Once a website hack is fixed and the causative security risk is resolved, it may seem that all is well. However, a business owner may not know that their website’s SEO performance may also have sustained damage. Enhanced web security is a must going forward, but so is a complete SEO analysis, audit report and possible remediation efforts.
Without a proper security plan, site security breaches and related malware may go unnoticed for some time, harming your site’s domain authority, reputation and damaging your SEO. Beyond these effects, mitigating a hack requires time, expertise and effort.
Identifying Site Hacks
Hackers may breach a website in order to gain unauthorized access to protected information, hold a website hostage or to hijack a website and redirect visitors to another site. At times, it can be difficult to identify if your site’s been hacked, so it’s recommended to check your Security Issues report within Google Search Console to determine if Google has identified a breach. At other times, it will be evident a website hack has occurred. Potential negative effects on a website’s performance and operation can include: website defacement, reduced page speed, stolen information, imposter scams, lost website control, reduced ranking performance due to being indexed for spammy links and keywords and lastly, blacklisting.
How Hacks Affect Your Website Rankings
Once Google detects malicious code and suspicious redirects it may flag the website, demote its search results rankings and restrict site traffic in order to protect users. Google will notify users attempting to click on the infected website with warning messages that the site may be compromised or may harm your computer. In effect, your site will be quarantined, with only the most hardy persons accepting the risk of visiting your site. Quick action by a website security expert and/or your hosting provider is needed to remediate the hack, potentially by restoring your website from a backup prior to when it was corrupted.
After the hardening of the website’s security posture, you will need to petition Google to have the site reinstated and re-indexed. In addition, popular IT security firms such as McAfee and Barracuda Networks (used by many organizations) may also blacklist your site, requiring manual efforts to rectify the situation. Even once reinstated, your website rankings may still suffer until your site rids itself of the spammy SEO entries, which will take some time. Your site will likely still be indexed for gibberish, spam keywords resulting from the hack, and you may require additional professional assistance to fix your website’s SEO.
Preventing Website Hacks
If you suspect your site may be vulnerable, has been hacked or your rankings have taken a suspicious nosedive, take action sooner rather than later. Contact your web host provider, then consider your next steps once the hack’s been neutralized.
Crucial considerations for maintaining your website security today include secure web hosting, security plugin installations and professional website management in the form of site monitoring and regular site backups. Contact Bleevit Interactive today to analyze the health and security of your website and help protect your SEO rankings.
Rick Hogan, CEO & Co-Founder – Bleevit Interactive
Rick possesses over 20 years of digital marketing experience and started Bleevit Interactive with the primary mission of helping local businesses succeed online. When he is not working he can often be found hiking Great Falls, Virginia with his Labradoodle Lily, or sailing the Chesapeake Bay.
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