What A CDN Can Mean For Your SEO

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Almost everyone has heard of the importance of site speed, even the average blogger with lackluster technical skills. In a previous article we did a comparison between two domains and found speed was the likely signal pushing one site above another in mobile searches. Google wants to provide sites that users will actually use. You may have the absolute best content but if it takes over 3 seconds to load your page its a big problem for ranking. Each 1 second delay reduces page views by 11% Each 1 second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16% Each 1 second delay decreases 7% of conversion rate For a store doing $100,000 a day a 1 second delay means $2.5 million in lost sales. Google uses page load speed to help determine your sites rank. CDNs are great resources to speed up your page speed load times. Think of it like this[Find Out More]
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Almost everyone has heard of the importance of site speed, even the average blogger with lackluster technical skills. In a previous article we did a comparison between two domains and found speed was the likely signal pushing one site above another in mobile searches.

Google wants to provide sites that users will actually use. You may have the absolute best content but if it takes over 3 seconds to load your page its a big problem for ranking.

  • Each 1 second delay reduces page views by 11%
  • Each 1 second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16%
  • Each 1 second delay decreases 7% of conversion rate
  • For a store doing $100,000 a day a 1 second delay means $2.5 million in lost sales.
  • Google uses page load speed to help determine your sites rank.

CDNs are great resources to speed up your page speed load times. Think of it like this … if you’re a pharmacy and you have one location for the whole world people are going to have to travel great distances for your products. But if you open a pharmacy in every state people can just go to the nearest location to get all of your webpages and no one has to travel that far. This is a CDN a Content Delivery Network.

The expense of having 50 servers in 50 states is likely too much for most websites. A CDN steps in and provides the infrastructure for us to share with others.

Here are a few common questions site owners ask in regard to CDNs:

  • “What is a CDN?”
  • “What are the benefits of a CDN?”
  • “Do I still need to purchase hosting if I have a CDN?”
  • “Does my site need a CDN?”

We’re going to go over what a CDN is and thoroughly explain the important role this technology plays in the modern web.

We’ll also briefly touch base on the differences between your web server and a CDN before placing our focus on who does and does not need this technology implemented on their website.

What is a CDN?

Here’s the technical definition of a CDN, or at least a paraphrased version of it. A CDN, which stands for Content Delivery Network, is a global network of servers that deliver content to visitors of a website based on where that visitor is located.

You need to understand how regular web hosting works in order to understand this definition as well as the importance of it. In a typical web hosting environment, all of the traffic running to your website gets sent to your host’s web server, the one you installed your site on and the one that holds its data.

This often results in a slower website for all visitors as that single server struggles to stay afloat among the surge of traffic it receives on a regular basis. It can even leave your site vulnerable to DDoS attacks. Why is this bad? Here are a few quick facts to help you understand the importance of having your site run as quickly and reliably as possible:

  • Google made site speed a ranking factor in as early as 2010. [Source: Search Engine Land]
  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. [Source: Kissmetrics via Akamai and Gomez.com]
  • 40% of consumers abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. [Source: Kissmetrics via Akamai and Gomez.com]
  • 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again. [Source: Kissmetrics via Akamai and Gomez.com]
  • 52% of online shoppers state quick page loading is important to their site loyalty. [Source: Kissmetrics via Akamai and Gomez.com]
  • A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. [Source: Kissmetrics via Akamai and Gomez.com]

This, obviously, leads us to our next question.

What are the benefits of a CDN?

The most obvious and most important benefit of a CDN is an increase in site speed for all users of your website no matter where they’re located in the world. When you implement a CDN on your website, you’re distributing access to it to what are known as “proxy servers” located all around the world.

Let’s say the web server you purchased from your host is located in New York and you do notuse a CDN. In this environment, a visitor from Australia would need to load all of the static content on your website, which are your images, CSS stylesheets, and JavaScript files, from New York, which can take quite a bit of time.

If you use a CDN, your Australian user would be able to load that static content from a server that’s closest to them, maybe even in the same country depending on the CDN service you decide to go with. This will allow them to load the page in a much quicker manner.

Your server is orange and other servers keep copies of your site so they are closer to users.

You can see how this works in the illustration above. You still have your “origin server,” which is storing your WordPress installation and database, but you also have your “replicated web-server clusters,” which store your site’s static content. Again, static content are images, videos, CSS stylesheets, and JavaScript files.

The origin server is located toward the south of North America in the illustration above while the replicated web-server clusters are located in six continents around the world. You can see how the “user” icons demonstrate how users are served static content from the replicated web servers closest to them instead.

The impact? Some sites report seeing a decrease of more than 50% in the amount of time it takes for their site to load after implementing a CDN. [Source: KeyCDN]

If you’re still having a tough time figuring out how this technology makes your website faster, think of it like a highway:

  • The main lane is your origin server.
  • The additional lanes are your replicated web servers.
  • The cars are the users visiting your website.

Without those additional lanes, all of the cars on the road need to use the main lane. This will eventually result in a traffic jam as more and more cars fill the lane. Traffic will start to slow before the flow stops altogether after the lane becomes too congested.

If you open those additional lanes, cars will be able to distribute themselves among them rather than relying on a single lane. This will allow them to move at a much quicker pace, and they’ll get to their destination a lot faster than they would have if they were all using the same lane.

CDN Speeding Up

In other words, having your users load static content from a server that’s closest to where they’re located will allow each and every one of them to load your website much quicker than they’d be able to if they were all loading that content from the same server.

I’ve seen this site swing 20 to 30 places in it rankings…and you can over take better content with a faster site if the other site is slow.

Check out some CDNs for your site…

  • Maxcdn
  • Sucuri
  • Swarmify
  • Jetpack – Not recommended
  • Cloudflare – not exactly a CDN but similar
  • keycdn.com
  • rackspace
  • AWS Cloudfront
  • CDN Enabler
  • Cloudinary

We can review some of these in another post soon.

Ultimate SEO

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On Page SEO Just Doesn’t Rank Keywords like Backlinks

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I wanna share a graphic I ran across online with you today. According to this one if you want to impact your SEO standing all of the On Page Factors combined don’t reach even half the power of the Domains Backlinks and the Page’s Backlinks. I often have clients who comb over their sites day after day tweaking the words on the page with bold or moving them to a header and if they spent 1/4 of that time trying to attract other sites to link to them they’d get 5 times the result. Its one thing to say your the best, its a totally different thing if someone else says your the best. Or if someone says you’re the worst it really doesn’t matter how many times or ways you say you’re the best. It’s logical too…if you meet a person for the first time and they boldly proclaim[Find Out More]
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I wanna share a graphic I ran across online with you today.

According to this one if you want to impact your SEO standing all of the On Page Factors combined don’t reach even half the power of the Domains Backlinks and the Page’s Backlinks.

I often have clients who comb over their sites day after day tweaking the words on the page with bold or moving them to a header and if they spent 1/4 of that time trying to attract other sites to link to them they’d get 5 times the result.

Its one thing to say your the best, its a totally different thing if someone else says your the best. Or if someone says you’re the worst it really doesn’t matter how many times or ways you say you’re the best. It’s logical too…if you meet a person for the first time and they boldly proclaim how great they are to you, but someone else warns you that they’re full of it … what are you going to think?

We’ve discussed this a few times in other articles but when looking over the Upwork SEO projects its evident that few people understand this concept. Your page is defined by the link that lead Google to you. Sure working on the headers and img alt tags are useful, but only to support what your backlinks are saying.

Anchor text is the real keyword of search engines. This link to the best upwork SEO profile is more important than anything I put on that page.

Ultimate SEO

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Creating A PBN Network Part 4: The Site Needs A Story

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Creating a PBN or Private Blog Network is likely more difficult that just focusing on your content and the value it offers visitors. In this post we’ll examine what you need to have on the site and how it should be structured. In previous posts we’ve discussed: Creating A Private Blog Network: PBNs In 2019 For SEO PBNs 2019 – Domain Detailing – Picking Expired Domains And 301 Redirects Auto Posting Across Social Media Platforms – IFTTT – Buffer.com Domain Name Register – PBNs In Mind – Namesilo.com Every Site Needs A Backstory Because every organic real site has one. If you decide before you create the site what it is and who made it then you’ll be able to create a site that will serve your PBN well. I’ve made site’s as if it were a school assignment in music and communication, or I’ve built a medical conference site[Find Out More]
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Creating a PBN or Private Blog Network is likely more difficult that just focusing on your content and the value it offers visitors. In this post we’ll examine what you need to have on the site and how it should be structured.

In previous posts we’ve discussed:

Creating A Private Blog Network: PBNs In 2019 For SEO

PBNs 2019 – Domain Detailing – Picking Expired Domains And 301 Redirects

Auto Posting Across Social Media Platforms – IFTTT – Buffer.com

Domain Name Register – PBNs In Mind – Namesilo.com

Every Site Needs A Backstory

Because every organic real site has one. If you decide before you create the site what it is and who made it then you’ll be able to create a site that will serve your PBN well. I’ve made site’s as if it were a school assignment in music and communication, or I’ve built a medical conference site that happened years ago but continues to update it’s site with follow up articles. I’ve built news magazine sites that promise to focus on local news that matters. Each site has an intended audience and justifies its existence.

Be creative and shake up the site’s purpose, play with the name. One site I had was aidusa.website I built a site seeking international aid for the USA because of the state of politics and our national debt. I noted our poverty levels, healthcare challenges and violence on the streets. It kinda made some sense after you look at it. That site could easily then harbor a backlink for a charity, healthcare site, legal site or a news site.

Regularly Updates

If you own one site and its this site your building you’re going to update it at least every month right? Its something you’re passionate about and you’ll find the regular updates will attract regular visits from search engines. This doesn’t scale well when we think about 10 sites or 100 sites … 1000 sites. You’ll need to read up on our Auto Blogging ideas in another article that we posted a while back.

Link Placement

Avoid … just don’t … place a link in the header or the footer or the sidebar of the site to another site. Your main “real” site doesn’t do that I bet. Why would this site? Keep money links to your target site in content. Define your site with anchor text that is relevant to the keywords you are pursuing.

Who’s Behind The Site And The Ability To Contact Them

I know what your favorite word is … or at least statistically speaking I do. It is your name. Humans love to talk about themselves and they like to take credit for something they’ve done. Websites aren’t much different.

So it looks odd when a site gives no information about the person or group behind it. The About Us section is important and just like on your money site or the important site … you need a means to contact the owner. A simple contact form or link to a twitter account is needed here. You don’t have to create email accounts on all the sites but you would be smart to create an email forwarder for the domain to one central account.

Social Media Presence

Your money site has the ability for people to share content on social media. It likely has 5, 6 maybe more social media accounts tied to it. Your PBN site likely should have something too. Use IFTTT or Buffer.com to automate the social media presence but make sure there is one.

Make a customized logo for each site.

Technical PBN Stuff Here

Dont setup a Google Analytics or Search Engine property on the same account that you use for your main account.

Have a seperate IP address or use a different host company for your various sites. Register your domain names on several registrar sites and use their nameservers or Cloudflare. It’s fine to build a template site with plugins and pages ready to be migrated onto a new domain and setup but make sure you vary them. Different themes, plugins, structure … experiment here and there, don’t install Yoast on everyone, use something different.

In the end patterns are what break us, or forgetting what we’d do if this was our only site. Be organic….and have a backstory.

Ultimate SEO

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Is A Site Low Level? DA vs CF vs TF … DR, DS, AS, TS and more!

What to do with a low ranking site?
I was asked a seemingly simple question by a client today. Should low level sites he owns be scrapped and used for their backlinks by 301 redirecting the sites.
Simplest Answer: I think it’s hard to quantify if a site is low level.
Ultimateseo.org has a DA 19, that seems pretty low. But keep in mind it used to be a DA 40 before Moz changed it’s scoring. Keep also in mind that change in scoring showed no reflection in the site’s ranking. I recommend 301 redirecting based on anchor text
The post Is A Site Low Level? DA vs CF vs TF … DR, DS, AS, TS and more! appeared first on Make An Impact | Ultimate SEO. …
Is A Site Low Level? DA vs CF vs TF … DR, DS, AS, TS and more! Web Host, Design, Data and SEO Services Source…

What to do with a low ranking site?

I was asked a seemingly simple question by a client today. Should low level sites he owns be scrapped and used for their backlinks by 301 redirecting the sites.

Simplest Answer: I think it’s hard to quantify if a site is low level.

Ultimateseo.org has a DA 19, that seems pretty low. But keep in mind it used to be a DA 40 before Moz changed it’s scoring. Keep also in mind that change in scoring showed no reflection in the site’s ranking. I recommend 301 redirecting based on anchor text not necessarily on the score a site earns.

Longer Answer: What backlinks should be 301 redirected from another domain?

While it is a Domain Authority 19 now it is a CF 34, and a TF 14. It has a DR 45, and a DS 24, TS 22, AS 36 ….. head spinning yet? As a reminder here are what those abbreviations mean … and to whom.

SEO Metrics

  • DA is Domain Authority created by Moz
  • CF is Citation Flow created by Majestic
  • TF is Trust Flow created by Majestic
  • DR is Domain Rank created by AHREFS
  • DS is Domain Score created by SEMRush
  • TS is Trust Score by SEMRush
  • AS is Authority Score by SEMRush

DA is Unreliable To Me

The DA metric lost a lot of credence in my mind when they redid their formula, it made it more obvious that it’s just a number in a vacuum. What we saw after Moz released DA2.0 was as a DA40 became a DA19 it wasn’t reflective by what Google saw.

The day before this site ranked as it did the day after DA2.0. Google doesn’t use DA and what we care about is what does Google think about a site.

So Id say if we want to redirect 301 links we can …. and I do. But I do it because the anchor text is what I want, not because a site’s DA is low.

Assessing A Site’s SEO Value

When we assess if a site is high or low we have to consider all of the SEO metrics we have available and use these numbers together. Keep in mind they are not intended to be apples to apples. For instance Citation Flow is how influential a site appears where Trust Flow and Trust Score are meant to tell us how trustworthy a site is considered. AS is Authority Score which I lump in with CF. I think of DA, DR and DS as comparable metrics.

So assessing if this site is low or high I’d say we have the following metrics:

Overall scores: DA: 19 DR: 45 DS: 24

Trustworthiness: TF: 14 TS: 22

Authority: AS: 36 CF: 34

It’s also important to look at some of the raw indicators to understand the values we are seeing above. I use Majestic, SEMRush And Moz to answer these questions, and I always expect Majestic to have higher numbers because it crawls more of the web than Moz.

Moz likely would say they crawl more of the relevant web … but who are they to decide whats relevant and I dont care what they think is relevant … just what Google crawls.

Backlinks: So how many links to my site are there?

Backlinks . Moz: 18445 Majestic: 139903 SEMRush 1000000*

Backlinks are fine and dandy but keep in mind a million from one website vs a hundred from a hundred sites says something. So what is the “Domain Pop” … how many domains link to our site?

Domain Pop: MAJ 1302 SEMRush: 4,000

Domains can be owned and operated easily from the same cheap shared host. So how many seperate IP Addresses link to our site?

IP Pop: SEMRush 885 Majestic 905

These numbers above 885 and 905 seem a lot more comparable to each other than some of the other numbers.

Now consider a site that may have a DA: 50 vs Ultimate SEO’s DA: 19. I’m willing to bet 9 times out of 10 Ultimate SEO will out rank the other site as long as the other site has 500 or less domains on different IP addresses.

Better Backlinks and Best Backlinks

Trustworthy

Now to be fair this explanation above is overly simplifying the answer. You may wonder how that could be … it seems rather complicated. Well ask yourself which site would you rank higher … a site that has a link to it from 20 research universities or a site that has 200 links to it from random weirdly named domains? Obviously the 20 research universities suggests a more authoritative and trustworthy site.

Authority On The Topic

But getting more complicated what if the page we are considering for ranking is about 2000 dance mixes. The 20 research universities are all medical schools and the anchor text reads “open heart surgery mortality rates” … do we think that the site should rank that high now…and how authoritative do we think the site is on dance remixes of 2000?

301 Backlinks Based On Backlinks Not Your Domain

So the best answer I can give for when to 301 redirect a domain or not is to ignore any one metric completely. If multiple numbers lead you to believe a site isn’t going to be good then sure consider each backlink individually. Keeping in mind what earned the site a low metric across the board IS mostly those backlinks.

If you find a .gov or .edu link using the anchor text you are after on another site then yes … thats the time to 301 redirect that backlink to the best content you have that is relevant to that anchor text. That last part is essential.

You can’t expect long term gains by redirecting a backlink to content that isn’t able to hold its own. User behavior is a big factor in Google’s ranking of a site. And it should be, you can’t prevent what you cant predict.

After all is said and done if no one stays on a site for more than 10 seconds or if they always click the result after yours in Google’s search results you must ask yourself why users hate your content.

And I mean it … people hate your content if you have 301 redirected, optimized your on page and studied your backlinks but users still go elsewhere. Google may rank you high for a time but without users liking your content and staying for awhile you will drop in rankings due to user behavior.

Ultimate SEO

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Easiest Tools To Speed Up WordPress Site Load Times For SEO

In a previous post we noted the difference speed can make in search engine ranking.  The same content delivered in different ways was listed on the same domains but in different positions between desktop and mobile indexes.  Site Speed Affects Ranking In this post we’re going to review two less popular ways to speed up your site and we’ll mention the popular ways.  There’s a reason why Ultimate SEO uses slightly different processes for page load. Often people download plugin optimizers and add page cache plugins to speed up their sites.  Caching is important and serves as one of the best methods of speeding up a site, but there are several points in which you may decide to cache content and where you decide to make that choice does matter. Here are is a very simple diagram of a site and users who are asking that site for content.  In […]
Ultimate SEO …
Easiest Tools To Speed Up WordPress Site Load Times For SEO Web Host, Design, Data and SEO Services Source…

Site RSS

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Speed: Page Load – Technical SEO Out Ranks Most In Mobile

A Case Study of SEO Metrics And Rank Here is a recently added FAQ to the Ultimate SEO FAQ section. Let me show you how important it is…. Why is realtor.com not higher than zumper.com in the mobile search on the right?  Consider these metrics Realtor.com = Domain Score: 55 Trust Score 58 Alexa Rank 763 Registered 1996 Ads 3,900 Backlinks 57,000,000 Traffic Rank 108 Zumper.com = Domain Score: 37 Trust Score 44 Alexa Rank 17,000 Registered 2004 Ads 0 Backlinks 1,700,000 Traffic Rank 2830 In every metric realtor.com wins, so why is it below Zumper.com on the mobile search? Site Speed Test on GTMetrix Realtor.com Fails Speed Zumper.com Passes Speed So in this example we clearly see a more popular site beaten by a less established site and the single only factor the smaller site did better was speed.  And we cant discount this as … well its only important in mobile.  In case you […]
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Speed: Page Load – Technical SEO Out Ranks Most In Mobile Web Host, Design, Data and SEO Services Source…

A Case Study of SEO Metrics And Rank

Here is a recently added FAQ to the Ultimate SEO FAQ section.

Let me show you how important it is….desktop vs mobile search results

desktop vs mobile search results

Why is realtor.com not higher than zumper.com in the mobile search on the right?  Consider these metrics

Realtor.com = Domain Score: 55 Trust Score 58 Alexa Rank 763 Registered 1996 Ads 3,900 Backlinks 57,000,000 Traffic Rank 108

Zumper.com = Domain Score: 37 Trust Score 44 Alexa Rank 17,000 Registered 2004 Ads 0 Backlinks 1,700,000 Traffic Rank 2830

In every metric realtor.com wins, so why is it below Zumper.com on the mobile search?

Site Speed Test on GTMetrix

Realtor.com Fails Speed

site speed

site speed

Zumper.com Passes Speed

page load

page load

So in this example we clearly see a more popular site beaten by a less established site and the single only factor the smaller site did better was speed.  And we cant discount this as … well its only important in mobile.  In case you missed it…

60% of searches are mobile

60% of searches are mobile

Now when we consider the facts above lets also dispel people’s over fascination for keywords and text optimization and position of frequency of words, the content length …. on-site SEO, the SEO of the 1990s as I call it… both sites present the same content to the desktop and mobile versions they just differ wildly in the speed.  What are some of the reasons?  Realtor.com decided to present 16 rows of 3 images of homes to visitors while Zumper shows 4 rows of 1 image …. and then additional rows load as you scroll down.  Lazy Load and 1 image vs 3.  Thats how they keep their requests to about a third of the realtor.com page.

What Are Requests?

I’d suggest you think of requests as if they are shots from a gun at your head.  You need to avoid them!  Less shots is a lot better…

Requests are literally requests of the server before the page can load.  If I make a page with one image on it that is one request.  Lets say I decide to replace that image with a slider with 5 slides, now I have 5 requests … the same page area but that cool feature increases the trips required of a computer to quadruple!  Lets say now I add social media icons to the page … Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and an email icon …. small and just up in the right corner.  That social media addition just added 5 more requests.  Think about all the things on your page, they don’t all come together in one big Amazon package with a smile…. they are shipped to the computer individually.  Now I have one page with 1 request and another with 10 and the initial difference isn’t much…that slider only displays one image at a time.

Latency And Requests

Servers don’t respond instantly…they take a little while to think and retrieve the requested resource and then it has to travel the distance from the server to your computer…may be at the speed of light, but light still takes time.  This time is called latency.  50 milliseconds is a good latency.

If both servers in the FAQ had a 50 ms latency.  We can assume that the

Realtor.com server will take 50 ms x 301 requests = 15050 ms or 15 seconds

Zumper.com server will take 50 ms x 134 requests = 6700 ms or 6 seconds  

I hope this explains why you want to limit requests, and prioritize speed as much as you focus on keywords.

Ways To Decrease Requests

Do you need separate images?  On ultimateseo.org I wanted to show my COMPTia certifications.  I have 4 icons … I combined them to make one image.   Thats 1/4 the requests but no change in user experience other than a quicker site.

technical certifications

technical certifications

Lazy Load

Lazy Load also helps speed up the initial page load time.  If “below the fold” you have a lot of images on a page … the page needs those images still to finish the load unless you institute lazy load which essentially tells the computer to load an image only when it is coming into view.  This makes sense likely if you have 300 images on the page and plenty of them are scrolled far down….but all in all I’m on the fence on Lazy Load.  I ran speed tests on the homepage of this site with Lazy Load on …. 3 tests results 2.3 seconds, 1.9 seconds and 1.9 seconds.  I turned off lazy load, and reran the test and got 2.3 seconds, 1.9 seconds and 1.7 seconds.  So technically the site loaded faster with Lazy Load off….keep in mind it take a bit of thinking for the server to implement it. This helps speed up a site drastically if there are a ton of images spread vertically…but not much in a normal page.  What are the full implications on SEO when a site is crawled?

Its suggested by “Ask Yoast” that Lazy Load is fine for SEO and the images are rendered as Google scrolls down the page and indexes the content.

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