WordPress Security Trends 2024: Insights from WPScan and Their Impact on SEO

Website Security Technical SEO

Security is not a function of SEO but monthly technical SEO helps secure a WordPress site. SEO focuses on improving a website’s ranking in search results, while security is all about protecting the website and its users from cyber threats. The WPScan 2024 report offers valuable insights into the current WordPress threat landscape.

Key highlights from the WPScan Report and why they are crucial for enhancing your site’s SEO:

  • Password Security and BAC Vulnerabilities: According to the report, a staggering 84.99% of reported issues stem from Broken Access Control (BAC) vulnerabilities. Such vulnerabilities not only jeopardize user data and website functionality but also pose a significant threat to SEO. Hackers exploiting these vulnerabilities can inject malicious code or initiate spammy redirects, which can lead to search engine penalties and a decline in rankings. Upholding strong password practices and implementing robust user access controls are imperative steps to mitigate these risks.
  • Impact on User Experience (UX): A secure website fosters trust among visitors, thereby enhancing user experience—an aspect that search engines consider when ranking websites. Conversely, a compromised site laden with malware or suspicious redirects can severely tarnish user experience, consequently affecting SEO rankings negatively.
  • Severity of Vulnerabilities: While high-level threats are concerning, the report reveals that the majority of vulnerabilities fall under the “medium” severity category (67%). Although not as catastrophic, these vulnerabilities demand consistent security measures to prevent potential exploits and safeguard SEO efforts.
  • Persistent Plugin Vulnerabilities: Outdated or poorly coded plugins remain a prevalent vulnerability, emphasizing the importance of regularly updating plugins from reputable sources. Additionally, removing inactive plugins can minimize the attack surface, fortifying your site’s security and bolstering its SEO performance.

Understanding How Security Enhances SEO:

While security and SEO serve distinct purposes, they share a symbiotic relationship that warrants attention. While SEO primarily focuses on optimizing website visibility and ranking on search engines, security safeguards the website and its users from cyber threats. Incorporating security measures such as strong passwords, regular updates, and access controls not only fortifies the website but also enhances its appeal to search engines.

Regular technical SEO audits indirectly contribute to website security by:

  • Identifying and rectifying crawl errors that may stem from security issues.
  • Prompting updates for outdated software, including plugins and themes, to patch known vulnerabilities.
  • Addressing indexing issues caused by security measures inadvertently blocking search engine crawlers.

In essence, prioritizing security not only fortifies your website against cyber threats but also elevates its SEO performance, ultimately contributing to its overall success.

The Takeaway: Security is Technical SEO

The insights gleaned from the WPScan report underscore the importance of prioritizing security measures like regular updates, strong passwords, and access control. By integrating these practices, you not only safeguard your website but also bolster its SEO standing, positioning it favorably in the competitive digital landscape. Remember, security is an ongoing endeavor—one that directly influences your website’s SEO prowess and long-term success.

Read the WPScan Report

Contact us to implement an SEO strategy that will keep an eye on the security of your WordPress site.