Is your website hosting secure?
You may be all over your SEO in terms of quality link building etc but is your hosting looking after your reputation?
A lot of webmasters have reported their sites having been attacked and injected with malware, this is a bigger problem than one might initially thing. Not only because you are putting any user at risk who views your website. But even more importantly your reputation and rankings with Google.
A recent example of this was when a good client of ours had their site attacked. Through no fault of their own and in fact just bad luck. An old version of wordpress which had a vulnerability allowed the hacker to add some malicious script in to the .htaccess file. This then ran commands to create links within pages and even allow them to create hidden folders.
First signs that your site is being penalised for malware
Have your rankings recently dropped, even though you know it’s not down to dodgy back link building?
Then the obvious signs your site has been infected with Malware
‘This site may harm your computer’ – is a pretty clear sign that your site is infected. This by the way is what your site users will see if they try and view your website content.
Eventually if this is not fixed your pages will be removed from the index, after dropping off the top 100 results.
So if it’s not Google Penguin up to his old tricks, then maybe it’s your website hosting that’s letting you down.
More and more research is showing us that reliable hosting plays a big part in SEO success.
One of our Ebay Partner Network sites recently had a fault with a WP plugin we added (we’ve all been there) – Google saw this happen 3 times in 30 days and all of a sudden didn’t want to show us in the results as it had been for 18 months.
So again the simple logic applies: Fix, Optimize for performance and update sitemap in webmaster tools.
Bot crawls will return to as they once were very quickly, just a week or two depending on your domain authority and rankings will get back to normal.
I don’t think enough importance is put on reliable, fast, secure website hosting. But think about it, it’s the foundation of your website, SEO, everything. If that’s a bit rocky and unreliable then why should anyone (namely the Google gods) present you to it’s users as a priority?
Tom Peary is the director of SEO21 Ltd. Offering SEO, Website Design, Digital Marketing, Google Places Optimisation, Guest Blogging, Copywriting and Link Building Services.