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Cloudflare has an impact on SEO?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by hakcz, May 25, 2019.

  1. thiassi

    thiassi Junior Member

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    Great, thanks.

    I've just switched four sites from CF back to their original registrar nameservers (all those sites have had poor rankings for no real reason). I'll monitor them all over the next month.
     
  2. hakcz

    hakcz Junior Member

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    Update us
     
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  3. JackMagic

    JackMagic Regular Member

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    looking forward to the results!
     
  4. Bawsaq

    Bawsaq Junior Member

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    Cloudflare actually increased my page speed by a lot and improved my rankings significantly.
     
  5. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Normally CF will NOT increase speed. If you got a fast server then it'll be much much faster than CF.

    When you connect to a site behind CF, this happens:

    you --> CF --> origin server

    There are 2 network requests happening here.

    In some sites I manage the CF to origin server connection took tens of milliseconds. The time to first byte shot up significantly in the speed test.

    You may cache your site but cache doesn't work for dynamic sites which update frequently. If users log in and do stuff, there won't ever be any cache benefit.

    CF is not meant for speed, it's meant for security. It can block hundreds of common attacks and ddos.
     
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  6. Surgation

    Surgation Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    It's usually a positive reaction with Cloudflare, not known this before. Could be people on the same server as you. Would look at private cdn's with cost!
     
  7. WIZDAHL

    WIZDAHL Regular Member

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    Cloudflare doesn't host your site, your hosting server is where your site is hosted.
     
  8. Hoco

    Hoco Regular Member

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    I have paused it as that is what I had done originally, but I did switch servers including the name servers at the same time - it was during that period I saw the increase.

    I'm testing it with a paused service, so will look out for your comments on switching the name servers.

    To be honest, I'm not expecting a similar reaction, but doesn't hurt to test.
     
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  9. NX_NULL

    NX_NULL Power Member Premium Member

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    Cloudflare will cache most of static contents such as htmls, javascripts and images on their multiple severs around the world. This will reduce the loads on your website and those contents load faster for every one as cloudflare is a CDN.

    For dynamic contents the delay between your server to cloudflare is minimal as cloudflare have servers in almost every country so I dont think this small lag will do any significant effect on your SERP.

    I still see no reason to abandon cloudflare, I really dont believe these reports of "after I stop cloudflare my ranking improved", I cant trust their tests
    cloudflare is providing so many good free services. The wildcard free SSL on your domain, Many different method of reducing the size of page and delivering them to visitors faster, a cache system that enable us to specify what contents and what length to be cache on browsers or cloudflare servers....
     
  10. amog45

    amog45 Registered Member

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    Many people here talk about the good sides from cloudflare like speed etc.

    But the main reason why the rankings drop are the nameservers, IPs and SSL certificates, which you share with "bad" sites, i guess.

    I also have a lot of sites on cloudflare for years now.. But I will definetely test it out withoud cloudflare!

    Cheers.
     
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  11. Grayback

    Grayback Regular Member

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    Keep us updated with your changes.
    Originally, I think we share IP and SSL cert with thousands of sites, penalizing all of them because of some bad sites doesn't make sense to me.
    But after reading through this thread, I'm having second thoughts.
    I'l just wait for reports from other members as I'm doing fine, don't want to risk changing anything.
     
  12. WeTake

    WeTake Regular Member

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    Cloudflare does not affect ,it helps reduce the loading time for a website and also helps in security for the site also.
     
  13. seodima

    seodima Junior Member

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    I have a lot of website at Cloudflare. And with seo all fine. All client's websites I always move to the Cloudflare. And usually, positions are growing because of cloudflare increase loading speed.
     
  14. Jethro Hicks

    Jethro Hicks Newbie

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    One thing that caught my attention, did anybody have anything like pagerduty setup to test cloudflare outages (503 errors) on their sites? I don't have any websites setup with pagerduty anymore, but I remember I used to get a lot of pages of the website being down when using cloudflares proxy.
     
  15. Carc0tas

    Carc0tas Junior Member

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    I have my site on CF and for non belivers about serp rank i will say check the first sites in your niche if they use anything like CF. For example in my niche all have. Also on site google speed test i get 99 on computer and between 93-99 for mobile without using amp.
     
  16. NX_NULL

    NX_NULL Power Member Premium Member

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    cloudflare had 2 outages in last 30 days, I dont remember any major outage in last year except these 2.
    When cloudflare contact your server if it doesn't receive a response within 100 seconds then it will show a 5xx time out error.
     
  17. S godlewski

    S godlewski Newbie

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    That post is from 6 years ago. SEO info after 6 months has a good chance of being wrong or out of date.
     
  18. S godlewski

    S godlewski Newbie

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    I worry about people reporting that Cloudflare and removing it or using it did x to rankings. There are a ton of variables to take into consideration. How do you have Cloudflare configured? Have you enable something like compression which is already being done on your site. This will slow you down since you basically trying to compress a file that is already compressed. The list goes on and on. CF is great for the reasons many have posted but some of the Cloudflare features can be done better with other programs and use Cloudflare for what it is best at. How do you figure out if it is hurting you? TEST TEST TEST. Google has continued its push toward speed and turns up the algorithm every month. It used to be Time to First Byte (TTFB) was all that mattered for rank position. Unfortunately, that is no longer true. The debate here is accurate and most likely every post is correct but I doubt it's CF is the issue. My rule of thumb is to always assume I screwed up something during setup since most of the time there is an issue like this it's a checkbox, a slash, or something stupid I missed. Google wants what it wants so all but a few of my client sites have pagespeeds in the 90's and rank on the first page of results for keywords they "should" care about.

    As most of you know there is still a ton of other stuff that can ruin your SEO but after running CF through a buttload of tests with the members of an SEO testing group I belong to. Isolating using or not using Cloudflare has resulted in a positive statistical difference while using CF (if configured correctly).

    FYI, we saw the same advantage using other CDN's too. Is one CDN better than another? Need more testing for that but so far the difference between them has no clear winner when using the same configuration or as close to the same that we could get.

    Been with this testing group for a few years and I trust our results since the testing procedure debates that happen either put me to sleep or give me a headache and following the results have either helped or had no effect on my client sites. Normally it's easy to tell why some clients had no effect and normally shines a spotlight on a different issue.
     
  19. thiassi

    thiassi Junior Member

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    Just to clarify: no one is saying CF is evil and is always bad.

    There are a few of us here saying maybe testing a few under-performing websites with CF free removed is a test worth doing given there is little to lose.

    I've always had my doubts about CF free because I've not seen a single instance where CF free has improved speed to any noticeable effect (the security-side was always my main reason for using it) but moving to non-shit web hosting did have an effect.

    Now, if I find that zero sites were affected by the change then so be it. If I find two sites were affected by the change and no one here believes me...I don't give a shit. I would have tested it for myself and other people can test for theirselves.
     
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  20. S godlewski

    S godlewski Newbie

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    Did not mean to offend or imply that what your seeing is not accurate. Just saying that correlation and causation are not the same and can get us in trouble especially with SEO. I agree completly that moving to better hosting can improve your rankings. I have no idea how you were setup on CF or if something else changed on the page at the same time you turned it off. I end up messing up my testing all the time because Google saw it as refreshing the content and pushed the page because of that and it had nothing to do with what I was testing. The way the comments have been split made me think its more likely a config issue more than a provider issue like CF. Did you try another CDN? Was there the same issue? There are a bunch of other things you could look at but if turning it off helped and your good with that then no problem. If every reply in here was CF hurts SEO I would be turning CF right now on every site I work with and spend the next couple days finding a better solution. All I was saying is after looking at all those posts someone turning it off can do more damage to their SEO than leaving it on since its helping and not hurting them. Its really easy to set something wrong on CF and never know unless your digging into server responses and pagespeed waterfalls. Even when you turn it off sometimes it leaves crap in your headers that keeps trying to cache stuff.

    I am way too geeky a little speed-obsessed lately. Just an FYI I am on a dedicated server with about 40 ips at a good host and have 5 other accounts using VPS on different hosting providers. I run Ngnix on top of apache with mod_pagespeed installed and other stuff like WP Rocket, Autoptimize, and other caching crap. My stuff is not perfect and I know I have things I can do to make it better and there are people a lot smarter and faster than I will ever be. I don't use CF for security and a couple of other things and if you looked at my configs you would see that most of their "speed" stuff is off on most of the domains I run. I have never seen anything that made me even wonder if CF was hurting a sites SEO (except the crash a couple of weeks ago).

    But that's my opinion and both Google and my Wife have an annoying habit of reminding me I am not nearly as smart as I think I am and have no problem proving it on a regular basis.