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Does Cloudflare hurt Google rankings?

     
7:09 pm on Oct 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I purchased a paid cloudflare account on October 3rd and switched my DNS settings that night. I use SEMrush to track 500 key phrases each day, and until that time I was only heading upward or staying stable. On October 4th I saw a huge drop in traffic, and every day thereafter it kept dropping until yesterday. I removed cloudflare yesterday morning and today I have the first big jump up in traffic since before CF was activated. Has anyone else seen this? I have read numerous accounts on other sites about this, and they relate it to the fact that CF is grouping sites on the same DNS settings and that includes some bad neighbors. I am very disappointed since the service really sped my site up around the world, but being fast in China and India is a lot less important to me than being at the top in the USA. I will continue to track this, but it seems abundantly clear already. Any other experiences?
8:49 pm on Oct 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What stats told you about the drop in traffic? CF does mess with the stats although it did not actually decrease traffic. Use Google Analytics before/after and you'll see you're not actually losing traffic, CF just messes with server side stats.
9:01 pm on Oct 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Seems unlikely considering the number of (high-ranked) sites using Cloudflare. You'll share an IP pool with others at any CDN, not just Cloudflare. Also, 1 day seems a bit quick for a sudden drop in rankings across the board. Unless, of course, something was technically wrong with the implementation and, as a result, Google thought your site was unavailable.
2:03 pm on Oct 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Robzilla...it doesn't seem that implementation went wrong, there is no increase in 404 errors. I did notice that the minute cloudflare was turned on my traffic on my server analytics (awstats) doubled, when I disabled it the traffic went back to the previous level. I saw a dramatic drop in SEM RUSH on the day after I turned it on and a slow crawl upward from the day I deactivated it. I suspect that there will be a surge upward any day now but will let you know. In google analytics I see a 9% reduction in traffic from before CF was activated, which mirrors the drop in SEMrush. I converted to https on September 26th, and then activated CF on October 4th.
4:03 pm on Oct 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Did you check your logs (source for awstats) to see if it was legitimate traffic? You would expect traffic to go down after enabling a CDN.

It doesn't have to be 404s. It can be 500s, 403s, certificate issues, and a bunch of other things, depending on the cause.
8:53 pm on Oct 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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No is the short answer. It used to when Google penalised ip ranges but Cloudflare have since solved this problem by isolating penalised sites to their own ips.
8:49 pm on Oct 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My awstats are totally on crack since switching to CF. I don't even look at the stats anymore, they're utterly useless.
11:36 pm on Oct 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well, yes, if you put something like a CDN in front of your own server, you can expect it to affect your logs. Depending on your exact configuration, traffic hitting your website may not actually be hitting your own server; instead, your users communicate with one of the CDN's nearby edge servers.
3:12 am on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My awstats are totally on crack since switching to CF. I don't even look at the stats anymore, they're utterly useless.


Mine too...they just skyrocket and it has no bearing on reality. I turned it off for a while and my placement in SEMrush improved slowly day by day. I turned in back on again a few days ago and right back down in SEMrush, but I am not seeing gyrations in Google analytics. I don't know what to think but perhaps I should ask them to move me to new DNS settings. My site IS definitely faster on their network, but I'm not necessarily convinced it's much safer than it used to be.
8:53 am on Dec 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So what is the conclusion, does cloudflare mess with your rankings? I want to implement but worried about loosing rankings.
2:51 pm on Dec 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've lmlemented CF and do not see any disadvantage at all.The reason to chose CF were huge DDos attacks.So huge that i've received nulled an IP for 24h a couple times.

CF is really great with a lot option to play it but they stopped malicious traffic what is most important.a

Personally i would advice everyone to chose CF.
8:01 pm on Dec 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I switched to CF back in June and had all my sites HTTPSed / CDNed through them by mid-September. My traffic was already on the decline during the early/middle part of 2017 and my server suffered from a big DDoS back in February. The switch did little to regain lost traffic so I blame that on Google's normal ranking/deranking procedure.

CF does make my sites noticeably faster and their free HTTPS provision is nice. I also rest easier against DDoS threats with CF positioned between my origin server and the the WWW. Sure beats the $xxx monthly I was paying for DDoS protection/load balancing from my hosting provider.

But so far the switch hasn't made much ranking difference one way or the other. Hasn't gotten better but it also hasn't gotten worse.
8:14 pm on Dec 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So what is the conclusion, does cloudflare mess with your rankings?

Not in my experience.
 

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