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Cloudflare and Adsense.

Thought I'd ask this for 2017.

     
2:54 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I pretty much get the theoretical benefits of using CloudFlare.

Even my hosting service seems to encourage it, although I'm not sure what to make of that. CloudFlare is really that good? or My host is really that lazy? (They offered it as an immediate solution to participating in http/2.)

But since I have Adsense sites, it's compatibility with that would simply be my biggest concern.

I was hoping to hear from people who have actually implemented CloudFlare within the last few months and I guess have disabled it because of problems with Adsense, or else have been and are currently still using it without problem.

Historically it's been said that Rocket Loader must not be used. (Still true?)

There was also the issue of what IP address is passed to Adsense (CloudFlare's or the actual user's IP), and how handing that affects ads shown, CTR and ultimately income.

I don't know if having mod_cloudflare (for Apache servers?) installed solves all IP issues.

Bottom line - Are there any problems with implementing Cloudlare with Adsense websites or is this an OK thing to do?
3:26 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As I posted in another item (or two) we put all the sites into CloudFlare in March after a particularly large percentage clawback at the end of February. Since then, it's been like night and day. Just finished July was my best month ever with AdSense, and the final numbers were just posted - only 1.65% clawback. I can't 100% say yes, it's definitely because of CloudFlare, but the timing sure lines up. I'm happy with it, let me just say that.

My dev set it up so I can't say offhand if he set up the Rocket Loader thing (I thought they fixed that problem, but AdSense will say it's not supported) but I do know we signed up for the "Argo" feature that supposedly speeds things up. That's normally like $5/month per site but I ended up having to pay a couple hundred bucks in traffic overages for June and July (my peak months) But that's okay, it was totally worth it. I expect it will settle back down now.

Since my sites are mostly event sites targeted to US states (and Canada, over here close to Michigan) we ended up blocking a lot of countries that wouldn't have any legitimate use for them anyway. That could have kept some of he bots out.

Bottom line, I'm staying in. Take a month and test it for yourself.
3:49 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Interesting timing on your question. I actually started with Cloudflare in mid-June on some of my smaller sites and the Cloudflare/Adsense relationship seems to be fine with them.

However, in mid-July I moved over one of my primary (large) sites to CF and, interestingly enough, had my biggest clawback with Adsense - about 6%. Now I don't know if the two are related or it could be legitimately bad clicks or bot-clicking but I will continue to keep an eye on the pairing. I too pay for the Argo service for two of the sites including the mentioned primary but I disabled Rocket Loader for all the sites when I read enough online to dissuade me from using it.

So right now, I'm in a wait-and-see with CF. I do feel that more and more site owners are using them or a CDN service like them.

I would also mention that I too was sent to CF by my host, but that had more to do with Load Balancing sites after a DDoS attack in February crippled the server. I'm load balancing through my host now but DNSing through CF which, I think, might help in a future DDoS attack somewhat.

I do want CF to be a magic bullet of sorts though (free SSL, cached content delivery, faster site speeds) but if it affects Adsense, I'll have to rethink the pairing and go back to my original setup.

Final Note: I would also add that I've made a greater move to feature more Link Ad units in the places of traditional banners on the large site mentioned, that might have something to do with the larger clawback for July as they tend to look like navigation elements rather than ads.
4:14 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Are there any problems with implementing Cloudlare with Adsense websites or is this an OK thing to do?


Speaking for myself... Been using Cloudflare for a few very high traffic properties with AdSense, for more than a couple of years now... (and the sites are heavily analyzed continuously for AdSense/affiliate performance vis a vis server spikes/floods et al)... Nothing but pure joy and peace of mind. In fact, when using CF's cdnjs hosted libraries etc, it's even more awesome performance-wise. Of course, YMMV as with everything else, but I for one am a happy camper for now.
5:11 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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However, in mid-July I moved over one of my primary (large) sites to CF and, interestingly enough, had my biggest clawback with Adsense - about 6%.


Do you do much in the way of IP and/or country level blocking?
5:16 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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None at all.
11:07 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Rocket Loader does interfere with some advertising code so I had to turn it off.
7:47 am on Aug 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Using it on all of my sites since 1 year and have had no problem.
8:03 am on Aug 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am with Cloudflare since 2011 and had no negative results, only positive benefits.
7:22 pm on Aug 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thank you everyone. Seems like I need to give it a try.
4:26 pm on Aug 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yah - I was surprised at how easy the setup actually went, between setup on CF, the DNS update and updating sites/sitemaps on Google Search Console. Was like a three-day process and, within a week, Google started crawling the new HTTPS versions of the sites. So far so good.
11:35 pm on Aug 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So I put one site on Cloudflare on the 3rd, and ad coverage dropped from 99% to 58% on that day. It is now back up to 90%, still not where it was and where my other sites are without CF. I vaguely remember this happening before when I tried CF. There was some Adsense issue. I think this was it. On the other hand, CTR has increased 20% on this site.
10:56 pm on Aug 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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ember,
How did this turn out? Did your coverage stat recover? 10% loss in coverage but 20% increase in CTR - isn't that a win?
3:52 am on Sept 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yes, the pageviews came back. CTR back to normal, too. It had gone up and then dropped because I enabled minifi. Once I disabled that, everything went back to normal.
5:48 pm on Sept 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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All of my sites are now on cloudflare while taking advantage of the full html cache. My sites are all pretty static in nature and require no dynamic services. Work wonders for my purposes. I need less hardware to serve much more traffic at higher speed.

For javascript conflicts and bugs, It's not just cloudflare, any kind of minification or javascript merge can always run into issues with site setups and javascripts on site in general. I generally do not use any services or plugins that mess with the html markup or javascript manipulation, this includes minification, rocket loader, and other "speed" related services. (even lazyload can sometimes run into issues if ad slots are loaded after image, you essentially kill your viewability on a image heavy page, I am not sure if this happened with cloudflare or with another cache plugin that I tested)

The headache of trying to troubleshoot when things go wrong can take alot of effort. These plugin services do not give enough warning about these unwanted side effects. I simply do not have the time and optimize for that 1%~5% boost. I would spend all of my time testing these combinations on my sites rather than creating more valuable contents / UX.

But if really needed, I would really test all options one by one to ensure full compatibility with the site template and existing scripts, and test again with every new script that gets added (or even updated) to the site. I once broke my site for at least 2 weeks or longer due to faulty CSS / javascript merge, I did not notice it because I was served uncached version whilst my visitors are served with the broken site. I learned that lesson, $ lost and poor user experience.

Cloudflare is big enough now that almost all decent ad networks support them and recognize them. No negative impact on ad serving, positive impact on UX and pageviews which ultimately boost ad revenue. Theoretically CF will not impact adsense CPM, CTR, CPC and all of that, but rather "indirect benefits" in increased PV/Impressions and user loyalty. But ultimately, they all add up to the bottom line and eventual revenue.

If not cloudflare, any decent traffic sized site should use some form of CDN's to boost performance and speed in the current competitive environment. CDN's appear to be much more user friendly in the past couple of years than 5 years ago. If you are new to it...test it out with small sites.
1:44 pm on Mar 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone,

It's an interesting discussion, I have also some experience and feedback to share.
CF is surely a nice platform with big future, sort of very advanced proxy server.

I get a strong feeling that my revenue on AdSense went down, it was more before the CF, it's for sure, although I hope it will catch-up (it's now a week after CF is implemented).
Additionally, once in a while I get an error page that the page cannot be loaded and I have either refresh or click "Live version" button.

The difference between Google and CF in unique users is tremendous - up to x 6-8 times for CF.
I can see that an ad can be viewed 1000 times a day, while Google analytics may show 200 unique views, which is quite ridiculous, bcz I don't think that each person open the ad 5 times in average. On the other hand, it comes close to Page Views and I'm quite confused, who is going wrong here exactly.

Well, it seems that main pro of CF is that it allows running more executions with smaller hosting pack + it has nice apps, but for the rest I wouldn't be using it, as it gives no clear advantages. It might be safer from Ddos attacks, although I'm not sure if it's indeed so, bcz free firewall is only partly working and it might not be a value at all an the end of the day.

To summarize, it's a nice toy, and we're playing it to let the system grow, giving ourselves voluntary to this experiment. It might be beneficial for large platforms with very heavy and expensive traffic, but for an average site owner I guess it's not much of an added value.
7:59 pm on Mar 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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CloudFlare never helped me one iota as far as clawback at the end of the month is concerned. But I don't have to worry about that anymore because AdSense is gone!
8:20 am on Mar 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Cloudflare will help with static assets (css.js,images) but add latency to dynamic part of website (TTFB).

For dynamically generated pages traditional cdn like cloudfront is better, cloudflare works well for cached html pages.
8:20 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm already several years with CF. All is OK. CF a bit speed up the sites and reduce traffic from server by vaching static. Before CF I was with Google Pagespeed service (it was not public project, they gave me access by request).

As CommandDork said CF gives free valid SSL certificate from Comodo (but not signed by yoir domain name). About 2 weeks ago I moved my sites to HTTPS.

All on free plan.
10:14 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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CloudFlare was not blocking bad bots. When I switched to Website Security, my problems with bad bots stopped. I don't use CF at all anymore.