SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 39
  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Does Using CloudFlare Have Any Impact on SEO

    Hi, first post. This looks like a very informative forum, so I was happy to join.

    I am contemplating using the Cloudflare Content Delivery Network because I have a world information site with traffic coming 60% Asia and 40% US. Unfortunately, according to Analytics an Asian user is waiting 45-60 seconds for many pages to load. My dedicated server is in Orlando, FL, so letting Cloudflare cache static content on their Asian servers would probably do a lot to improve load time for Asian users.

    Nevertheless, I wanted to post this question to other webmasters who might have used Cloudflare to get their feedback as to whether or not using the CDN has in any way negatively affected with position in the Google SERPs --- hopefully from someone who has been using Cloudflare for 6 months or more.

    Personally, I cannot think of a single reason to believe it would have any affect whatsoever, but I did want to field the question for any input you might have in this regard.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by WCI2012 View Post
    Hi, first post. This looks like a very informative forum, so I was happy to join.

    I am contemplating using the Cloudflare Content Delivery Network because I have a world information site with traffic coming 60% Asia and 40% US. Unfortunately, according to Analytics an Asian user is waiting 45-60 seconds for many pages to load. My dedicated server is in Orlando, FL, so letting Cloudflare cache static content on their Asian servers would probably do a lot to improve load time for Asian users.
    We have a blog post about CloudFlare and SEO that covers many areas of concern. We should actually help your SEO (relative to speed) & not harm it. Some other quick tips that will help if you signup.
    Last edited by TechnoBear; Jul 3, 2012 at 12:31. Reason: Fixed quote to indicate reply.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's late, but I will definitely have a few more questions if you don't mind.

    Right now I just wanted to thank you for the reply. I had not seen the SEO article, and, frankly, as I mentioned I can't see why CloudFlare would affect anything in regards to SERPs or traffic. I am, however, going to continue looking for people who have actually used it 6 months or more and probably test it on a couple of lower traffic sites first.

    It's great to know you are here and willing to answer questions.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I did have one question about your Certified Partners program. I set up a test bed on MediaTemple, which has these integration features. I am, however, perfectly happy with my current provider, HostDime. They have made me a couple of extremely good offers for dedicated server upgrades. Would Cloudflare work as well with Hostdime if recommended technical tweaks were performed. I'm sure their support team would be willing to work with me on that score.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by WCI2012 View Post
    I did have one question about your Certified Partners program. I set up a test bed on MediaTemple, which has these integration features. I am, however, perfectly happy with my current provider, HostDime. They have made me a couple of extremely good offers for dedicated server upgrades. Would Cloudflare work as well with Hostdime if recommended technical tweaks were performed. I'm sure their support team would be willing to work with me on that score.
    Sure should work as well (don't know which panel option they are using right now). If cPanel, then they could look at becoming a CloudFlare partner. We're working for support on other panel options as we speak

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "It's great to know you are here and willing to answer questions."

    I do my best. I don't know everything...but can generally get the answer you need with a little digging.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    yes its definitely impact your SEO.
    because site load speed is affect your SEO ranking.
    if you use cloudFlare your site will load much faster than normally.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by utavaliyo View Post
    yes its definitely impact your SEO.
    because site load speed is affect your SEO ranking.
    if you use cloudFlare your site will load much faster than normally.
    Yes, as this page from Webmaster tools shows page load time is now a new signal for used in determining a site's ranking in organic results: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogsp...h-ranking.html.
    Hence, an entire section now about page speed on their Developer's Help site: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/. Yet no where in these materials does Google recommend a CDN, which I fine odd, since there is no doubt now in my mind that it works. Over the past two weeks I've gone back to Pingdom.com at least 100 times and verified that with Cloudflare on page load time improves by 33-50%. I certainly have no doubts about the effectiveness of Cloudflare. But changing my DNS and using a reverse proxy... I'd just like to talk to a couple of webmasters who have been around the track and give me some feedback on the SEO effects, if any, before I implement the solution.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I went ahead and activated Cloudflare today at noon, and, as expected, page load time for the first 20 samples used by Analytics to calculated total page load time went from 17 seconds to 4 seconds. Pretty amazing. I've decided to take a chance on Cloudflare and see how this goes in regards to SEO. I think it will be fine since I've spent the past two days looking for everything negative about the service I could find in blogs and forums. Surprisingly, there is very little discussion of Cloudflare and SEO impact, just a couple of other webmasters asking for input as I have here.

    I've put it on the calendar to report back here in 30 days.

    Thanks for all the input.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member Igal Zeifman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi
    Using Cloud CDN (CF or others) has no negative SEO related effects.
    <snip/>

    Also the IP related issue was raised (and answered) in this Google Product forum.
    http://productforums.google.com/foru...rs/ZdGscithpOw

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Mittineague; Aug 15, 2013 at 18:59.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, we are going to see.

    One thing I find rather creepy is that its quite apparent that CF and apparently Incapsula have PR teams that are scanning the SERPS for new forum posts that dare even question the SEO implications, then show up like some kind Orwellian Truth Squad to keep reminding us that Google is now using page load time as a new signal and that, therefore, CF or Incapsula has to help. I've seen it implied that Google recommends using a CDN. If there are any such recommendations in their webmaster guidelines, I would love to read those entries. Your blog post features a well known video by Matt Cutts, but he is not addressing the issue of using CDNs in this video.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    However...

    I want to balance my skepticism with some impressive proof that using a CDN can cause some eye-popping speed improvements.

    Using this tool, http://loads.in/#, which is powered by Watchmouse, I just got a 3.7 load time from Mumbai and a little better using the Bangalore server. I was getting some incredibly long delays for any server in Asia just a few days ago --- meaning load times as long as 30+ seconds.

    That kind of speed improvement should increase pages views and pages per visit. I will report back on those metrics once the service has been running a couple of weeks.

    So, despite my minor misgivings, this is looking very good indeed.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member Igal Zeifman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by WCI2012 View Post
    Well, we are going to see.

    One thing I find rather creepy is that its quite apparent that CF and apparently Incapsula have PR teams that are scanning the SERPS for new forum posts that dare even question the SEO implications, then show up like some kind Orwellian Truth Squad to keep reminding us that Google is now using page load time as a new signal and that, therefore, CF or Incapsula has to help. I've seen it implied that Google recommends using a CDN. If there are any such recommendations in their webmaster guidelines, I would love to read those entries. Your blog post features a well known video by Matt Cutts, but he is not addressing the issue of using CDNs in this video.
    Hi WCI2012

    Pretty sinister description

    Truth is that there are no "covert PR ninja teams". (tho sometimes I wish they were)

    I actually stumbled upon this thread by chance, while Googling for "CDN SEO" discussions after writing a 2-part Blog post on the subject.
    Before I started working for Incapsula, I was an SEO expert, spent 4 years as SEO/SEM department manager and later on worked as Senior SEO Adviser for several large international firms.
    For this reason, talking about CDN & SEO seemed like a logical thing to do.

    In my post I quote Google employee saying "We don`t treat CDNs any diffidently" - I don't think that implies that Google "recommends" using a CDN, just that it has no issue with that.
    Having said that, I do feel that (as a rule) using a manually white-listed IP is better than not using one as, for the white-listed IP, the Trust level will be much higher.

    As for the Matt Cutts videos, I`m sorry but I do think they are relevant as they both deal with IP related SEO myths.
    True, Matt does not talk about CDN specifically but, as I`ve already mentioned, Google has no special "CDN rules".
    So, everything Matt says there also applies to IP related concerns of Cloud CDN users.

    Best Regards,
    Igal.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Igal, if you will Google Cloudflare SEO I believe you will see that someone from Cloudflare is johhny on the spot in replying to the poster who raises the question. These replies always come from someone who only has a few posts, which is a pretty good indication they came to the forum to address that issue in a positive light. I don't believe I indicated it was covert, just a bit creepy. Your qualifications are excellent, and I welcome your input. But I'm sure you will agree that the web world is full of people who write articles about SEO, and I'm sure you'll agree a lot of it is good stuff, and a lot of it is spin to get you to buy/do something to your site, so caveat emptor when it comes to SEO advice.

    I've spent more time pouring over the Google webmaster and developer help files, and you are correct. Google does not recommend CDNs per se, but it references them so often that it's pretty clear that is certainly no bias against them. So that's a big plus, and I can attest that for anyone concerned about improving performance in Asia from a US server, or performance even in the US, there is no question that Cloudflare has made some dramatic improvements (see my previous post).

    Since you refer to "whitelisting", might I ask a question. I'm not sure what you mean by using "a manually white-listed IP". Is this something that requires action on my part?

  15. #15
    SitePoint Member Igal Zeifman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi again

    First of all I must clarify, I`m not from CF.
    I work in Incapsula and we provide similar CDN acceleration and security services.
    As to their forum activity - I think they just use a Google Alerts (or some other monitoring tool) to keep up with Brand name mentions.

    Having said all that, I'm glad to hear about you positive experience with CF Cloud CDN. As I`ve said in my blog post it's still a new technology, and it just now starting to receive wide acceptance.

    To answer your question, "white-listing" is something that occurs on a company level. It's a process in which a provider regularly submit IP ranges to be checked and verified by Google (this is the "manual" part of it).
    This is an extra verification process and, in my opinion, it has a positive effect on Trust related scores.
    As an end-user, you don't need to do nothing - just sit back and enjoy the ride

    This is how we do it in Incapsula. I'm pretty sure this is also true for CF.

    Best,
    Igal.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Preston, Lancashire
    Posts
    1,378
    Mentioned
    72 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    CloudFlare might hurt your SEO. At times cloud flare gets overloaded which means that the site goes offline. Not sure on the implications of this, depending on the error page returned.

    Now with certain users from countries taking longer to load, might have to do with their internet connection speeds as well as the location. 40s sounds an awefully long time to load a web page, I would not imagine that would be faster than 512kb connection (just it illustrate I got a 30mb/s connection).

    I use Cloud Flare but I use it to enhance the security, not really overly concern myself on the search engine optimization factors. However, if the error page is setup correctly, it won't negatively affect your ranking.
    follow me on ayyelo, Easy WordPress; specializing in setting up themes!

  17. #17
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by WCI2012 View Post
    Well, we are going to see.

    One thing I find rather creepy is that its quite apparent that CF and apparently Incapsula have PR teams that are scanning the SERPS for new forum posts that dare even question the SEO implications, then show up like some kind Orwellian Truth Squad to keep reminding us that Google is now using page load time as a new signal and that, therefore, CF or Incapsula has to help. I've seen it implied that Google recommends using a CDN. If there are any such recommendations in their webmaster guidelines, I would love to read those entries. Your blog post features a well known video by Matt Cutts, but he is not addressing the issue of using CDNs in this video.
    Sorry you find this creepy. I really am just trying to address issues relative to our service only. I do not address issues only relative to posts on this particular topic matter at all.

    In addition, while Google does indeed factor site speed into the equation, the honest answer is that it is not going to be the only factor in Google's Ranking Algorithms (nobody, save Google, actually knows what is going on entirely here & how they apply weight).

    "If there are any such recommendations in their webmaster guidelines, I would love to read those entries. "
    The Google Blog gives recommendations about improving site speed. Almost every site referenced as a resource recommends using a CDN (Webpagetest.org, etc.) to help with caching static content and the like.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    CloudFlare might hurt your SEO. At times cloud flare gets overloaded which means that the site goes offline. Not sure on the implications of this, depending on the error page returned.

    Now with certain users from countries taking longer to load, might have to do with their internet connection speeds as well as the location. 40s sounds an awefully long time to load a web page, I would not imagine that would be faster than 512kb connection (just it illustrate I got a 30mb/s connection).

    I use Cloud Flare but I use it to enhance the security, not really overly concern myself on the search engine optimization factors. However, if the error page is setup correctly, it won't negatively affect your ranking.
    Generic site offline error messages (site unavailable) have nothing to do with us being overloaded. The site offline message is going to appear in two circumstances:

    1. The site is actually having server issues and we can't connect.
    2. Requests from CloudFlare's IPs are being blocked/restricted by rules on your server (.htacess, firewall, etc.) or your host is limiting connections. Please make sure our IPs are whitelisted.

    Note: ISP issues or upstream provider issues can also cause this...but it is not the cause of 99% of the cases we see.

    "Now with certain users from countries taking longer to load, might have to do with their internet connection speeds as well as the location. 40s sounds an awefully long time to load a web page, I would not imagine that would be faster than 512kb connection (just it illustrate I got a 30mb/s connectio"

    Yes, this is true. In CloudFlare's cases, for example, we don't have any POPs in places like Africa or Australia, so some latency will get added until we do (working on Australia as we speak).

  19. #19
    SitePoint Member Igal Zeifman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    CloudFlare might hurt your SEO. At times cloud flare gets overloaded which means that the site goes offline. Not sure on the implications of this, depending on the error page returned.
    Sega you`ve raised a good point.

    Uptime is a proven SEO factor.

    Here is a related quote from Google Webmaster Central blog:
    "Once in a while we get asked whether a site’s visibility in Google’s search results can be impacted in a negative way if it’s unavailable when Googlebot tries to crawl it. Sometimes downtime is unavoidable: a webmaster might decide to take a site down due to ongoing site maintenance, or legal or cultural requirements. Outages that are not clearly marked as such can negatively affect a site’s reputation."

    (Full post can be found here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogsp...-downtime.html)

    BTW: for uptime monitoring I would suggest using Site24x7.com.

    In addition, while Google does indeed factor site speed into the equation, the honest answer is that it is not going to be the only factor in Google's Ranking Algorithms (nobody, save Google, actually knows what is going on entirely here & how they apply weight).
    Agreed but, in this specific case, there is an official Google comment that states:
    "While site speed is a new signal, it doesn't carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal"
    (Full post can be found here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogsp...h-ranking.html)

    This correlates perfectly to my professional experience.
    Site speed is important, but only to some extend as its just one of 200+ SEO factors.

    Site architecture (URL structure, canonicalization and etc), Content and Inbound links (in that order) are the real keys to success.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "Uptime is a proven SEO factor. "

    Yes, it is. But issues relative to SERPs changing and the like from site downtime are generally temporary issues from what I have seen, unless the site is experiencing extended downtime .

    "In addition, while Google does indeed factor site speed into the equation, the honest answer is that it is not going to be the only factor in Google's Ranking Algorithms (nobody, save Google, actually knows what is going on entirely here & how they apply weight)."
    Only Google knows specifically what is important relative to how they rank any particular site for XYZ.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't think that it has any negative SEO effects, in fact I've heard that it can actually help you. I find it something useful to ad if you can afford it. Thanks for making the thread, and best of luck.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Zealot nacworld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    TEXAS
    Posts
    107
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well Google Robots will still load the site very fast so it will not have a positive impact on SEO but it can help visitors to load faster and engagement can increase.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Preston, Lancashire
    Posts
    1,378
    Mentioned
    72 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I guess we have to see which is more important. Speed or uptime for SEO. I think uptime is more important, speed is also a good factor, but uptime does weighs for search engines far more than speed, depending is very very slow

    In either case I still use CloudFlare, it's great and the tools it comes with are unbeatable! Let's just hope they get less downtime. I have witnesses a few websites with this error message on and it's not pretty.
    follow me on ayyelo, Easy WordPress; specializing in setting up themes!

  24. #24
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    I guess we have to see which is more important. Speed or uptime for SEO. I think uptime is more important, speed is also a good factor, but uptime does weighs for search engines far more than speed, depending is very very slow

    In either case I still use CloudFlare, it's great and the tools it comes with are unbeatable! Let's just hope they get less downtime. I have witnesses a few websites with this error message on and it's not pretty.
    Hi,

    There are two real causes of the site offline message:
    1. The server is actually having issues for the site.
    2. Something is blocking requests from our IPs at the host or server level. Site owners should make sure that they don't have server rules (.htacess, firewall, etc.) blocking requests from our IPs. Troubleshooting site offline issues.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cameronpalte View Post
    I don't think that it has any negative SEO effects, in fact I've heard that it can actually help you. I find it something useful to ad if you can afford it. Thanks for making the thread, and best of luck.
    CloudFlare actually starts at free (we do have optional paid plans for sites that need more advanced features).


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •