SEO and Website Security

Hacked by IndonesiaI've written in my previous post about the biggest Indonesian news site is infected with virus on Sept. 20, 2010 (Read "Situs Okezone Berbahaya"). Press release from Okezone informed that their website had probably been compromised. The attack only lasts for 1 day, but Okezone lost hundreds of thousand visitors.

This incident should make us more aware over the importance of security in web hosting. All this time, SEO experts and webmasters has left web hosting security out of consideration when choosing a hosting provider.

It is understandable, since SEO and website security seems to be two different worlds. SEO experts don't have any idea about exploiting security holes in websites (If they do, then they will be accused as Black Hat), while the so-called hackers have the ability to deface even the most secured website but having hard time to find the login page for Wordpress powered sites. They spend days with their hacking-toolkits turned on and opens a thread in forum just to find the login page. Then someone finally yelled "I found it!", and the whole forum are like "Wow, you're truly a living hacking-God!".

A famous Indonesian hacker once revealed that he had financial problem and decided to hack a bank. According to him, he was able to break through the security system and took control of the bank's server. But then, just right before he started to transfer the money to his account, a vision of people suffering from losing their money comes to his mind and he aborted the mission.

The hacker is the same guy who claims to be responsible for defacing hundreds of Indonesian and Malaysian government and education websites, just to display a black page with some text read "Hacked by blah blah blah".

If you're into SEO, then you know what my point is.

Now imagine all your SEO efforts and hard works goes waste just because one Black Hat SEO guy breaks into your website hosting server and injects a bunch of hidden links or script into your website template. In this scenario, we can be assured to what kind of site these links point to, and what will happened to your site in the SERP.

So, apart from all the cheap prices and unlimited features offered, security system is a high priority when choosing a hosting provider. Always read as many hosting guides as you can and protect your site before any irreversible damaged happened.