If your website is hacked, chances are you’ll be affected by it in a multitude of negative, annoying, and even horribly frustrating ways. What a hacker does once they’ve broken into your website can be very malicious and cause damages to aspects of your business and website as a whole. One of the main components of websites and marketing that an intrusion by an unauthorized source (a hacker) can cause is damages to your SEO. Hackers can damage your SEO in these ways:
Installation of Malicious Software Into Your Websites Code
Your SEO will be affected if malicious software is written into your websites code. Should Google detect that malicious coding has taken place on your website, users searching and finding your site in its results pages will be redirected if your URL is clicked. Search engines may even remove your sites URLs from their listings if you’re the code written in by hackers is too malicious.
Harmful Back Links
If a hacker is able to gain access to your site, often they may add harmful back links in varying places throughout. These will negatively affect your SEO if the backlinks they place have low to no value at all. If the sources for the backlinks are controversial that may have a negative affect as well. Google could notice and rank your website lower within its results pages.
Website Redirects That Send Users To More Malicious Websites
Another tactic hackers use to destroy a website, and with it SEO rankings, is to redirect it’s URL to dubious or a more malevolent website. This could result in Google and other search engines completely removing your URL from rankings.
Spamming and Collected Contact
Hackers might also be able to access any collected contact information such as email addresses provided for business newsletter or phone numbers provided. What hackers will then do is send spam emails and spam phone calls to all contacts collected. This looks bad for any business and could ultimately result in lawsuits.
Download of Malware
Most often, hackers will attack your website with malware which is designed to harm the network its based on. Malware can have potentially detrimental effects on a website and could damage your SEO and business in general greatly.
Hackers may also attempt to access files and folders that are saved on your server. If they gain access, they’ll be able to place their own pages and files that might not be visible on the back end. This could be a problem as then users will be able to access your site, but may end up on a malicious page that a hacker has installed. Google may notice this and flag your website, as well as any other search engines where your URL appears.
Googles Responses to a Website That Is Hacked
Google can respond to websites that have been compromised by hackers in a number of ways.
First, they may issue a warning to the website owner, whomever the domain is registered under, or the host. They’ll essentially inform you that the website you have created has been hacked and explain what the hacker has done as far as hostility goes.
If your website has been compromised beyond repair, which is ultimately the worst thing that could happen and would take a tremendous amount of effort for a hacker to accomplish, your website might be blacklisted. If your site is blacklisted, it will be taken off of SERPs and “quarantined”. You then will have to find a way to fix any issues. Google will generally send you and email stating what they noticed was wrong, which will help slightly in identifying what to do.
What to Do If Your Website is Blacklisted
If your website is blacklisted, you’ll need to determine the problem (which Google may help with) and fix it before your site can be listed again. Hiring a website developer to do this may help if you do not already have experience looking at the back end of websites. SEO specialists may also be able to assist with issues regarding and search engines that your website has been blacklisted from. Google Account Help gives direct instructions for what to do if your website is hacked or compromised.
Improving Website Security
If you host with a secure server, you’ll be at less of a risk of being hacked. Secure servers essentially ensure that your SEO improves in a few ways. Secure websites are trusted on search engines much more than unsecure ones. Websites with a good track record of being secure will ultimately rank higher in SERPs, and conversion rates may rise as a result. Website security is a necessity for any business or website that wishes to keep its name reputable. Failure to meet high security for your website could result in damages and even loss of an entire business, depending on the severity of maliciousness if hacked. Good security measures for websites also ensures that all users are protected while using your site, which will have a positive impact on SEO.
High Ranking Websites Are at a Greater Risk
Websites that rank higher on Google SERPs, especially those found in the featured snippet sections, are a greater risk for being hacked. This makes website security for these businesses ever more important. A site that receives high amounts of traffic and collects large amounts of user data may need to put extra security measures in place and even transfer to a different host to ensure that all information is secure. If your site is vulnerable, a hacker may be able access it and cause damages to your SEO and business.
Get In Touch With an SEO Expert
Getting in contact with SEO experts such as SeoTuners is a great way to ensure that your website can be measured for security and SEO. We provide a number of search engine optimization services to businesses looking to optimize their website such as branding, e-commerce, Google Local, organic SEO, and Link Building. If you’re interested in improving your website’s security and search traffic, get in touch with us today. SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase security, exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. We are confident that we have a solution for all your business marketing needs.