Companies looking to make the most of search engine optimisation (SEO) should think about the security of their website, according to one expert.

Patricio Robles from Econsultancy said website security can have a "profound" impact on a firm’s search engine rankings.

In a blog post, he explained that if websites are hacked into by cyber criminals, the ramifications in terms of SEO can be painful.

"Even a temporary drop in traffic from search engines can have real consequences and … there’s really no way to control when and how long it will take you to recover," he stated.

Mr Robles said website security should therefore form an important part of a company’s overall SEO strategy.

He advised firms using third-party applications to keep an eye out for new releases and upgrade as soon as security vulnerabilities become known.

Keeping backups of content and data, hiring competent system administrators and making sure developers are "doing the basics" are also important steps to take, he added.

Website security may be particularly relevant to e-commerce firms, as new research from the Office of Fair Trading shows that almost one in three internet users are not shopping online because of fears over security or issues of trust.

News brought to you by ClickThrough – specialists in Search Engine Optimisation and Internet Marketing.

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