Enhancing Search Accuracy with Edge Computing Technologies

Enhancing Search Accuracy with Edge Computing Technologies

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With the advent of so many recent innovative technologies, like AI and ChatGPT, the marketing world is being completely transformed. However, while AI seems to be taking the spotlight, another technology is becoming increasingly relevant in the industry — edge computing. 

Most who have heard of edge computing likely associate it with the cloud and data servers, however, edge technology can also be a powerful tool for businesses and marketers looking to enhance their SEO strategies and improve SERP rankings

What Is Edge Computing?

Edge computing is one of the latest trends that is revolutionizing the tech industry. Numerous devices make use of this technology, including smart cameras, IoT devices, medical sensors, industrial PCs, and point-of-sale kiosks — just to name a few. This is leading to impressive changes and improvements across various sectors like healthcare, retail, education, cybersecurity, manufacturing, and logistics. 

As technology continues to advance, the adoption of edge technology is expected to increase further, reshaping the future and how we do business. This will lead to an even greater demand for edge solutions, which will likely result in even newer and more sophisticated edge technologies. 

Understanding the foundations of how edge technology works is crucial to understanding how it plays a role in search accuracy. So, what is edge computing exactly?

Edge computing was designed as a type of cloud technology that is used for manipulating and processing data. The cloud, as you likely already know, refers to a global network of remote servers. These servers host various services, such as data storage so that businesses or individual users don’t have to manage all of that data onsite. 

While cloud technology is, in itself, revolutionary, it does mean that when someone needs to access data on those servers, the data has to travel farther, since those servers are remote. This is where edge computing comes into play. 

Edge computing accelerates the digital transfer of data from cloud servers by bringing the data closer to where it is needed. In other words, it puts the data processing at the edge of the network, which reduces the distance between the user and the data source. 

The primary use for this technology is to reduce latency, or the speed at which it takes for data to transfer from a cloud server to a user’s location or device. As big data and data analytics have become more common, especially among businesses, edge technology was created to handle the increased demand for storing and transferring data. 

That said, since edge computing was developed, there have been numerous other uses or purposes for this technology, such as online gaming, autonomous vehicles, smart power grids, healthcare monitoring, and digital marketing.

What Role Does Edge Computing Play in SEO?

Before diving into what role edge technology plays in marketing and search accuracy, let’s revisit the purpose of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is primarily concerned with metrics for monitoring and analyzing search volume. This is because those metrics provide key insights into searcher intent, and those insights are then used to identify keywords that companies can use in their content to boost their search rankings. 

This is helpful to understand because, at the end of the day, SEO is about delivering the right data to the user or the customer. Edge technology, therefore, plays a role in SEO because it helps with the delivery of that data.  

Edge computing allows for tasks such as redirects or content delivery to be processed at the edge of servers, meaning closer to the end user. This means faster load times which improves user experience. 

For example, you could make changes to the content of a website before that information is served to the end user without interfering with the main site on the original server. In other words, updates can be made and that information can be delivered faster without any issues with latency. 

It can also provide more flexibility for marketing teams by enabling teams to react more quickly to changes in search algorithms. This means SEO adjustments can be tackled much faster without the need to wait for backend developers.  

Edge technology and proximity-based services

Edge SEO practices are not only about speed. They can also assist with localization and personalization. Edge technology can deploy computing resources closer to the network edge, which enables real-time interactions that assist with personalized proximity services. In other words, it can help with the transfer of location data to help with the delivery of personalized content. 

In this same context, edge computing can also enhance geolocation accuracy. Traditionally, geolocation is reliant on GPS. Unfortunately, GPS signals are often weakened by factors such as atmospheric conditions, dense areas of trees, or even tall buildings. This can result in location data inaccuracies, which can be frustrating for users. 

However, with edge computing, the need for sending data back to the cloud server is eliminated, which can improve geolocation accuracy. This means content can more accurately be tailored to a user’s specific location, which is vital in this era where users expect search results to be more relevant and tailored to their wants and needs.  

Edge computing and cyber security

Implementing edge SEO practices can also enhance cyber security. Placing the data closer to the user at the edge of the network can help reduce the risk of cyberattacks, like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, as well as other cyber threats. This is important not only for security reasons, but also because Google prioritizes more secure web pages in search results as it benefits the end user, which can help you build and maintain trust. 

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How Does Edge SEO Differ from Traditional SEO?

If you are still wondering why edge technologies are important and valuable for search marketing practices, consider this: traditional SEO focuses on content quality, keyword usage, and even backlinks, while edge SEO enhances those efforts by optimizing the delivery of that content. This reduces latency, improves load times, and helps with personalization — all of which are important for improving the user experience. 

Advantages of Using Edge SEO

Let’s dive deeper to further explore how edge technology benefits SEO practices and can help boost your online presence.

1. Easier implementation

Edge technology makes implementing SEO much easier by removing the limitations that come with using a content management system (CMS). With edge computing, you can make on-page SEO changes, without having to access the website’s CMS. 

2. Scalability

Edge computing makes SEO scalable across global networks. Since edge technology enables faster content delivery across various networks and data centers, it opens up more opportunities for global deployment at a larger scale. Edge technology also makes it easier to handle larger volumes of traffic from various regions, enabling you to deliver tailored, diverse content no matter the end user’s location. 

3. Better speeds and performance

The primary benefit of edge SEO is that it enables businesses to significantly improve the speed and performance of their website. Because edge computing distributes content and optimizes transfers to edge servers closer to the end user, it reduces load times and latency. This directly impacts search ranking as fast-loading websites are prioritized by Google’s search algorithm, it also enhances user experience. 

4. More resilient

Because of how edge technology works, edge servers are more resilient when there are server failures and traffic spikes. This means that if you are using edge SEO, your website is less likely to go down, which means search engine crawlers will be able to consistently access your content. 

5. Enhanced security

As edge servers are better equipped to handle DDoS attacks and other cyber security threats, it ensures your website remains secure. This means your website will be secure and more available for search engine crawlers and users, which is a factor that Google uses to boost a website’s search engine rankings. 

Practical Edge SEO Use Cases

Edge SEO can have many uses, whether you are a small business or a larger ecommerce company. No matter the size of your business, edge technology can be tailored to suit your needs.

Small local businesses

Innovative technologies like edge computing are not just for big companies with big budgets. Edge technology can be even more beneficial if you run a small business, because it can help you save money and run more efficiently, which is critical for smaller companies that don’t have as many resources at their disposal. 

Edge SEO can also offer a strategic advantage for smaller businesses that are trying to capture a specific corner of the local market. Local SEO is crucial for local businesses as it can help them target and attract their ideal local audience. Edge technology can boost these efforts by enhancing proximity-based services that are needed to deliver more personalized and localized content. 

Ecommerce sites

With e-commerce businesses, speed and efficiency are of the utmost importance. If users are met with slow-loading websites or other delays on web pages, they are likely to leave and potentially never come back. 

This is why edge SEO is paramount if you run an ecommerce website. Edge technology can boost the overall performance of your site, from loading product images to making browsing faster and easier, all of which enhance the buyer experience. This not only makes customers happy but also improves the flow of customers through your website, which means you can make more sales in a shorter amount of time. 

This is crucial when your website is experiencing peak traffic. It ensures everything continues to work and there are no lags or downtime. 

Edge SEO also enables ecommerce sites to scale their business more easily and reach a more diverse global audience by opening up more opportunities for deployment to global servers and networks. More business, especially global business, means you can experience more growth and turn more of a profit. 

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How to Use Edge Technology for SEO Tasks

Now that you understand what edge computing is, it’s time to dive into the specifics of how to implement these technologies to benefit your SEO practices. Understanding the ‘what’ is one thing, but executing an edge SEO strategy is a whole other ballgame. 

1. Changes to on-page SEO

Edge computing can be used to make dynamic, on-page changes before reaching the end user. This allows for faster optimizations so you can meet a larger demand. 

Examples of on-page changes that can be made using edge technology include changing pricing mentioned in the metadata or changing your brand name at the end of page titles. You can also hold values in the edge database so you can make quick changes to on-page copy by simply calling on those values. 

Quick, on-page changes can be achieved by utilizing an edge worker, like BlackEdge. This CMS uses CloudFlare workers, enabling you to more easily manage your on-page SEO changes without relying on developers to manually handle the coding. 

2. Redirects

Without edge computing, redirects can easily get out of hand. The issue is that most CMSs come with many technical limitations, which result in problems when trying to manage redirects. For example, depending on the CMS, there can be limitations in implementing redirects, redirects might need to be done manually, and redirects can be time-consuming if the CMS is only set up to handle redirects individually. 

Edge computing, however, can help you avoid all these issues. Many edge content delivery networks (CDNs) allow for modifying response codes before they reach the user, which serves as a redirect in its place. 

As mentioned above, CDNs such as CloudFlare use edge workers, which can be accessed and used by teams, enabling them to manage redirects themselves instead of requiring developers to step in. 

3. Hreflang implementation

Hreflangs are used in global SEO practices. A hreflang is an HTML attribute that is used to specify the language or geographical targeting of web pages. 

Without edge technology, hreflang can be coded into the head section of a website, it could be applied to the code in the XML sitemap, or it could be applied in the HTTP header. The issue is that these methods might not always be applicable depending on the CMS used. 

Edge CDNs, on the other hand, provide another means of applying hreflang code. It changes the direct server response for users and the search engine user agents without modifying the underlying code. You can use any mobile-friendly testing tool to see if Google can actually see the hreflang tags in the rendered HTML. 

4. Content caching

Edge CDNs can be leveraged to store and serve your frequently accessed website elements, such as JavaScript, images, and CSS. This can help reduce load times and enhance user experience, which is vital to improving your rankings on SERPs. 

5. Website security

Site security plays a crucial role in Google’s algorithm and how it ranks web pages. With edge technology, you can significantly improve your website security by using a CDN that allows you to apply security headers such as HSTS, X-XSS protection, X-Frame options, and referrer policies. 

6. A/B testing

Edge networks also allow you to perform A/B testing more efficiently. CDNs like CloudFlare allow you to access reporting tools, such as Google Analytics, to track and monitor progress and other metrics. With edge computing, this kind of testing and tracking can also be done on a much larger scale, which is beneficial for larger companies that operate in multiple markets. 

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Edge Process Improvements

While implementing edge SEO is going to become increasingly vital for businesses to keep up with data growth and the competitive market, it’s important to have a solid plan before implementing new edge technologies. 

One of the biggest pitfalls of adopting a new and complex technical process is failing to fully visualize and understand how it all works and how it will all fit into your existing processes. This can be avoided by using process visualization tools and techniques

Our brains tend to work better as image processors than word processors, meaning visuals are better at helping us understand how something works as opposed to heavily worded information. 

So before implementing edge computing into your SEO practices, consider creating a visual process map to help you lay out each specific step of the process and how it will change or be updated with edge SEO. Doing this can help simplify and break down this complex process so it is easier to understand and easier to communicate with others who will be affected by these changes.  

This can help you clearly identify where you will input the edge changes and it can also help you avoid any misunderstandings or confusion that could set the implementation process back. 

Final Thoughts

With so many uses and advantages, there is no denying that edge computing is going to become the future of web optimization. Though this new technology is still being explored, it’s beneficial to start implementing it now, even if only in small ways here and there. 

This will help you steadily scale your SEO efforts over time instead of finding yourself having to do it all at once after everyone else has already fully adopted this technology in the future. It’s better to get ahead of the curve and experiment with edge computing now so you can learn how to unlock its full potential before everyone else. 

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Author Bio

Miles Oliver

Miles Oliver

Miles is an independent writer with a background in business and a passion for tech, psychology, news, and simply helping people live happy and fulfilled lives. He has lived and traveled all over the United States and continues to expand his awareness and experiences. When he is not writing, he is most likely mountain biking or kicking back with a cup of tea.

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