A lot of articles mention the load speed of a page. But it’s not just that. Anyway, we have lots of things to talk about CDNs, particularly its SEO advantages and disadvantages, so let’s dive in.

What is CDN?

A content delivery network (CDN) refers to a geographically distributed group of servers that work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content.

A CDN allows for the quick transfer of assets needed for loading Internet content including HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets, images, and videos. 

Is Content Delivery Networks (CDN): Good for SEO? Or Not

The popularity of CDN services continues to grow, and today the majority of web traffic is served through CDNs, including traffic from major sites like Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon.

Organizations typically purchase CDN services from CDN providers, which maintain their own server networks. 

How does it work?

At its core, a CDN is a network of servers linked together with the goal of delivering content as quickly, cheaply, reliably, and securely as possible. 

In order to improve speed and connectivity, a CDN will place servers at the exchange points between different networks.

These Internet exchange points (IXPs) are the primary locations where different Internet providers connect in order to provide each other access to traffic originating on their different networks. 

By having a connection to these high speeds and highly interconnected locations, a CDN provider is able to reduce costs and transit times in high-speed data delivery.

Beyond the placement of servers in IXPs, a CDN makes a number of optimizations on standard client/server data transfers. 

CDNs place Data Centers at strategic locations across the globe, enhance security, and are designed to survive various types of failures and Internet congestion.

Networks

More than half of all web traffic is served over CDNs, and that percentage continues to grow as businesses expand their global reach and offer more varied content types. 

These networks move content closer to end users so that the content may be delivered faster and with less latency. CDNs also distribute traffic loads so that no single server is overloaded with traffic requests. 

Gaming companies, cloud application creators, live-streaming and on-demand media, e-commerce sites with a global reach—as digital consumption needs grow, content owners rely on these networks to better serve their end-users.

Advantages of CDNs for SEO

A few important SEO benefits of using CND:

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 just need to 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 and PageSpeed 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 getting on a Cloud CDN service.

No Scraping

Scraping Bots are the most common cause for duplicated content – something that, from an SEO perspective, should be avoided at all costs. These Bots go through your site, copy your texts, and publish them under different domain names, sometimes scrambling them in the process. 

Basically, these Bots 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.

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 links 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.

Disadvantages of CDNs for SEO

A few important SEO disadvantages of using CND:

Configuration

CDNs require configuration to get working properly, and if you are in a large business most likely some co-operation from different people/departments. It isn’t majorly difficult and you shouldn’t necessarily be put off by this – but it is worth bearing in mind. In relation to SEO, it is possible to misconfigure a CDN for SEO, or for problems to occur.

Downtime

CDNs (like all servers, services, and cloud platforms) can occasionally suffer from downtime. Enough to affect user experience or SEO? Very very unlikely. We are talking about 99.8% uptime for most services – even Google crashes once in a while. If anything, by lightening the load on your server, at times of peak demand you are actually likely to have less downtime if you have a CDN.