GDPR is for the safety and security of consumer data
Many cases in recent years involved major businesses and their improper handling, hacking, or stealing of sensitive consumer information. Case in point: The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal has far-reaching effects that are still being felt today.
While Facebook did not suffer a data breach, the consulting firm Cambridge Analytica improperly collected and exploited the personal information of 87 million users from the Facebook network to influence the 2016 U.S. election and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU).
This and other comparable examples highlight an unexpected issue in the internet age: the improper treatment and protection of the personal data submitted by millions of individuals to hundreds of firms on the Internet.
That’s why General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) arose in Europe. And in this article, we’ll discuss how GDPR affects modern SEO and online advertising. Gear up!
What exactly is GDPR, and why is it vital
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal instrument whose stated goal is to provide individuals of European Union member states more agency over their data by shielding it from the hands of organizations with less than honorable intentions.
All companies, regardless of location, are subject to the GDPR if they handle the personal information of EU citizens. Optimal approaches for complying with GDPR are predicated on having a legally compliant website and using legally compliant SEO optimization strategies.
As a result, it is advisable to consider essential concerns related to SEO conformance right now. Maintaining customer confidence in the security of their personal information is crucial to long-term success. Thus including this into your marketing approach is essential.
Nonetheless, there is no definitive response to the issue of how GDPR will affect SEO. The one unambiguous fact is that making your website GDPR compliant is worthwhile if you do online commerce with EU organizations. TrustArc has shown that just 20% of businesses are now GDPR compliant.
Even if you’re based in the United States, if any of your users are from the European Union (EU), you must comply with GDPR. But now, let’s talk about how this impacts SEO and where you could land in the rankings.
GDPR and RoPAs: what’s the relation?
Article 30 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates that controllers “keep a record of processing operations under its jurisdiction,” covering “all types of processing activities.” This is meant by the term “record of processing operations” (RoPA).
Efficient record-keeping methods and responsibility within a business will yield a legitimate RoPA, and ensuring that these procedures are regularly reviewed and maintained will aid in meeting GDPR requirements. You can learn more about RoPA to maintain better knowledge.
The impact that GDPR has on SEO Strategies in SIX ways…
An SEO agency can have previously encountered barriers when attempting to cross-link sites to increase their crawlability and searchability. This task can have proven difficult for sites intended for demand generation, where the outgoing links were rigorously regulated, but many incoming links already existed.
In light of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the SEO team now has a new tool to direct crawlers away from these valuable pages: a link to the company’s privacy policies. Also, look at these SEO trends in 2022 that you shouldn’t ignore!
- Page load speed increases
Because additional cookie consent pop-ups will need to be used to get users’ approval, page load times can increase. If, for example, your website’s cookie is 5 KB in size and your server processes 100 requests every minute, you’ll have an extra 500 KB of data to handle in that time.
Your page’s speed will naturally suffer, hurting your search engine results. Interruptive cookie prompts are a pain. One thing that you can do is take advantage of these digital marketing trends that will help you out in this aspect!
Having more cookies on your site can lead to a worse experience for your visitors and ultimately kill your search engine optimization efforts. If they immediately leave your site, Google can see frustrated visitors as a red indicator.
- GDPR increases reliability and user trust
Implementing GDPR demonstrates the same level of trustworthiness as the HTTPS protocol. Using HTTPS, which requires an SSL certificate, demonstrates to visitors that their data is being sent over a secure connection.
Almost 60% of brand participants and 40% of service respondents stated their companies had employed or intended to appoint a data security officer. The same thing occurs with proper GDPR implementation.
Pop-ups that explain why, when, and how you want to utilize the user’s data and personal information go a long way toward earning the user’s confidence, which is essential if you want to collect their data.
Many people know that certain websites keep data without their knowledge or permission. They will have greater faith in your organization once they see that you are doing all you can to comply with GDPR.
- SEO and geo-targeting get harder; even mobile marketing is affected
The GDPR extends the definition of personal data to include geolocation and mobile identifiers. Marketers must get consumers’ permission before asking for their geolocation and disclose how the information will be used.
While geotargeting has proven effective for search engine optimization in the past, things will change with the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation. But Google has simplified the process for websites to update their Google Analytics accounts.
In a nutshell, you are going to have to:
- Search for personally identifiable details in your current database (Personally Identifiable Information)
- Create clearly explained options for opting in and out
- Enable the function that hides your IP address
- Examine the anonymized names and numbers you already have
- Your Privacy Statement needs to be updated to meet the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements
Users will get a warning when they enable location services in Google Maps. To enhance location precision and location-based services, Google can sometimes gather and utilize location information anonymously.
Because consumers are not publicly told about their information being utilized for marketing which leverages geographic location to attract consumers, this can be seen as not being a visible enough means of asking for permission from the perspective of the GDPR.
Google, meanwhile, has revealed the availability of technological tools under its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, which will assist search advertisers in complying with GDPR standards.
- Traffic blocking and redirection
It is no longer practical to block and reroute EU traffic that complies with GDPR since doing so can affect your B2B SEO strategy, which can then result in several unfavorable outcomes for your business, including the following:
- Backlinks losses
- Your position in the EU rankings will fall
- A drop in the number of patrons
The most effective strategy to sidestep this issue is to modify all of the content and the website itself so that it complies with the GDPR regulations in the manner previously described.
- The data protection officer will now supervise marketing professionals
Suppose they want to ensure their customers’ privacy and the safety of their websites. In that case, businesses must hire a “Data Protection Officer,” a new position created by the General Data Protection Regulation. There were a minimum of 1,765 breaches in 2018, according to the Breach Level Index report.
One of the most well-known cases is Equifax. Even before the General Data Protection Regulation came into effect, firms (especially those that often deal with sensitive data) were required to hire a security specialist or even create an internal security detail.
Article 39 of the General Data Protection Regulation outlines the duties of the Data Protection Officer, which include serving as an information security specialist, crisis management, and the organization’s public face.
A DPO’s primary function is to liaise between an organization’s data controllers and the relevant supervisory body.
In addition to conducting normal security inspections, professionals are tasked with increasing the overall understanding of the compliance standards and teaching employees how to meet those needs best.
The bottom line: Now is the time to adapt!
Because of its potentially severe penalties and wide scope, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a concern for all online enterprises. The most effective strategy for ensuring your company’s financial stability is to take preventative measures.
Owners of smaller businesses can feel overwhelmed by the issue’s intricacy. And keep in mind that you can rely on others and not take on the world by yourself. If you have any questions concerning GDPR and RoPAs, please comment below. We will gladly answer!