Although you probably already know this, if those little search engine “crawlers” or bots detect malware, viruses, spyware or other “nasties” on your website, there is literally no chance that your website will rank highly for your chosen keywords. In fact, your website will likely be blacklisted and removed from the search engine results, never to be found again.
Even though you think you’ll have no problems; after all, you don’t intend to host any kind of unsavory content, so this doesn’t apply to you, right? Just because you plan to have a clean, legitimate site doesn’t mean you won’t be the target of unscrupulous hackers. Regardless of how strong the security of your website is, it can still be violated through hacking, resulting in infections. Understandably, search engines and humans hate these infections – and the unfortunate truth is that your website could be hosting all kinds of malware, viruses or other infections, and you may never know it. Although it appears that everything is running smoothly and you’re working diligently on implementing effective SEO tactics, things may not be going as well as you think.
What can you do to ensure that your website stays in favor with the search engines, and isn’t the source of these internet nasties? It’s obvious that you should check your website out yourself frequently. This can be done by visiting your own site with your anti-virus working, to make sure that nothing is obviously wrong. What you may not know is that you can install a Firefox add-on known as “Web of Trust.” This add-on allows you to learn what is going on with your website (if anything) through your visitors. A ring is displayed near the browser menu; if the ring displays green, it means that your website is safe and free of infections. Orange indicates doubt, so your website could potentially have an infection. Red means “stay away!” This is an easy way to detect if there is a problem with the security of your website.
Spyware, viruses and other infections can really do a number on your website. Others who visit your site may find that their own computer becomes infected, which can lead to sluggish performance, “freezing” up, constant pop-up ads, even the hard drive crashing. It’s easy to understand why search engines would not rank your website highly if these nasties are detected. Google and other search engines want to protect those that surf the web from these risks, and therefore want to keep infected websites out of reach.
When implementing sound SEO practices, it can be easy to get off in the direction of keyword optimization, building links and other tactics that work; however, it can be just as easy to forget about making sure that your website is secure. Put checking your site regularly for malware, viruses and other infections on your “to-do” list. This will help ensure that your website stays in front of your target audience – and not banned from view forever.