In our previous blog post, we busted some myths regarding the negative impact of CDNs on SEO. This time, I’m going to cover a few important SEO benefits of using Cloud based website security and CDN services:
Improved Site Speed
Today, site load speed is an important SEO factor, mainly because it affects the user experience (UX). To understand just how important it is, you can watch the Caffeine update interview with Matt Cutts (see below) or just look at all of the different tools Google provides for measuring and improving site speed, from data in Google Analytics, to benchmark options in WebMaster tools andPageSpeed tools and more.
Having said all that, improving site speed can be tedious and the rewards are almost never that great. Usually it comes down to on-site optimization tricks, like combining JS files, compressing image files and etc. Yes, this will yield some results but nothing compared to what you get just by get on a Cloud CDN service.
For example, here at Incapsula we see a double (and event triple) digit site speed improvement among the websites using our service. This improvement is achieved not only by CDN content Caching and Geo Distribution capabilities, but also by clever uses of existing assets. Namely, we will automatically Minify your source code, GZip your files and even Cache your "Un-Cacheable" dynamically generated content (especially useful for websites with dynamic catalogs, on-site search features and etc). As a result your website will load faster, achieve higher SERP rankings and provide better overall User Experience, thus also improving Bounce and Conversion rates.
Almost 90% Cache content delivered on an E-Commerce site thanks to Incapsula Caching features
Scraping Bots are the most common cause for duplicated content - something that, from a SEO prospective, should be avoided at all cost. These Bots go through your site, copy you texts and publish them under different domain names,sometimes scrambling them in the process. Basically, these Bot are simply stealing your content and if they are smart about it, you probably won`t even know it happened. With Incapsula Bad Bot protection on, these Bots will not even reach your site and your content. Not sure that Content Scraping is a SEO related issue? Well, just listen to Matt as he explains what happens when the same content appears on several different Domains. (Spoiler Alert: is case of same TLD, Google will show just one version)
No Link Spamming
Link Spamming Bots use your site for link building, usually by spamming links in comment section or forum discussions. These links hurt your SEO in a number of ways, mainly by diminishing your site’s Trust and Authority ratings and thus damaging your SERP rankings. These link also lure visitors away from your site and they can be used to hurt them (i.e. Phishing links), thus reflecting negatively on you and your website. If nothing else, they just make your site look bad – weak, undermanaged and unprofessional. All in all, these Bots are just bad news. Fortunately, just like the Scraping Bots, these "pests" will also be blocked by Incapsula before they can reach your site and do it any serious harm. This is what Google has to say on the subject:
The Bottom Line
The success of SEO campaigns will always be measured in relative terms. By its very nature, SEO is all about relativity, as - in order to reach your SEO goals - you don`t have to be perfect, just better than the “other guy” you are trying to beat.
This is why we, the SEOs, must leverage website security services as another tool in ours (already heavy) tool belt. After all, with each passing day more and more sites sign up for security and CDN services and none of us can afford not to be as fast and as protected as the competition.
With its low cost, easy setup, phenomenal promise of speed and protection against the Bad Bots, modern Cloud CDN is a "must have" for most, if not all, SEO professionals.
Igal Zeifman, Incapsula's Community Manager (and SEO veteran)