Is using a CDN really beneficial for natural referencing (SEO)? Should it always be used or is it recommended only in specific cases? Does having a CDN improve your SEO positions? Here is an overview of the impact of a Content Delivery Network on SEO and the opinion of John Mueller (Google) on the issue.
What is a CDN?
How does the CDN work?
There are different types of CDNs, but the basic principle is: Files are duplicated and stored on different servers (Points of Presence or PoPs) around the world, allowing users to access files faster. because they are usually closer to the server where the file is hosted.
A CDN acts as an international network of servers. Instead of having only one copy of the main site files on a single server, the content delivery network acts as an international network of servers on which the main files will be available to be loaded more quickly to nearby Internet users.
Why use a CDN?
The use of a CDN, as part of an SEO approach or not, makes it possible to reduce the distance between the web server and the user, which results in a reduction in the loading time of web pages for Internet users away from the server hosting the original files of the website.
What are the benefits of a CDN for SEO?
The advantages of a CDN for SEO are multiple, it allows:
- speed up page loading;
- reduce the number of server requests;
- improve availability;
- distribute the load in the event of a traffic peak;
- to reduce latency.
Use a CDN will especially be of interest to websites with an international audience (online shops or sites translated into several languages for example).
It can also be interesting for websites hosted on less powerful shared hosting insofar as the CDN can distribute the load of all types of traffic (humans and bots) and thus limit the risk of error 500 on a small server. .
Does using a CDN lead to better SEO positions?
John Mueller, web master trends analyst at Google answered this question in a webmaster hangout.
According to him, there is no direct and significant impact on SEO from using a CDN if the initial site loads quickly and the majority of visitors have a fast site.
However, using this type of technology can have two benefits indirectly linked to SEO :
- Improving the user experience due to the improvement of the loading time for visitors located far from the initial server (ex: in other countries);
- Improving Google’s crawl (and therefore the improvement of indexing) for sites with many pages that load slowly.
Using a CDN is therefore not an essential element for SEO when the vast majority of its audience is not located in a country other than the country where the website is hosted.
What are the best CDNs on the market?
There are many CDN providers on the market, but which are the best? For SEO, it is important to choose a reliable and efficient CDN, capable of guaranteeing fast and secure delivery of content. Some of the most popular CDNs include Cloudflare, Amazon AWS Cloudfront, Incapsula, CDN77, KeyCDN, StackPath, and Fastly.
If you want to set up a CDN for your site, as part of an SEO approach or not, we strongly recommend that you contact your web host so that they can advise you on the best one based on your infrastructure and your needs.