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Hacked Websites Suffer Ranking Problems

Not Staying Up to Date on Software Updates Costs You Traffic and Sales

If your website uses WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Dot Net Nuke, Drupal or any other CMS (content management system), then that means there's software running on your website. Most (practically all) websites have software running on them now so this most likely does mean your website. That software must stay up to date. If you don't update it, the chance that your website gets hacked goes up considerably.

Thank about it. A patch comes out for some software. Everyone hears about the patch - including hackers.

Most likely, things worked the other way - hackers found a hole and exploited it and then a patch is released.

Either way, hackers know about holes in software.

Now, this software isn't just running on your computer at your office or home with a dynamic (changing) IP address - no, it's the opposite. The IP is fixed (dedicated) and you put a name on it (your domain name) and you're advertising your domain name. You're telling people to go to where that software is hosted - your website. Your website, running that software, is by no means hidden.

If Your Website Gets Hacked, You Can Lose Ranking and Traffic

It's true - check it out:

Hacked Sites Suffer Long Term Search Ranking Penalties (wordfence.com)

The bad news is that 66% saw search traffic impacted by a hack and 14% saw a traffic drop of over 75%.

[...]

As expected, if your site is hacked and Google notices, you will see a much greater drop in search engine traffic: For people flagged by Google, 66% of them saw a drop in traffic compared to the average of 45%.

[...]

The average time to recover from a hacked site is 7.49 days.

[...]

We determined that the average cost of a hacked website is $2,518.

You need to keep your website's software current. No software is 100% secure. Holes will be found. Keeping up with updates is just a part of owning a website.

How to Protect Your Website

Hostgator hosts thousands, if not millions of websites, so they have seen it all. Here is what they say:

3 Easy Steps that Protect Your Website From Hackers (hostgator.com)

  1. Keep platforms and scripts up-to-date
  2. Install security plugins, when possible
  3. Lock down your directory and file permissions

It's pretty easy - just do regular maintenance.

We Can Help!

We help our clients stay up to date with their websites. We have a website maintenance department that just works on doing this - along with any other work people need done on their websites. They watch for updates to software, plugins/extensions/components and themes. When they come out, we let our clients know.

We now also have our
Website Care program. When you sign up for that program, we check your WordPress website weekly. We update the core software, plugins and themes. This program is popular and it makes keeping up with updates affordable.

If you have another type of website (Joomla, Magento, Drupal or others), then we can help you as well. You'll just use our Maintenance Blocks system instead.

Are You Concerned About SEO?

I can count on one hand the amount of clients we have that are not concerned about SEO and they have some reasons for that. Practically every website owner is concerned about rankings and traffic and conversions (sales, leads, etc.). If you're concerned about SEO, then you need to be very concerned with keeping your website software up to date because the two go hand in hand.

-Tony

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