SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving your website’s ranking among search engines like Google and Bing. Over the past few years, SEO has greatly evolved. Keywords and backlinks (other websites linking back to yours) used to have a huge impact on SEO rankings, but have since been taken over by new and improved algorithms such as Google’s Penguin and Hummingbird, which aim to decrease black-hat (negative) SEO techniques such as link spam.
With cyber attacks on the rise, search engines have been increasingly factoring spam injections, malware infections, and website speed into their SEO algorithms. Properly securing your website can provide a large boost to your SEO rankings. Below are 3 ways you can improve your SEO rankings by securing your website.
1. Moderate comment spam
Malicious links hosted on your website can negatively impact your SEO and, worst case, can flag your website as malware or spam, preventing users access to it.
One of the easiest ways for hackers to place malicious or irrelevant links on your site is through comments on your blog. These links damage your site’s authority and credibility so managing them is critical. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to automate the moderation process of comments:
- If you’re using a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, look into one of their comment system plugins
- Enable CAPTCHAs when possible, as an extra layer of security
- Disable anonymous posting, and only allow registered users to post comments
- If you have an active moderator, require that comments be approved before they are posted on your website
- Enable a web application firewall (similar to our TrueShield WAF) which will block malicious bots from accessing your site to begin with
- If you’re still having trouble with comment spam, you should disallow hyperlinks in comments altogether
2. Regularly scan your website for malware
Often times, malware and malicious links can be injected into the code of your website without notice, negatively affecting your SEO, and potentially harming your visitors. Reversing the whole process is both difficult and time consuming, since injected malware is usually hidden and made to look like regular code, and your hard-won SEO rankings may be lost in the meantime.
A website scanning tool can scan your code each day for malware (and suspected malware) and in some cases automatically remove the threats or point you directly to the suspected malware. This means you don’t have to search line-by-line through code in the event that your website is compromised. The SiteLock Website Scanning and Malware Removal product provides automated alerts to help you avoid search engine blacklisting, saving your business’s reputation and SEO positions.
3. Cache website data with a CDN
Malware can dramatically increase the time it takes a website to load, if it allows it to load at all. But even a malware-free website can improve its SEO, performance, and security at the same time. A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a website optimization infrastructure that works by caching website’s content across data centers around the globe. This results in quicker website load times since content is served locally to visitors. It also improves website security since, as is the case of the SiteLock CDN, data is fully encrypted both in transit, and at rest.
Major search engines like Google factor load times into their SEO algorithms (time to first byte – TTFB), so by using a CDN, your website can experience a boost in SEO while improving security at the same time.
Want to see how your SEO stacks up? Many online tools can scan your website and provide suggestions to improve your SEO. Contact a SiteLock Security Consultant today to learn what solutions are the right fit for your site.