Content Delivery Network (CDN)

With the Google Page Experiment just around the corner, site developers and business owners around the world are spending more time and resources on user experience improvements.
Since the next update focuses on load, interactivity, and visual stability, it is an opportune time for site owners to audit their site’s performance.
Perhaps I heard that a major facet of this should be a re-evaluation of the site’s web hosting and content delivery network (CDN) setup.

Need for a CDN:
The average Internet user is not concerned with how web pages work or which web host a company uses.
All they care about is their own user experience, primarily fast loading speed, quality content, and intuitive navigation.
Speed ​​equals money, and this is especially true for e-commerce sites.
In fact, pages that load in 0 to 2 seconds have the highest eCommerce conversion rates.
Additionally, conversion rates decrease by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time between 0 and 5 seconds.
Even for non-eCommerce sites, page load speeds drive results by influencing bounce rates; those that load in 1 second have an average bounce rate of 7%.
This compares with a bounce rate of 11% for pages with a page latency of 3 seconds and a bounce of 38% for pages that take 5 seconds to load.
Across industries, using CDN is a standard strategy to achieve optimal page load speeds for both desktop and mobile devices.
Cisco research shows that global CDNs are expected to carry 72% of all Internet traffic by 2022.
Now it is almost impossible to meet user expectations and compete with competing sites without using CDN.

CDN and it works:
Non-CDN websites rely on a single server to deliver content to all site visitors, whether they are within a mile or across the globe.
A content delivery network consists of several geographically distributed servers.
CDN providers often place servers at Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), the physical location where Internet service providers connect and exchange traffic.
Site owners pay for CDN services, allowing them to distribute website content such as images, videos, audio, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files to every server on the network.
These servers store cached versions of the website content, making it available for user requests.
When a user requests a page, the content is delivered through the geographically closest server.
CDNs reduce page latency by minimizing the distance a site’s content must travel when requested by an end-user.
CDNs also improve upload speed and user experience by optimizing delivery based on the type of content requested, such as standard web content, dynamic content, streaming video, or large file downloads.
In addition to improving load speed, using CDN increases bandwidth and reduces overall server costs.

CDNs are important for SEO
User experience metrics:
It’s about time SEO professionals and business owners made loading speed a top priority.
User experience and SEO are innately intertwined, and Google has long considered UX elements to determine search rankings.
The Google Mobile-Friendly update transformed the SEO field by introducing mobile device support as an on / off algorithm.
Google confirmed that landing page loading speed is a search ranking factor, even for mobile searches.
According to Google’s algorithm announcement, the update will make the user experience even more important.
Many previous algorithm updates have taken site owners by surprise and forced SEO professionals to conduct large-scale research to identify and analyze changes.
Google is telling website owners exactly what metrics to monitor and improve.
In terms of upload speed, the site provides hard figures for the ideal speed of LCP and FID and the visual stability of CLS.
Optimal performance metrics are below 2.5 seconds, below 100 milliseconds, and below 0.1, respectively.

Advanced analytics:
Premium CDN providers also include analytics reports and insights as part of the package.
CDNs can collect and report critical information such as audience analytics, query-based and geographic traffic data, QoS data, security event analytics, and viewer diagnostics.
CDN packages often offer customizable dashboards that make monitoring these performance indicators easy and automatic.
Site security:
Using a CDN also protects sites against denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Because CDNs distribute content to multiple servers, it prevents DDoS attacks from hitting the original server.
Also, if a server within the network is attacked or experiences more traffic than it can handle, the request will be redirected to another server.
Website security indirectly affects SEO by improving user experience and building trust in the site or brand.
Possible pitfalls of CDNs for SEO
Image hosting:
While the SEO benefits of using CDN are clear, the potential downsides are a bit murkier.
Well-known figures in the SEO industry have questioned the impact of using CDN on image classification.
Google uses targeted crawlers to crawl and index high-profile access control sites.
SEO still needs to set up the CDN with a custom subdomain that maps to our main domain.
Ahrefs recommends setting up a CNAME or alias record to clean up the CDN subdomain name.
Ahrefs also recommends restoring link equity by accessing sites that use the images but link to the source of the image (the CDN) or the image itself rather than the site.
Use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool to identify links that point to images hosted on the CDN.
Just contact the publisher and ask them to change the URL of the image to the domain.
Duplicate content:
Another pitfall to avoid when using a CDN is the potential for duplicate content.
Set up the CDN properly, so one shouldn’t have a problem.
To work around this problem, use a canonical header setting that tells Google crawlers that the content on the CDN is a copy of the original.
Preparation for the user experience update:
If not currently using a CDN or are not satisfied with the current provider, consider making the change before the User Experience Update is rolled out.
The dramatic traffic drops many sites faced after the Medical Update serves as an example of how an algorithm change can undo months of SEO efforts overnight.
Fortunately, Google decided to advise webmasters of the next update.
Announcement of user experience update, Core Web Vitals identification and resources provided on the web. dev site shows an unprecedented level of transparency for Google.
This time around, SEO professionals know what’s coming up and can prepare for the upgrade by improving the user experience and measuring their efforts with performance metrics listed as Core Web Vitals.
Improving page load speed through the use of a powerful CDN, among other UX and SEO strategies, should help prepare the site for the next algorithm updates.

Use a content delivery network (CDN) for SEO: –
One of the most difficult tasks an SEO professional does is telling the business or customer that their site is slow and clunky and, worse, that the content they spent so much time and money on is the problem.
This is where a content delivery network (CDN) can help.
Investing in creating high-quality content, you should probably also rethink how to manage digital assets and invest in a CDN.
CDN Do for the Business:
The way images and videos are integrated (or not) into the website ecosystem can make or break its performance.
That goes for stock photography, stylish and shot photos, video, HTML / JavaScript / CSS files, e-commerce and product photo libraries, audio-only files, and carefully crafted graphic designs alike. Think of CDNs as an EZ-Pass.
CDNs essentially act as a multipath traffic intersection where different internet providers and servers can connect and provide each other with access to website traffic that comes from each source.
They move assets and traffic back and forth as page loads retrieve them, rather than waiting for each asset to load on individual pages or display as a hard-coded item.
This happens around the world in multiple locations, rather than relying on a single server for all service and content delivery.
These server hosts keep cached files ready to render when called to reduce load time and essentially reduce the delivery path.
Similarly, having a CDN is like hopping on the turnpike and scanning your EZ-Pass rather than taking a slower back-road trip to your destination.
CDNs improve speed and efficiency by optimizing web traffic routes.
CDNs have become an industry standard (particularly in business SEO) and are only becoming more valuable as investments in content marketing increase.
Speed ​​is an incredibly important factor both for improving website rankings and for the overall page and user experience.
It’s not exactly a secret that Google values ​​on-page experience highly.
As an organization, it has gone to great lengths to incentivize efficient web rendering and cause minimal user disruption.
Almost all of Google’s algorithm updates (publicly discussed, anyway) in recent years have included elements to improve the page experience, speed, and content delivery.
The longer it takes to render and publish content, the more likely a user is to abandon their efforts and move on.

Every rage-abandonment on a page that wouldn’t load is money or a lost benefit.
Not only that but the speed is closely related to the long-awaited Core Web Vitals update.
Beyond the UX function, a CDN also adds a layer of security to the website by ensuring secure encryption and transfer, distributed data, current SSL, and balanced traffic loads.
This helps protect the business from denial of service (DDoS) attacks, where the nefarious goal is to create increased traffic in an attempt to overload and crash a server.
DDoS attacks are estimated to double to more than every year.
Now is the time to prepare for safe asset management.
The opportunity to demonstrate possible CDN solutions.
Here are some common metrics to try and explore:
Last Mile and End User DNS Response Time:
Perform internal testing only to discover after deployment that complex DNS configuration creates long waits for end users.
Peak performance:
If the website experiences large fluctuations in traffic based on the days of the week or hours of the day, be sure to test the CDN response when it matters most.
Connection time: Specifically looking for excellent network connectivity, low latency and zero packet loss.
Wait time on less popular assets.
CDNs are a shared environment, and to make sure less requested assets are being retrieved from the origin server rather than served from the edge (as are popular assets).
Yield: must not be less than the origin of assets of any size.
API integrations: Future-proof the investment a bit by making sure the CDN can be configured with existing software as well as a wish list.
Knowing the location of the servers meets the needs of the audience.
Like all marketing solutions, there is great variability in cost.
The higher the demand in terms of content loading, the more expensive the solution will be.
CDNs may not make sense for very small websites;
It is easier to manually optimize each image or asset and save the cost.
For mid-tier to enterprise sites, rapidly generating and expanding content makes manual curation and optimization an inefficient way to manage and deliver content across all web properties.
May require a developer for integration:
Many websites integrate very well with CDN, but if someone has customized it, setting it to a custom setting could be a headache and require dedicated developer intervention.
Need to budget to use a CDN:
It is an additional cost on top of the existing website/hosting costs.
Network providers can block the CDN:
Some network providers (very few, but still worth mentioning!) May block the CDN.
The most common culprit in Reddit threads appears to be the jQuery-related Microsoft Ajax CDN, but there are alternative naming solutions that generally solve the problem.
Traceroute problems:
If the CDN is using a third-party geographic map database, there is a possibility that an end-user will be assigned the wrong IP address.

Perform a quality check during the setup process, and on an annual basis, to ensure that the CDN does not send requests through a long and illogical route.
The TL; The DR of CDNs is that they help deliver content across the site quickly, which in turn improves the user experience and website functionality, securely and with limited impact on the server.
Businesses that use a CDN to host and distribute content can see improved search rankings and can expect a more secure website and an overall better user experience.