While many people are aware of the security risks associated with allowing their website software to run out-of-date, there is still an idea that these security risks do not immediately impact a website’s success until there is a security breach, something that may never actually happen. This line of thought can lead site owners to see a greater cost in software updating than in the incremental loss of standing in the numbers game that governs the likelihood of a security breach. While the wisdom of this is questionable at best, it is not a wholly unreasonable gamble. There is, however, a significant immediate downside to gambling like this: major search engines such as Google will penalize your site for the lack of security that your site can guarantee to its users.

Much of a search engine’s long term user retention is based off of their users not having any remarkably bad experiences while browsing the internet. This is why browsers now warn users of suspicious sites and accommodate search filters built by anti-virus and anti-malware services. It is also why they will steer users away from sites that are less secure by moving those sites further down in the search rankings. If that doesn’t seem like a problem, remember that 92% of all searches navigate to a site on the first page of results. (http://chitika.com/google-positioning-value) A site with a low security value assessment by Google with otherwise very good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in place might still appear several search pages back, thus keeping the majority of users from ever visiting that site.

A website owner who is running a website built on unsupported technology might receive such a notice as this:

Before this notice, this site had been on the first Google search results page for relevant keywords. This screenshot was taken shortly after it dropped to page 14, effectively killing all traffic to the site.

Unless you are anticipating your users using Netscape or some other outdated browser without a search engine, or if you are building a site for yourself that you don’t want other people to see, it would be extremely recommendable to keep your core technology fully up-to-date. It is not only a security imperative, but, immediately, an SEO imperative that you do so. If you are unsure what version your website is or if you are running a CMS, please call K2websitedesign.com at 1 (888) 292-6018. We will be happy to answer any questions over the phone free of charge.