Content Delivery Networks, and their SEO benefits

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As a busy SEO company in Los Angeles, we are often asked if we can provide SEO services to websites hosted on a content delivery network. The answer is yes, we certainly can. What is a content delivery network (CDN)? A CDN is a tool that allows you to host your site, or parts of it, on cloud-based servers. It allows all of a brand’s web properties to be hosted on a single IP address, and all of thecontent to be delivered in from that single resource.

For large and scalable web development needs, CDNs have numerous benefits. If you own multiple websites, or your brand has a large website with numerous microsites within its main platform, then you could benefit from utilizing a content delivery network. The servers used in content delivery networks are more scalable than the content management systems (CMS) that are traditionally used to manage websites; because they offer more server resources and bandwidth, they are a convenient and potentially cost effective way for brands to manage their large web properties. Another advantage is that dynamic sites can load pages more quickly – so if site speed has previously been an issue, using a CDN could be your solution.

Site Speed: An SEO Benefit to using a CDN

In fact, one confirmed SEO benefit to using a content delivery network is better website speed. As John Mu of Google recently said, “Making your site faster will frequently help your site much more. Some studies have shown that the faster your site is, the longer visitors will stay, and that’s generally a good thing.” And although it was not said here, don’t forget: Google has already acknowledged that site speed is also a factor in SEO rankings, although not a major one.

Will using a CDN Hurt Google Image Search Rankings?

Some users have asked if their image search rankings will decline after switching to a CDN. According to Mu, that may be the case at first; but those effects should not last long. “By moving images to a new host (assuming the URL changes when they’re moved to a CDN), you will likely see fluctuations with Image Search until it settles back down,” he said.

He went on to say that if image search rankings have permanently fallen on a CDN managed site, the webmaster should look to other potential culprits. “I’d look to the issues elsewhere,” he said. “It just takes a bit for the new URLs to be indexed in place of the old ones. “(But) as we generally wouldn’t index JavaScript files, moving them to a different host generally has no impact at all.”

Does Hosting all Websites on One IP Address Hurt SEO?

There is a pervasive rumor that hosting multiple websites on a single IP address, a hallmark feature of content delivery networks, is bad for SEO. But according to CDN hosting providers, this is indeed just a myth. Said one such provider, Igal Zeifman, “The rumor about the negative SEO aspects of shared IP is just that – nothing but a rumor…maybe it was true back in 2003, when websites were few and IPs roamed free, but in today’s…world, such an idea is simply no longer feasible.” And in 2008, Google’s Matt Cutts himself weighed in on the issue. “I wouldn’t worry about being on the same IP address, and I definitely wouldn’t worry about being on the same server,” he said.

Do Content Delivery Networks Create Duplicate Content?

We all know that duplicate content can hurt rankings, but do CDNs actually create duplicate content? Not necessarily. CDNs use proxy technology to minimize the “distance” between a website and its users. The server network holds a cached copy of the website’s content, which is different from duplicate content. So that should not be a factor in any CDN managed website’s rankings. If you are penalized for duplicate content, you should look into other potential causes outside of your CDN.

Crest Media is an SEO company in Los Angeles, rather than a content delivery network provider; however, we are highly accustomed to marketing websites that rely on CDNs for hosting. We have an intricate understanding of the unique requirements of CDN hosted websites, and can provide them with high quality SEO services.


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