Not much this week as we’re still unwinding from the holidays. However, we did find a few tidbits of interest.
Google: SEO Is One of the Main Reasons Why Sites Are Hacked
This past week, on the Google+ webmaster channel, Google posted that one of the main reasons a website is hacked is because of SEO.
Basically the problem is with backlink spam that can send visitors to malicious websites.
If you find that your site is plagued with SEO spam, get rid of it immediately or you could lose customers.
Here’s what Google wrote:
Search Engine Optimization ‘SEO’ spam is one of the primary reasons that vulnerable websites are targeted by hackers. Some forms of SEO spam can redirect your users to malicious sites and cause you to lose customers.
An early warning sign of this can be from customers trying to access your site. Be sure to pay attention to user feedback, questions, or complaints. Also, sign up for Search Console. If Google detects any malicious redirects, we’ll send you a message in Search Console.
Google: Wix Websites Will Work for SEO
Wix is a web development platform with a poor reputation for SEO. Google says that reputation is unfounded.
Last week, in a Google Webmaster Help thread, John Mueller said that Wix “works fine” with search.
Here’s what he wrote in full:
WIX websites work fine in search. There are a lot of different setups for new websites. I wouldn’t focus too much on a single provider, but rather think about the bigger picture: which will make it easiest for you to maintain your site (adding / changing content)? If you’re getting help from others for your site, is there one that they have experience in, which might make it easier / cheaper? Which one offers the features that you think you’ll need in the mid-term? There are probably a few options that could work for you, so maybe it makes sense to just try some of them out and see which one works best for you — websites are websites for Google :).
Google: Most 404s Aren’t the Webmaster’s Fault
This past week on Twitter, Google’s John Mueller said that most of the 404 errors that Google picks up aren’t the fault of the webmaster. Rather, they’re the fault of people who post the broken link.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) January 3, 2017
The key takeaway from this is that 404s might not hurt your ratings as much as you think they do. Of course, if they’re internal 404s (i.e., links within your own site), you should get those cleaned up as quickly as possible.