1) Go for a CDN Service that uses SSD
This tip is for those who are not worried about spending some extra bucks to improve their CDN SEO. Not every CDN service uses Solid-state Hard Drives (SSD) for file management. The reason is that SSDs are more expensive than traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD).
The way SSD help improve CDN SEO is pretty straightforward. SSD is reliable and up to 30% faster than HDD. Now, what does that mean when it comes to SEO? You can expect zero File Fragmentation, which is common in HDD.
HDDs are slower in accessing files when the parts of files are scattered in different locations. However, SSDs are designed to access non-contiguous memory locations.
Today, we have CDNs that offer both HDD and SSD storage options. Opting for SSD storage means quick access to files.
2) Pay Attention to Naming Resources
This tip is not restricted to CDN but applies to any server naming convention. A logical organization of files is essential for CDNs to identify and retrieve items in time.
Consistency, logic, and descriptiveness can make file management and retrieval a lot easier for CDN.
Give short names to your files and folders and avoid repeating words. Naming records with generic terms such as video and image will make retrieval a challenging task.
You can capitalize the first letter of each word for traceability. Avoid using non-alphanumeric characters such as exclamation marks, dollar symbols, etc. Use underscores and dashes to differentiate between words.
3) Use Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools
Verifying your CDN subdomain on webmaster tools such as Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools is vital for your CDN SEO.
The verification will help you have optimum control over your geographical targets. To understand the importance of geo-targeting, you need to understand how CDNs work.
CDN stores the cached version of your content across many geographical locations to reduce the distance between users and servers.
Since search engines give preference to locally hosted websites, you must use geo-targeting.
It is search engines’ nature to target locations based on your CDN service provider’s IP address. However, as a business, you may not want to target locations across the globe. Hence, this step becomes crucial.
4) Use Own Subdomain
This is a recommendation given by SEO experts such as SEMRush. Setting up CDN to a subdomain gives you more authority and prevents ranking drop. Doing so will keep the service proprietary to you.
Though most CDN service providers allow having the service exist on your subdomain, some do not. So check with your CDN company before signing up for their services.
Setting up CDN using your sub-domain will increase domain authority. If not, it will help maintain your domain authority. This happens since the custom URL will help point your assets towards your subdomain.
A custom CDN URL also translates into more brand awareness, which is crucial for SEO. Another benefit of using a custom CDN URL is the ease of viewing Indexed Images Data in Google using a sitemap.
5) Minimize Code & Byte Size
This tip will help you deliver content to your users even faster. There are three essential techniques involved in this task. First on the list is Text Compression with GZIP.
GZIP is a data compression program used by online giants such as Google and Yahoo. Though enabling GZIP is as easy as flicking a switch, with some CDNs, you need to sweat a little.
The way GZIP compresses files is smart. It remembers the content that it saw before and replaces duplicate data fragments.
As a result, it can compress files up to 88%.
Another technique you can use is Minification. This process involves careful elimination of unwanted characters from CSS files and scripts without disturbing the functionality.
Minification is akin to compression but reduces the content loading time. Bundling is the third technique you can use to combine multiple files into one.
6) Consistency Matters
Computers are dumb. You need to set everything right for them to function correctly. Even a tiny mistake can cost a fortune. Inconsistency in naming files is one such mistake you may make.
Your CDN service provider tends to rename the file paths and even change the entire folder structure. If a naming convention is not strictly being followed, this irregularity will result in 404 errors.
In short, the naming convention you practice should continue even after signing up for a CDN service.
Say, for example, your CDN service provider renames www.mydomain.com/assets/video1.mp4 as cdn.mydomain.com/assets/video001.mp4.
Now, search engines will see the new link as a completely new URL. This may badly hurt your traffic as your earlier link will lose all the traffic it has been experiencing so far.
6 CDNs Suitable For Your Blog
1) Cloudflare CDN
Cloudflare has a proprietary plugin which they call Cloudfare’s Automatic Platform Optimization (APO). The CDN service provider claims that sites can become up to 300% faster. One user claims that the TTFB (Time to First Byte) was reduced by 72% after using Cloudflare.
The company claims that it saw a 23% reduction (in time) to First Contentful Paint (FCP). FCP is a page speed metric that measures the time from navigation to when your browser displays the first element of the content.
The proprietary APO is free of hosting congestion, misbehaving plugins, and slow database lookups, Cloudflare says. Their plan starts at $5 per month.
Where Cloudflare stands out is in Web Application Firewall (WAF).
Cloudflare says the WAF has built-in rulesets to mitigate the threats and vulnerabilities to WordPress.
Bunny.net offers a free 14-day trial. With 59+ PoPs, Bunny.net claims to have achieved a 92% cache hit rate. The service provider has more than 16,000 customers across the globe.
Some of the renowned companies that use Bunny.net are Hyundai, AppSumo, Floatplane, and Screen9.
Bunny.net differentiates itself from the crowd by using NVMe and SSD technology. We have already discussed how opting for a CDN provider who uses SSD technology can help you achieve a performance boost of up to 30%.
Configuring your site with Bunny.net is effortless using their WordPress plugin. Just give the plugin your Pull Zone, and it will replace your static content links with CDN links. The plugin will also configure HTTPS automatically.
3) Amazon Cloudfront
Amazon’s Cloudfront network has data centers dotting across the world. The giant has more than 225 PoPs connected to its AWS Global Cloud Infrastructure.
Amazon claims that it can deliver ultra-low latency performance using its 100 Gigabit Ethernet metro fiber network. Their cables snake across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans and through the Mediterranean, Red Sea, and South China Seas.
Amazon says that its CDN provides application-level protection. Your resources are defended by default by AWS Shield Standard against common issues such as DDoS attacks, Amazon says.
CloudFront also claims to have security compliance certifications, including ISO/IEC, SOC 1/2/3, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and FedRAMP Moderate.
With the claimed HIT ratio of 92%, KeyCDN offers its services in six continents.
KeyCDN has a 100% SSD coverage and relies on IP anycast and their in-house latency-based routing technology for a performance boost.
It gives all their users access to features such as HTTP/2, TLS, and Brotli.
GoDaddy, Sennheiser, and Intel are some of the companies that use KeyCDN’s services, the company claims.
The company gives you flexible plans with plans starting at as low as $4. You can estimate your operating cost for every zone on their pricing page.
5) CDN 77
CDN77 handles a daily traffic of 175 PB using their 70 Tbps+ Network spread across six continents.
The company has data centers in Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
CDN77 says it analyzes 60,000+ netflows each second and connects the users to endpoints with the lowest latency.
It also monitors more than 1,50,000 SRC/DST IP addresses in real-time to ensure that the quality of connections is on point.
CDN77 offers six security features — TLS 1.3, Secure Tokens & Signed URL, SSL certificates, Origin & Hotlink protection, IP & Geo Allowlisting / Blocklisting, SmartWAF — to all connections.
Concerning the protection, it safeguards your resources from six attacks, including UDP Flood, DNS Amplification, and SYN Flood.
Sucuri claims to speed up your website by 70% on average by caching site content automatically. They provide multiple caching options using their Anycast network’s proprietary technology.
Sucuri says their Anycast network has 10 SuperPoPs, aka ISP access points, in the USA, Asia, and Europe. It also has two SuperPOPs, each in Australia and Brazil.
The CDN service provider offers three granular-level site caching options. In addition to that, Sucuri claims to have enabled HTTP/2, a performance booster, by default on all websites.
Will CDN Negatively Affect SEO?
There is no straight answer to this question.
Understand that CDN is a double-edged sword. The trick lies in how you configure the CDN and how you name the assets.
First, let’s see the issue that may arise out of the wrong configuration. For example, if you do not configure CDN properly, your assets may get duplicated.
To address this issue, you should canonicalize the resources. Your CDN service provider can help you with this regard.
You are allowed to adjust certain settings within CDN to delay the loading of assets. But doing so will negatively impact your ranking.
Another mistake you tend to make is allowing your CDN service provider to rename the assets independently. Remember that you must not make changes to the naming convention after signing up for a CDN service.
If you let your CDN service provider rename the assets, the irregularity will cause 404 errors. Though 404 errors do not affect your ranking directly, they scream quality issues to Google.
Google may think that your site has stale content and, thus, the 404 errors. As we all know, Google gives priority to fresh content.
Hence, if your site has a good amount of broken links, your ranking will drop for sure.
CDN SEO FAQs
1) How Does CDN Improve SEO?
CDN helps your SEO on multiple fronts. The first and obvious benefit you get out of CDN is the speed. It is no secret how Google views a website’s loading time. It is one of the key ranking factors for the search engine giant. Configuring your site with CDN improves page loading time to a remarkable level. The second benefit is the availability of your site. In the eyes of Google, if your site is available 24/7, it is more reliable.
2) Does CDN Negatively Affect My SEO?
Yes. It can negatively impact your SEO if you fail to configure it correctly. Also, you should stick to the existing naming convention after opting for a CDN service. Poor configuration may produce duplicate assets. As we all know, having duplicate assets is an invitation for Google’s Panda penalty. One must canonicalize the records to address the content duplication issue.
3) Is CDN Affordable?
There are countless CDN service providers available out there. The domain is seeing new entrants almost every single day. As competition stiffens, many have started giving free trials. Some providers charge you based on your usage. Some of the low-cost CDN service providers are KeyCDN, Stackpath, and Cloudflare. KeyCDN allows its customers to pay just for the data they have used. Their minimum usage charge is $4 per month.
3) Is CDN Necessary for my WordPress site?
If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, consider opting for a CDN service. The service can help your blog stand out from the rest in several ways. To begin with, it can help elevate the user experience to a whole new level. Imagine a site with Quick loading time, fast First Contentful Paint, fewer crashes, and 100% uptime. Visitors will love it, period.