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Website hacking or rather, its prevention, may not be at the top of your list when planning out your SEO strategy and digital marketing plans. Protect your website from SEO hackers and ensure that your website is safeguarded against any efforts to hamper your visibility!

What is Hacking?

Hacking includes various activities that compromise technology or systems. While hacking can mean the misuse of networks or digital devices, today, it commonly refers to malicious acts that are unauthorized. What is website hacking? Hacking websites can include using malware attacks or spamming where the former results in data breaches and the latter are caused by interested hypertext that is used to redirect users to other locations. 

website hacking
How Hacking Affects Your Website

Website hacking has various ramifications that SEO hackers will take advantage of. This includes:

Blacklisting

Search engines like Google blacklist websites that are flagged or have been identified as hacked. Website blacklisting often occurs when a site is hacked and this can affect your ranking on SERPs until your site has been cleaned up and analyzed. This results in lower visibility until the penalty has been removed. 

Backlinks

Backlink spam is another occurrence if your website has been hacked. When a website is hacked, spammy backlinks are often inserted into the content which results in negative SEO. With these low-quality backlinks, your site will be deemed questionable and will not be highly trusted by both users and Google. 

SEO Spam

SEO spamming has been found to be another popular attack when a website is hacked, but what is SEO spam? SEO spam is targeting websites with high authority, great visibility, and SERP rankings and turning them into link farms. While some websites are harder to recover if a hacker uses an SQL injection, most sites are hacked to trick visitors and use phishing links and malware. With SEO spam, hacked websites become link farms. 

Malicious Code

Malicious code is also a form of SEO poisoning. Google has become more cautious about malware on websites and will actually display warning messages if users come across a site with malicious code. SEO hacking in the form of malicious code results in a significant drop in user visits, low engagement, and an increase in mistrust among visitors. In order to safeguard visitors, Google may even remove your site from its SERPs which negatively affects your organic search visibility.

website hacking
How to Protect Your SEO Strategy

So, how can you protect websites from hackers and your SEO strategy?

Be Selective About Plugin Sources

While you may need specific plugins for your CMS platform or website, it is good practice not to install what you are looking for from untrusted sources. By installing plugins from unknown sources, you are increasing your chances of website hacking. Analyze a source’s reviews and look for trusted sources with HTTPs before installing a plugin or tool. 

Be Cautious About Server Sharing

For those hosting their websites on shared servers, keep a lookout for hackers. Shared servers are often hacked with malicious files that give them access to your website and cause data breaches.

Secure Your Credentials

We highly recommend creating secure passwords by making them hard to guess and unique. The credentials for your website can also be more secure with penetration testing which will perform a thorough analysis in order to test network security and pinpoint vulnerabilities. 

Get Professional Help

Aside from white hat SEO practices, a professional team like ours at GTECH designs websites with security already in mind. Not only will your website have the most relevant content and engaging designs, but will be guarded against hacking efforts in order to safeguard your organic search visibility and SEO strategy

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