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BrightonSEO 2019 - Edge SEO - Using CDNs To Perform SEO On The Edge

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My talk from #BrightonSEO 2019, the twentieth edition. Building on my talk from TechSEO Boost 2018, my talk at Brighton explores the changes in #EdgeSEO and the future possibilities given the advent of Akamai Edge Workers, AWS Lambda capabilities and the prospect of Fastly's WASM solution.

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BrightonSEO 2019 - Edge SEO - Using CDNs To Perform SEO On The Edge

  1. 1. How serverless technologies can help SEOs overcome legacy (and modern) tech obstacles Dan Taylor // SALT.agency SLIDESHARE.NET/DANTAYLOR29 @TAYLORDANRW
  2. 2. /about/ Senior Technical Consultant @ SALT.agency https://sloth.cloud https://hreflangchecker.com https://salt.agency https://techseopodcast.com
  3. 3. Edge SEO means using edge computing technologies to create new SEO implementation methods, testing, and research processes outside of the current parameters in which we operate.
  4. 4. OOTB CDN Benefits • Speed optimization of content delivery • Including payload optimization & compressions • Bandwidth savings • Content accessibility / uptime reliability • Security benefits, i.e. WAF / DDoS Mitigation • Reverse proxy other platforms to subfolders etc • “Edge SEO” stuff
  5. 5. Why is this needed? • Congested development queues // long lead times • Lack of “business buy in” to action SEO fixes as a priority • Platforms with restrictions • Random Google support changes • Builds not scoped properly • Code freezes
  6. 6. Robots.txt Modding Yes Yes* Yes Redirects Yes Yes* Yes AB Testing Yes Yes* Yes Hreflang Injection Yes Yes* Limited Security Headers Yes Yes* Yes “Logging” Yes Yes* No Need Dynamic JS Prerendering Yes Yes* Yes Meta Data Yes Yes* Yes
  7. 7. Example worker codes/uses • Implement redirects • AB testing • Overwrite hardcoded meta data / HTML elements • Integration in the pre-rendering of JavaScript • Implement Hreflang • Pseudo log file collection • Dynamic meta data
  8. 8. HTML declared title tag: ODN Script: Result:
  9. 9. Pseudo log file collection Not all platforms all log file collection… Sometimes getting hold of logs isn’t easy due to gatekeepers.
  10. 10. •Access to edit robots.txt •Access to pull pseudo log files •Customise server headers A grey cloud means your web traffic is not running through Cloudflare.
  11. 11. AB Testing • ABCD test URLs by directing traffic via the CDN • Monitor page level metrics via Google Analytics / Google Data Studio Reports • Requires pages to “be live” Live Example: https://dantaylor.online/sloth-ab
  12. 12. Dynamic Prerendering of JavaScript Prerender JavaScript by rendering cached versions of the site periodically, rather than on a per request basis. Can reduce costs for prerendering JS server side, and complies with Google’s recommended implementation of dynamic rendering, by switching between client-side and pre-rendered content for specific user-agents.
  13. 13. Source: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/dynamic-rendering
  14. 14. Step 1 – Halt, who goes there? Request Comes In
  15. 15. Step 2 – =IF(”Googlebot|Bingbot…”, P1, P2) Check Cache For Prerendered Page Client Side Render Return It No Cache
  16. 16. Step 3 – What Happens If No Cache? Trigger Prerendering. 1. Wait and return the prerendered page – but monitor the time it takes, if it takes 7-seconds, negative impact. 2. We could return the page after 1-second of prerendering, but likely to be useless.
  17. 17. Worker Solution When Caught Short We return https://httpstatuses.com/503 with Retry- After; this has not been tested in real world AFAIK, but the idea would be to tell crawler to attempt again in 10 seconds for that page
  18. 18. Cold Cache Issues To solve issue of cold caches, we have a batch job, checking cache for stale entries and prerendering them, and to seed cache we can either use a sitemap or crawl our own site.
  19. 19. New technologies require new processes.
  20. 20. Pros (Development) •Workers are written in JavaScript/WASM •One-click deployment/pullback •Next to zero dev ops required •Can be verified and monitoring through existing tools/methods
  21. 21. Cons (Development) • Potential to affect and impact all requests between client and server • Potential to add latency and slow page load times, depending on implementation (our testing has shown between 10ms and 50ms latency) • Potential to introduce front-end bugs that are difficult to debug when it is unclear what is being modified/injected through stream transformation
  22. 22. Internal Processes & Challenges •Responsibility and accountability •Change management •Development and release management •Debugging process •Security •Compliance (legal, privacy, GDPR)
  23. 23. Restricting access to your CDN Access to your Cloudflare, Akamai, or Incapsula account needs to be locked down within the organisation because even without Cloudflare Workers being enabled, you can still do a lot of damage through the Cloudflare dashboard if you don’t know what you’re doing.
  24. 24. Further Reading • https://blog.cloudflare.com/diving-into-technical-seo- cloudflare-workers/ • https://searchengineland.com/service-workers-and-seo-seo- for-developers-311292 • https://salt.agency/blog/how-to-use-cdns-to-improve-seo- on-the-edge/
  25. 25. Thank You! @taylordanrw @salt_agency https://salt.agency