Eric Kuan, Webmaster Relations Specialist at Google, joined #SEJLive this week, giving advice on the steps to take to secure your website. Eric also shared online tools and resources to keep track of website security issues, and shed light on what the future holds for SEO. Below is Eric’s live session and the main takeaways from his discussion.
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Eric answered questions from the SEJ community on website security and manual actions. He appeared live on our Facebook page and I highly recommend watching the full video:
Key Insights From Eric on Website Security and Manual Actions
1. A lot of future technologies will rely on HTTPS.
According to Eric, HTTPS provides security and data integrity for your website and users. HTTPS encrypts information passed on between your website and your users’ browsers. So if you’re thinking of making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS, now would be the perfect time to do it. Google has been making the push towards HTTPS, from making it a ranking signal to the recent announcement of Chrome requiring HTTPS for secure data.
2. Make sure you’re updated as soon as possible when your CMS, e-commerce shopping carts, platforms, and plugins announce their latest releases.
Other tips from Eric on securing your website include:
- Follow and keep up with your plugins so you’re alerted when they become unsupported or when a security exploit happens. In that case, you need to either update the plugin or remove it.
- Use two-factor authentication to secure any accounts you have in the long-term.
- Have contingency plans in place.
- Don’t use pirated software because it exposes vulnerabilities in your site.
- Test your site regularly. You can use site scanners that can do mock attacks on your site to see if your site holds up.
3. Keep up with blogs and news cycles because they can surface things that you never thought were possible for a site.
Eric also adds that having that knowledge allows you to understand the complexity of website hacking. So if you’re thinking of securing your site or if you’re thinking of hiring someone else to secure your site, you can better understand what different types of vulnerabilities are out there.
Eric also shared online resources and tools you can use to find out the latest in web security issues:
4. Follow Google Webmaster guidelines to avoid manual actions on your site.
Eric defines a manual action as an adjustment of your site if it’s trying to manipulate rankings in search. He notes that you shouldn’t expect to be ranking where you previously were after getting a manual action applied. It’s all about intent and doing things the right way. Try to create a great organic site with great content. Do user research and apply it to your site to improve it.
5. For Google, the future of SEO will always involve making things better for the user.
Eric says that Google’s purpose is to serve the best content for its users. The best websites are easy to use and provide information in a proper and efficient manner. If you build a website that follows these guidelines, then it will be something that Google will want to serve to users.
Mobile speed is also important. People should have the best experience using websites on mobile. It’s not just about having a mobile site. It’s about having a great mobile site.
See More of Eric at SEJ Summit
Catch Eric as one of our speakers at the SEJ Summit 2017 in Chicago! He’ll be talking about what Google is seeing in hacking trends, what HTTPS does (and doesn’t do), and how to best address a hacked site. Eric will also discuss manual actions: how they work, how to avoid them, and what to do when you’ve had one applied to your site. Register now to reserve your slot and come join us. We can’t wait to see you there!
Featured image made by author on Canva, using Facebook Live event cover photo
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