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How content delivery and personalization can affect your SEO ranking

April 15, 2019
2 min reading time

By Christopher Chen

Greetings— my name is Chris and I am a Solutions Consultant at LiftIgniter — I recently did some digging for a customer to determine whether our CDN (Google Cloud) could potentially produce an adverse effect on their SEO. Fortunately, I found that not to be the case and I wanted to share some of my findings with the Medium community to hopefully save you both time & effort in your own endeavors to optimize the SEO ranking of your site.

Main Topic: How could these tools affect the SEO ranking of your website?

  1. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
  2. Personalization Tools

 

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)



CDNs affect page load times, which factor into your overall search ranking


Since page load times are a significant search ranking factor, a CDN can have either a beneficial or adverse effect on your SEO, depending on how fast it delivers content to your users. For a robust CDN that spans several continents, this could mean faster content delivery and improved search rankings. On the other hand, a sparsely distributed CDN or internal content delivery system could slow down website performance and, ultimately, harm your search ranking.

Quality of CDN matters


A CDN with unreliable uptime or configuration issues (i.e. producing duplicate content or non-asynchronous loading) can have an adverse effect on search rankings. When working with vendors that deliver content via CDN, it’s important to inquire upfront about their infrastructure to determine if their quality of CDN is a potential risk factor for your site.

Cross-site security issues with CDNs


Using secure sockets layering (SSL) on your site is a great way to protect sensitive data transactions (i.e. private information being passed from web server to browser) from outside attacks. In fact, Google recently announced that using SSL on your site will benefit your search ranking. However, you may be subject to cross-site security issues if you are running SSL on your site, but your CDN does not use SSL. In the worst case scenario when your CDN is not running SSL but is forwarding scripts to your site running SSL, a cross-site scripting warning may block the site from loading at all.

Personalization Tools



Q: Can Google properly crawl dynamic javascript-based content?


If your website uses Javascript to display dynamic content (i.e. in-line content or placements), Google can properly crawl and index your site. Specifically, any dynamic content rendered via Javascript will be shown as plain text in Google’s search engine results page (SERP).

Other potential SEO issues



Cloaking
Cloaking can be a very serious issue because it strictly goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Cloaking is when a site presents one version to search engine bots and a different version to human users. If accused of cloaking, your SEO ranking will be severely harmed. However, if you are not actively engaged in this practice, there is very little risk to your site’s SEO as the standard of proof is quite high to be found culpable of cloaking.

Performance
While site speed has been incorporated into Google’s organic web search ranking algorithms since 2010, it only becomes an issue when a personalization vendor and/or associated CDN has uptime or scalability issues. If your personalization vendor is built on top of a ‘top-tier’ platform like GCP or AWS, then there should not be any latency or performance issue that affects your SEO.


Last but not least, if you have any burning questions about how to choose a personalization solution or CDN for your website, feel free to reach out at christopher@liftigniter.com — You have my word that I will only provide unbiased feedback for which tool(s) I believe would best fit your specific needs!

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