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How Website Security Affects SEO Performance

Having a secure website is critical to protecting your business and customers online. But did you know that improving website security also directly benefits your SEO and search rankings? Neglecting security can open doors for hackers while closing doors to organic traffic. In this guide, we dive into the correlation between site security and SEO success.

Website Security Affects SEO Performance

Impact Of Https On Seo

One of the most important security factors that directly impacts SEO is migrating your site to HTTPS. Here are the key benefits of HTTPS for search performance:

Ranking Advantage

Google has made it clear that HTTPS is a positive ranking factor and gives secure sites an edge. So when two pages have the same content, the HTTPS version ranks higher. Having site-wide HTTPS makes this advantage apply across all your pages.

Trust Signals

The padlock icon and https:// URL provide trusted signals both to visitors and Googlebot. It indicates you take security seriously, improving click-through rates.

Improved Indexing

Googlebot is now crawling HTTPS sites more deeply compared to HTTP sites. This leads to better indexing, which directly improves rankings and traffic.

Mobile Friendliness

HTTPS is essential to getting mobile-friendly tags, a necessity for the majority of search traffic that now originates on mobile devices.

Clearly, migrating from HTTP to HTTPS should be one of the first steps to improve both security and SEO together.

How Hacking Impacts SEO and Traffic

On the other side, poor website security that leads to hacking can devastate search performance:

Content Manipulation

Hackers often modify content to inject spam links, scrap text, and replace images. This damages relevancy signals and user experience.

Ranking Penalties

Google imposes ranking penalties on hacked and compromised sites. Often pages deindex entirely until cleaned up, wiping out organic traffic.


Security vendors maintain lists of known malicious websites. Getting blacklisted blocks sensitive users and triggers harsh penalties.

Redirects and Defacements

Hacked sites are often modified to redirect visitors away or display defacements. This erodes visitor trust and destroys conversion rates.

Proactively preventing hacks through security best practices avoids these ranking catastrophes.

Technical Factors That Improve Both Security And Seo

Looking beyond HTTPS and hack prevention, several technical elements contribute to security and SEO together:

Optimized Page Speed

Faster page loads, such as Get Unbanned From Yik Yak, keep visitors engaged. They also signal site quality and boost rankings. Use optimizations like compression, caching, and minification

Limited External Resources

Relying heavily on external files, trackers, and widgets slows pages and introduces vulnerabilities. Minimize them to enhance speed and security.

Updated Software

Outdated CMS, plugins, and other software contain vulnerabilities. Staying updated patches security holes while providing access to new SEO features.

Effective Hosting Infrastructure

Quality hosting with firewalls, DDoS protection, and redundancy prevents downtime while securely delivering fast performance.

Limited Redirect Chains

Excessive redirects increase page loads while enabling opportunities for injection. Eliminate unnecessary chains.

Strong Code Quality

Clean, valid code avoids performance drag and security risks like XSS vulnerabilities. Validation tools can identify issues to address.

When examining your site for security optimizations, prioritize fixes that also enhance visitor-facing elements like page speed.

How SEO Best Practices Strengthen Security

Many standard SEO practices also fortify site security:

High-Quality Inbound Links

Earning links from trusted sources helps improve domain reputation. It also reduces reliance on poor-quality links that increase malware threats.

Limited Use of Query Strings

Minimizing query strings where possible reduces exposure to attacks like Google hacking that target manipulating parameters.

Secure XML Sitemaps

Submitting XML sitemaps over HTTPS ensures crawlers receive an authentic feed of your pages to guide indexing.

Meta Tags Indicating Privacy Policies and Terms of Service

Properly marking legal pages boosts confidence in your credibility and security standards.

Descriptive Error Page Handling

Setting custom pages for common errors like 404s that provide helpful info demonstrates security mindfulness.

Strong Metadata Practices

Accurate page titles, meta descriptions, alt text, and structured data provide quality signals that match security-conscious websites. So while SEO professionals aren’t security experts, following general best practices contributes to a more secure and productive website. If you've been "Unbanned From Skout," it's important to ensure that your website's SEO practices align with these security-conscious principles.

How Quickly Can Poor Security Impact Seo?

The effects of neglected security on SEO can manifest very rapidly. A single incident like being hacked and flagged as malicious can immediately plummet rankings. Ongoing issues like slow page loads more gradually undermine performance over time.

Is Website Security A Google Ranking Factor?

Google has explicitly stated that website security is a ranking factor. HTTPS migration, eliminating hacks, combating malware, and other security best practices all contribute positively to rankings.

Can Enhancing Security Lower Alexa Or Semrush Rank?

In a few cases, yes - for example, migrating HTTP pages to HTTPS causes them to be seen as separate URLs, temporarily lowering metrics like domain authority until the HTTPS pages are re-crawled. But long-term this change boosts authority.


Effective website security is clearly correlated with achieving high search rankings and organic traffic. By implementing protections like HTTPS, regular malware scanning, prompt software updates, and other measures, you protect your business while improving SEO capabilities. Focus your security efforts on fixes that optimize speed and credibility, which doubly benefit search performance. Keep threats away while bringing in more high-quality visitors through strong security.

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