probably wondering how a VPN can help improve your website’s security. A VPN does so in three primary ways:

  1. It encrypts all your confidential data, making sure that no hacker can get their hands on it.
  2. It blocks any phishing attempts or malicious software, preventing them from creeping into your system.
  3. Any organization that has employees working remotely needs to have a stable VPN because such employees may be accessing the company’s systems using public wifi, which can result in serious security vulnerabilities when done without a VPN. 

In light of the rising cyber threats and growing security concerns, there is no shortage of VPNs in the market. Try out different VPNs and select the one that best satisfies all your business requirements.  

Wrap Up

Online security matters, and it matters a great deal. The reason is that a single security breach is enough to ruin your online business’ reputation to the core, which you have spent years building from scratch. And that’s not just it. A cyber attack brings a range of horrible consequences, including financial losses and consumer trust loss. This is something no online business would ever want to risk. 

Hence, one thing is clear – SEO and cybersecurity go hand in hand when it comes to making your business successful and helping it acquire the top position in the market. In a nutshell, now that you are familiar with the importance of having apt cybersecurity for your business, your SEO and IT department need to team up and form a solid strategy that will help boost your site’s search rankings, keep it secure within the web, and ultimately, improve your bottom line. So go on, keep these four foolproof steps in mind and craft your well-thought-out strategy that will help your company climb the stairs of success!