While content delivery networks (CDN) are not a factor in Google ranking, they surely influence many parameters in a way that helps us get our pages on top in Google searches. Let us see what are the various seo ranking factors that a CDN affects because of which a page’s ranking can improve. Please do note that no search engine gives away the secrets of its search algorithms. The criteria listed here are a result of analysis across thousands of websites and search results. The researches have shown these criteria as having a strong and direct influence on the Google search rankings.
Broadly there are 5 main seo ranking factors which have been researched and deduced to be the most important criteria in Google ranking.
1. The Average page load speed - It has been down that since 2010, Google has always given special emphasis to fast loading pages. It is their belief that websites that load faster also interest visitors in to staying for longer times and browse more pages. Thus the time taken to load is inversely proportional to Google ranking, with lower times meaning higher rankings. A CDN is known to reduce latency by 50-80% with the average reduction being to the tune of 70+%. Even if the host server is free or fast, it still has a problem of routing, which is taken care of by CDN. By reducing load speed CDNs help pages increase their rankings by multiples. Just this functionality alone makes implementing CDN a necessity but wait there are more reasons for the adoption of CDN.
2. Average time spent on the site - People spending more time on one site and less on a similar website, indicates the content being of more interest and better site in terms of usability, functionality and search. Google prefers to push such sites more to its users as it would naturally want customers to go to sites they like more. This in turn also increases Google’s own credibility, and does not come out being a search engine that pushing useless or difficult sites to the visitors. Most of the time, developers are known to spend maximum time on their homepage and optimize them while giving much emphasis on rest of the pages. CDN helps delivering these pages also much faster to the visitors, making the browsing experience a pleasure. A CDN does this by creating a shadow index of the websites in its own backend, which smoothens user experience. A user gets a consistent browsing experience across all pages of a websites and thus end up sending more time on the site.
3. Bounce rate - There are many of us who confuse bounce rate with time spent on the site (discussed in point 2). Bounce rate is basically how many visitors come to your site and go away without as much as looking at the landing page. There can be various factors responsible for high bounce rates, drab layout, uninteresting content, the bottom line is that this as a seo ranking factor has been used since a very long time. As is obvious, if users don't even want to spend time on your page it is clear indication of a bad user experience. Would any search engine want to direct visitors on sites which are not liked by many? Sites with higher bounce rates are thus given lower rankings by search engines. CDN helps in reducing the bounce rates by using the cached copies of your site.
4. Implementation of https - If there is one thing Google has always rooted for, its the security and privacy aspects on internet. Implementing https or http/2 protocols across your website, along with ssl encryption, increase the security of your websites many notches. This in turn helps increase the Google rankings. In fact many times popular but non secure sites also gets a security warning from Google when we visit it, which basically means google would deter you from visiting such sites. Conversely, more secure the site is, google would prefer that you visit it more easily and more often than the less secure ones. Implementation of CDN not only helps you with a proper and smoother migration to https, many CDNs also use high quality encryption services to further secure your site. Needless to say, this is sure to increase your seo rankings.
5. Having a faster index especially in image searches - More than 50% of google image searches have resulted in getting a conversion and will result in more traffic on your site. But a big problem with images is that the index that we create for them is a slow working machanism. As you have read in the earlier part of the article, slow indexes will result in lowering the impact of other seo ranking factors, which in turn will negatively impact your google ranking. CDNs provide an easy solution to this issue, they do this by creating a host of your images on a CDN server, this will help in making a much faster index for your images. The Google bots will crawl through these indexes at shorter and more regular intervals, giving your pages better ranking. Image searches also have lesser competition as compared to regular text searches and a proper hosting will surely help the rankings.
Thus, the 5 main and most effective factors that can improve your page rankings in search engines, are load times, dwell time, bounce rate, security and faster image searches. All these factors are very well handled by implementation of a proper content delivery network. It not only increases the rankings, but is also easy to implement. Thus you can see that implementing CDN is one of the easiest and most effective solutions for tacking the seo ranking factors, it reduces your load times, bounce rates, increasing time spent on site per visit and more such. One should seriously look at implementing CDN for their websites and see how the search engine rankings climb up the ladder. There are many CDNs out there and one can choose them based on user reviews and current client lists