Improving Google SEO with Cloudflare

Learn which Cloudflare features improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and understand common misconceptions around Cloudflare and SEO.


Overview

Cloudflare improves SEO by accelerating the delivery of your website content to visitors. If you observe errors in Google Search Console, refer to our article on troubleshooting crawl errors. To ensure optimal SEO for your Cloudflare website, refer below to the common misconceptions around Cloudflare and SEO.


Common misconceptions around Cloudflare and SEO

Changing nameservers negatively impacts rankings

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are not affected by changing your domain’s nameservers to Cloudflare. Google has a fairly complex algorithm for determining placement in search results and any change in SERPs is probably coincidental.

Server location affects site ranking

Per Google, server location is not important in determining site ranks for SERPs in your country. Search engines have special rules in place for CDNs like Cloudflare that use a distributed Anycast network. Instead, factors such as the domain extension (ccTLD for instance) and language support are important. You can also use Webmaster Tools to tell Google your geotargeting preferences.

Cloudflare creates duplicate content

Cloudflare does not create duplicate content for your website. Cloudflare doesn’t rewrite your URLs or create additional subdomains in order for our CDN to operate. For more information about duplicate content and SEO, review Google’s discussion on duplicate content.

Search engines penalize sites that share IP addresses

Search engines do not generally penalize for shared IP addresses unless they believe several spammy sites share the IP addresses. However, your SERPs are impacted if your site is hacked or contains malware until the problem is rectified.


Improve SEO rankings

Several Cloudflare features improve Search Engine site rankings. However, meaningful and regularly updated site content is still crucial to improving SEO.

Enable HTTPS

HTTPS improves site speed by taking advantage of HTTP/2 and search engines now use HTTPS as a ranking signal, therefore HTTPS is vital for SEO.

To enable HTTP/2 for your site:

  • ensure that your site is loaded over HTTPS.
  • ensure that users are redirected to the HTTPS version of your site via enabling Always use HTTPS.

Use Dedicated SSL certificates

Dedicated certificates can help increase SEO rankings. By default, Cloudflare uses shared (Universal) SSL certificates. However, it is possible to enable a Dedicated SSL certificate on a Cloudflare zone. 

Improve Site speed

Search engines often consider site speed in search rankings. Cloudflare offers multiple features to optimize site performance.

Ensure that image tags contain descriptive alt tags within your HTML source.

We advise against concatenating CSS or JavaScript files together or installing applications on your origin web server which perform this function due to HTTP/2 request multiplexing.

Enterprise customers can also prefetch URLs from HTML headers and deploy custom cache keys to improve site performance.


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