I like Cloudflare services. They are providing one of fastest DNS service over the Anycast IP, efficient WAF, DDoS protection, CDN, etc.. Let’s talk about speed.
3X Slower for the Google Bots
Here is the crawl statistic of one of our user’s website. It looks like Google bots spent more time when the Cloudflare active. Because Cloudflare work as a proxy, that’s mean if you are not using HTML caching feature of the Cloudflare they will request that page from the origin server. You can see the details from here.
I’m talking about bots, not users
As seen in the crawl stats, bots are spending ~3X more time to download a page from Cloudflare. But that does not mean to slow down users 3X; there was no significant difference on page speed score on the Google Analytics report. Probably Google bots also using Anycast IP so they can crawl from origin server without affecting geographical boundary. (ignoring latency between Google Datacenters and your origin server)
About the setup
When we talk about the speed, various configurations can affect the results. So I want to share notable configurations about the example website.
- It doesn’t use Cloudflare for HTML caching
- It was well optimized on server side and WordPress side. (Thanks Powered Cache :P)
- The origin server was supporting HTTP2, which means faster connection between proxy server and origin server, as negativity two times SSL termination.
You might want to disable Cloudflare’s proxy feature to see the impact. You can still use Cloudflare as a CDN, just have to add new CNAME and enable the proxy functionality for the record.
I’m not an SEO expert, and can’t advise anything about the SEO. I just found the stats are weird and wanted to share, thanks for reading. If you try to disable/enable, please let me know the results 😉