What is Edge SEO?
Some of these barriers (both technical and non-technical) include:
- Congested development queues/long lead times
- Gatekeeper devs who are, unhelpful
- Old platforms/servers not scalable
- Builds not originally scoped properly
- Code freezes
- Duct tape fixes preventing changes
- Platforms lacking functionality (i.e. Demandware not allowing access to server logs)
There’s nothing new about Edge SEO that we’re not already doing, instead, we’ve changed how we do it. By performing SEO implementations on the edge, we are not modifying the underlying code base or current technology stack (servers, CMS, ZXTMs, etc), but instead on a cloud infrastructure.
Edge SEO is the practice of using edge technologies, such as computing, networking, and caching. I first used the term during my talk at TechSEO Boost 2018.
What Can I Do With Edge SEO?
Through custom edge scripts, you have the ability to modify the HTML response of your website to:
- Add, edit and delete meta tags
- Add, edit and delete headers, including adding additional security headers
- Implement HREFLANG based on your rules
- Edit your robots.txt file (not currently possible on Shopify via Cloudflare Workers)
- Serve custom 404 (and 4xx & 5xx) error pages
- Implement and server redirects
- Trim HTML whitespace and comments
- Split test HTML elements (inclusion/removal)
- Full page AB & Multivariate testing
- Pseudo log file analysis (collecting full referrer logs from the request)
Why talk to me about Edge SEO?
At TechSEO Boost 2018, I was one of the first SEOs to talk about using edge technologies for SEO purposes in the public realm, and my team’s research into using Cloudflare Workers for performing SEO on the edge won the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost Call for Research competition, with Eric Enge and OVH also being named as research and innovation finalists.
I’ve also been credited for coining the term Edge SEO following my talks at TechSEO Boost, articles, and building the Sloth edge SEO tool. I’ve also been described as being a pioneer in the approach of Edge SEO, by software provider DeepCrawl and ContentKing.
You can also read my post talking about using Cloudflare Workers for SEO, on Cloudflare’s blog.
Sloth: Edge SEO Tool
I also helped develop the Sloth Edge SEO Tool, an open-source piece of software that enables SEOs of all Dev ability to produce Cloudflare Worker code bundles (and one-click deploy), making the technology open and accessible to all.
I’ve also been running Cloudflare Workers on my personal site for months now, running my Hreflang setup.
You can also read my Search Engine Journal article on Edge SEO, which has been read more than 9,500 times here.
Edge SEO In Action – AB Testing
If you go to the URL: https://dantaylor.online/sloth-ab you’ll either end up on a control page or a variant page. This is being handled through Cloudflare Workers as a simple 50/50 split A/B test – which can be easily reported on through Google Analytics, or by using an API puller to produce semi-real time reports in Google Sheets.
Although this practice isn’t “new”, it’s a fairly recent addition to most SEO’s technical arsenal and can be vital in justifying business cases.
Edge SEO Consultancy
Being one of the leaders in making “edge SEO” accessible to all webmasters and marketers, I’m best placed to speak to about taking your SEO serverless. My team and I can help support you and develop custom solutions for edge SEO-as-a-service on a number of CDNs, including:
- AWS Cloudfront ([email protected])
- Cloudflare (Cloudflare Workers)
- Fastly (via custom VCL or dashboard, rumored to be working on a Workers style solution built using WASM)
- Akamai (redirects through Edge Redirector Cloudlet, or Akamai EdgeWorkers)
- Apigee (while not a CDN, can still implement things on the Edge via the AssignMessage Policy)
- Stack Path