The impact of cyber security on SEO

Not only does SEO play a crucial role in business visibility, but so does cybersecurity. Learn all about the synergy between SEO and cybersecurity and the importance of a secure website for search results.

Cybersecurity and SEO: what’s the connection?

Although cybersecurity and SEO may not seem to have much in common at first glance, they have many similarities. This has everything to do with the importance of security for good search engine optimization.

Search engines care that a website is secure and this is reflected in its ranking. The more secure the website, the higher it will rank. A website with many security risks may also be removed from search results altogether. Therefore, always make sure a website is secure. For example, purchase SSL certificates, protect a website from malware and phishing, and make sure your connections are always secure.

The negative impact of cyber attacks on SEO

A cyber attack has a negative impact on SEO results. In the worst case scenario, a website will be defaced and service may be interrupted, which will lead to visitor distrust and a higher bounce rate.

A poorly secured website is also a lure for hackers who add malicious information or links to the website. If this is the case, the website will drop even further in the rankings and may even be marked as unsafe by Google.

A secure website of great importance for SEO

SEO is not only for content optimization, but also for securing a website. A secure website increases the trust of visitors and search engines, which ultimately leads to more activity on the website or page.

A secure website will rank a lot better in Google search results, thus attracting even more visitors. Make sure website security is kept up to date regularly, such as by doing updates, installing security plugins and setting a strong password. Note: Never use the same password for multiple purposes to reduce the risk of hacking.

Practical Tips

Acting proactively and securing a website counteracts dangers. Beyond the previously mentioned options such as installing security plugs and setting a strong password, it is wise to monitor a website regularly to get a good understanding of its activity and whether it is trustworthy or not. It is also important that the entire team be aware of cybersecurity.

My tips in a table

TipPriority (1-100)Influence on SEO (1-100)
Regular software updates9560
Use of strong passwords and two-factor authentication9050
SSL/TLS certificate installation10080
Regular security audits and scans8570
Implementation of a Web Application Firewall (WAF).8055
Limiting user access7540
Regular backups8830
Using HTTPS10090
Protect against SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) (3)9065
Training staff in cybersecurity awareness7035
Monitoring website traffic and unusual activity8260
Securing email domains against phishing7745
Ensuring secure payment gateways8550
Implementation of Content Security policy (CSP).7858
Removal of unused plugins and themes8040
Cyber security tips + impact on SEO.

HTTPS

Users of HTTPS automatically radiate trust to search engines. HTTPS provides a secure connection between the server and the visitor, which reduces the risk of malicious plans. For Google, HTTPS is the official ranking factor. So HTTPS is essential to rank higher in search results. Moreover, much of the public will be familiar with HTTPS and thus be assured that a website or page is trustworthy.

SSL certificates

SSL certificates are necessary not only for security, but also for SEO. SSL certificates encrypt the information exchanged between the server and visitors, ensuring that personal information is protected. Websites with an SSL certificate are more secure and reliable and therefore rank higher in search results.

Preventing hacks

For a Web site, it is essential to prevent hacks. A website that has been hacked can greatly damage the owner’s brand reputation and will therefore drop in search engine rankings. In addition, sensitive data may be lost.

To prevent hacks, strong security measures are necessary. Also purchase programs such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems and malware scanning and update them regularly. In addition, conduct security audits. All these measures ensure that the public and search engines have more confidence in the website and it will rank higher in SEO rankings.

Impact cyber attacks on user experience

Cyber attacks not only reduce public trust, they also negatively affect the user experience. For example, a website victimized by a cyber-attack may become very slow and experience high load times. In extreme cases, a Web site may become completely inaccessible.

As a result, the website gets a higher bounce rate and search engines rank the site lower. Therefore, don’t forget to proactively secure a Web site. A secure website leads to satisfied visitors who trust the company. This, in turn, increases SEO rankings.

Website security and public trust

The public values a secure Web site. Therefore, show the public that the website is secure. For example, apply an HTTPS protocol or a visible security result. This allows customers to immediately see that the website is secure and they themselves are not taking a risk by visiting the website.

Visitors with confidence also tend to be more engaged with a company, which makes for a better interpersonal relationship. Therefore, I emphasize again how necessary it is to invest in proper cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity in an SEO plan

When creating an SEO plan, don’t just put the emphasis on creating content efficiently. Obviously, this is very important, but making sure you have good cybersecurity measures in place is just as important.

In addition to standard measures such as installing security plugins, it is necessary to actively keep website security up and running. So do regular updates, protect the website from data breaches and keep the website with integrity. Only with good cybersecurity measures will you succeed in implementing a good SEO strategy and get higher in search results.

Balance

A good SEO strategy succeeds with good cybersecurity measures. Both terms reinforce each other and together create more visitor confidence and higher search engine rankings. SEO and cybersecurity are thus inextricably linked. So find a good balance between the two terms. Only in this way will customers’ trust in the website and search engine ranking be optimal.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 22 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 22 March 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.