Customers have posed several questions regarding onboarding the WAF and its possible effects on their enterprise detection tools and SEOs. The below queries and response address some of the main concerns:
1. My site now uses Cloud WAF (Incapsula) IPs. Will this affect my SEO?
No, it will not affect your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
For years there have been rumors about the negative effect of hosting several websites on the same IP. Although, in the past, an under-populated IP may be held some “extra” SEO value, today this is not the case.
In large part, this is because of IPv4 IP address shortages which makes the whole idea simple unfeasible .
Google officially addressed this rumor on a several different occasions. Here are some references:
“I wouldn’t worry about being on the same IP address and I definitely wouldn’t worry about being on the same server that is something that everyone does…”
Matt Cutts – Head of Google WebSpam Team
“We generally do not treat sites hosted on CDNs any differently”
Google Official Representative
2. How will Cloud WAF affect my localization?
It will not.
Using Cloud WAF (formerly Incapsula) will provide your website with a Global Presence by spreading it around the world on a network of high-powered servers - each within its own local IP. However, in doing so, it won’t hinder your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or affect your website’s localization data.
This is because Google and other Search Engines mainly use Top Level Domain data to determine the website’s geo-targeting (i.e. if you got a .fr domain, you will be marked as a French website).
In case of a generic TLD (Top Level Domain) like a (.com) or (.org), your locale will be decided based on information provided by the website owner. Only when no such information was provided, the search engine will turn to look at other telling signs like On-Site Contact Information, Visitor Profiles and etc. Only at this point, your website’s IP will be used for geo-targeting, but even then it will be counted as only one of the localization factors.
3. How will Cloud WAF improve my SEO?
Using Cloud WAF (formerly Incapsula) will benefit your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts in a number of ways. Here are some examples:
Improved Site Speed:
Cloud WAF provides you with Proxy and CDN acceleration features that greatly improve your website speed and performance. This enhances your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as page-load speed is an important SEO factor, mainly due to the positive effect on user experience (UX).
Besides its CDN Caching and Proxy Geo Distribution capabilities, Cloud WAF also offers website optimization tools that make clever use of the existing website assets. For example, Cloud WAF will automatically Minify your source code, GZip your files and even Cache your "Un-cacheable" dynamically generated content.
The resulting double (or sometimes even triple) digit speed improvement will make your site more SEO-friendly and provide better overall User Experience, thus also improving on-site Conversion.
Protection from Scraping:
Content Scraping is a serious SEO concern due to resulting “duplicate content” issues that can seriously harm your website’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking and even, in extreme cases, lead to Domain-level penalties. Cloud WAF 'Bad Bot' Blocking features will keep your website safe from all scrapers, thus also safeguarding your hard-earned SERP rankings.
Protection from Link Spamming:
'Link spamming bots' use your website's comments and forums to generate outbound links, and in doing so they turn your site into a “Link Farm”, thus also damaging your Trust and Authority rating and affecting UX.
Spam links can lead to SEO related penalties and, if nothing else, these links just make your site look bad – weak, undermanaged, and unprofessional.
Cloud WAF Bad Bot Blocking features will keep your website safe from all link spammer, thus also safeguarding your online reputation and your SERP rankings.