Can Page Speed Alone Make A Difference In Google Ranking? Yes, it even beats Domain Authority.

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Technical SEO: Digital Ocean vs Google Cloud vs AWS

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Matthew Leffler
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AWS, Digital Ocean and Google Cloud
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Cloud Computing
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Optimizing For Page Speed: The High Price Of Drift In SEO

Adding Live Chat To Your Website With Drift

This is just a quick note of Drift and SEO.  Drift is a chat plugin, or embed code and a Cloudflare App which allows a site owner or staff to interact proactively with web visitors.  It’s great for lead generation and I have a client that swears by it which is what lead me to test it out.

I used it for a month or so on this site with minimal appeal.  Alot of the useful stuff seemed to require a paid account.  I couldn’t for instance see how many visitor didn’t use the tool vs the one person who did.  Annoyingly thats a very high price in terms of code sent to visitors that didn’t use it and that added processing time does affect a sites ranking.

How Much Did Drift Affect Page Load

Immensely.  Like a stupidly insane cost to page load was easily seen.  Its so bad I’ll tell ya out right I highly discourage Drift on any site attempting to rank on Google.  Here is the GTMetrix report for my site with Drift.

Page Speed With Drift

Page Speed With Drift

At 14 seconds the site is doing basically the worst I’ve ever seen.  Considering the page size and requests its not that big nor does it require a ton of requests.  I consider under 100 a safe place.  But that means nothing next to 13.5 seconds.

Now when I removed Drift and reran the test.  I got the results below…

Page Speed Without Drift

Page Speed Without Drift

That’s what I mean by insanely stupid.  Simply removing Drift decreased the page requests by almost half!  The load time for the page drops to almost a third of what it was with Drift.  4.6 seconds vs 13.5 seconds is astonishing.  8.9 seconds … just call it 9 at that point.  The goal of course is under 3 seconds and Drift alone is 3 times the amount.  When we consider that 1000 visitors came to the site in the last month that would mean Drift added 9000 seconds to users wait time to load the homepage.  Imagine that Drift is on every page what that delay was PER PAGE!  The homepage alone would have taken 2.5 hours longer in visitors combined wait times.

It can’t be that bad….YES IT REALLY IS.  That’s horrific in SEO terms.  You had best get a huge amount of conversion and consider a PPC campaign because honestly your SEO rankings are set to tank in mobile searches.  Which begs the question, how important is it to conversions if no one comes to the site since its listed on page 3 because of Drift.

This was with using the Cloudflare App version, which should be the fastest way to do it.  It moves Drift closer to the visitors on the Cloudflare edge servers.

How Do We Fix Drift?

Drift has to address its sloppy coding experience.  Why they require 40 something requests is beyond rational thought.  The payload of your site’s pages isn’t going to clear the tower, Drift should rebrand itself Challenger.



** ADVANCE FOR USE FRIDAY, JAN. 28, 2011 AND THEREAFTER ** FILE – In this Jan. 28, 1986 file photo, the space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo/Bruce Weaver, File)

I’m not trying to be over the top, but when one thing that’s supposed to help you, takes 3 times the total time you have to deliver your message … it’s not good.  I’d argue you’re better off with a page that loads in 4.6 seconds without it.

According to Google research each second over 5 seconds 10% of your audience abandons your site.  That’s nearly half the visitors lost if you can get the page to load in 10 seconds.

Drift Alternatives

Drift isn’t the only option either.  I haven’t tested these but they can’t be any worse…,,, and there’s a ton more.

So summary…using Drift is like killing half your web traffic to ask 1 in 1000 how you can help.

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Optimizing For Page Speed: The High Price Of Drift In SEO

Optimizing For Site Speed: Page Load To SEO Cloud Server Infrastructure

Optimizing For Site Speed: Page Load To SEO Cloud Server Infrastructure

Optimizing For Site Speed: Page Load To SEO Cloud Server Infrastructure

Article Name
Optimizing For Site Speed: Page Load To SEO Cloud Server Infrastructure
SEO cloud solution design delivers client site in 10% of the time it used to after optimizations, CDN and VPS servers are designed Page Speed is a major Google ranking factor in this mobile search age..
Matthew Leffler
Ultimate SEO
Ultimate SEO LLC

Disavowing bad backlinks from Sweden

What’s worse?  The crappy website they have with no content and just super spammy links or the fact that you nor I ever asked for that bad backlink?  The fact that the charge to delete a link to you at $35 a link shows how they crash your backlink party.  But hey, Google knows this right, they wouldn’t hurt your site still…wrong!

Monetized Bad Backlink Site With Spam Links

I wish we could collect money like a nonprofit from SEOs everywhere and raise the $10,000,000 asking price of and just turn it off.  Why is it I hate so much?  Cause their links are bad.

Previous to this post I’ve always said don’t use the Disavow Tool unless facing a manual penalty.  Its the Google answer … but I tried something, disavowed a few hundred domains all connected to and over the next 3 weeks I saw a marked improvement in keywords and their position.

A client had the same issue.  300 domains from Sweden many with in their domain name mostly all with it at least in the page title included in their link profile.

After Disavowing and

disavowing the globe

disavowing the globe

A client’s site shows marked improvement shortly after disavowing domains. The file was uploaded in late November. Additional “theglobe” domains have been added and we’ve now had to disavow 30 more.  Close to 300 domains.

Ultimate SEO recently disavowed these links as well. Now I’m always doing stuff so its harder to tell the impact but it was soaring in rankings during November 2019.
organic traffic doubles after disavowing theglobe

organic traffic doubles after disavowing theglobe

Ultimate SEO Organic Traffic shows gains after disavowing theglobe domains. Was it the cause? Not sure but it doesn’t hurt and it appears to help.

Not A Link Building Scheme

These aren’t backlinks someone purchased, at least not from the target company or their SEO for that matter.  They are nuisance links, you could use this site for negative SEO.  It regularly pops up in the link portfolio of domains as they are expiring which has always annoyed me because it portrays a Domain Pop higher than it actually is … the globe of course doesn’t count. actually last I checked charged for backlink removal!  That’s one way to run a profitable site…make it so bad it hurts SEO so webmasters will pay you to leave them alone.  Of course … then the terrorist wins.

Charging To Remove Link

Charging To Remove Link

Noticed a few “” in your link portfolio?  If so its always an infestation and you should try disavowing.

Disavow Sample File / Template

So you may try the Google Disavow Tool if you haven’t yet.  Upload a txt file listing the domains you do not want counted.  We’re including a copy of one of our disavow lists, you can use it or add to it.

Who’s on our naughty list?  What should the txt file look like?  The long list is just below us.  Domains we’ve disavowed.

The Disavow File


<–start below this line–>

# exported from backlink tool
# domains

# urls

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Disavowing bad backlinks from Sweden

Adult SEO Tips

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Adult SEO Tips

Sex, Speed And The SEO Migration of Romantic Depot to WordPress

Romantic Depot operates six, soon to be seven adult stores offering sex toys and lingerie, in the New York City area.  Their flagship stores are in Manhattan and the Bronx.  They’ve been around for sometime and over the years their website aged along with other businesses seeking to help drive local foot traffic.

With the move to mobile devices in full demonstration the old site was not responsive.  This lead the owner of the chain to build a new site that was mobile friendly and it lead to Ultimate SEO‘s involvement overseeing the process of migrating to this new site without hurting the site’s strong local SEO presence.

Romantic Depot does have an impressive keyword positioning presence in the New York City area. Even nationally they are on page 2 of results for “sex shop“.  The goal was to ensure a smooth transition to the mobile site while maintaining the SEO that had been built over the years.

301 Redirects

The new site was largely a 1 to 1 ratio.  The html static page manhattan.html went now to /manhattan/ on the WordPress site.  We placed in any one off redirects, a redirect that took any url that ended in .html and would return it without the html and a redirect for the index.html homepage to come back with the WordPress homepage at /


Backlinks are the life blood of a sit’s ranking and it was important to ensure that those would be maintained with relevant content as well.  Using we collected all of the backlinks and their existing targets and ensured those had rules as well.  While the site’s backlinks were in the tens of thousands it quick came down to a few hundred target urls that needed to be accounted for to maintain SEO.

Site Speed

Most of the work involved in preparing for the migration was speed performance in nature.  The new site when tested on was loading in 12.6 seconds with over 400 http requests. We targeted a 3 second load and through we were able to utilize a CDN that brought the site closer to users as well as offered other benefits.  Cloudflare alone brough the site load time to about 7 seconds.

We further limited content that could be on other pages for those other pages such as Google maps to the location homepages. Instituting lazy load ended up being the primary aspect of speeding up the site.  Image optimization was also completed and a move to PHP7.3 from 5.6.  Merging CSS and JS files also worked to reduce the requests.

SIte Speed FOr SEO MIgration

SIte Speed FOr SEO MIgration

With our work to provide a faster site complete the migration was completed and load times on the site are under 3 seconds for mobile users.

Multi Domain Strategy Consolidation

During the migration I also mentioned the value of building one brand. was the site used as the online store for the chain.

The problem that arises from multiple domain strategies is the segmentation of resources and confusion it can cause to Google Analytics.  An easy eample of this is the bounce rate and pageviews metrics are actually hurt on the primary domain.

Consider this… a person searches romantic depot on Google.  The first result is their site, likely the person is going to want to know what items might be at the store.  Once the page loads they find the link to the store, maybe even before the page loads.  Clicking that link they are now taken to a new domain.

That visitors actions would have counted as a bounced visitor.  See when someone goes to your site and immediately leaves for another site that signals to Google that what was on that original site wasn’t what the searcher wanted.  To prevent future searchers from going to a site that people leave directly after going to it they might increase the position of other sites to try and correct for this in the future.  That ultimately means the top spot position for the keyword is being hampered by the site’s structure.

Further Google sees that a person wasn’t even interested enough in the site to look at a second page, they just left.  In realty the second site is part of the same overall topic or brand its just that Google doesn’t necessarily understand that.  An artificially inflated bounce rate and lower page views are all that the first site is getting and the second site is losing out as well as most of the marketing is surrounding the first site’s address…backlinks, social mentions and such.

Lower Bounce Rate

The illustration above shows our page views of the main root domain.  Guess when on the graph the site was rolled into the main domains … late July.  The thing is, the traffic isn’t any greater its just not split up anymore.  The homepage link to the store is now going to a subfolder of the same domain, its helping by acting as another page view rather than hurting the site as a bounce.

The keywords and authority of this additional site were better utilized under the main domain and this site was migrated to a subfolder /store as a separate WordPress site.

Thats important the site was migrated as a separate site under the original.  This was done for multiple reason and it creates its own set of unique challenges but we’ll discuss that later in a future post.

Consolidated Backlinks

The consolidation of the sites further helps with SEO because after we migrated we put into place redirects from the store’s domain to its new home within the subfolder.  That means all the backlinks now combine to help one site.  Lets consider the following illustration…

Domain A: DA 30 Backlinks: 10,000 Referring Domains: 1,000

Domain B: DA 30 Backlinks: 9,000 Referring Domains: 900

Competitor: DA 35 Backlinks: 13,000 Referring Domains: 1,300

Lets assume everything else is the same…we’d expect then that Competitor will rank higher on Google Search.  But if we combine Domain A ad Domain B.

Domain AB: DA 40 Backlinks: 19,000 Referring Domains: 1,900

Everything else still the same….Domain AB will now rank higher than the Competitor.

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Easiest Tools To Speed Up WordPress Site Load Times For SEO

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Auto Posting Across Social Media Platforms – IFTTT –

I hate missing out just as much as anyone else.  Its why Ultimate SEO has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr, Youtube, Blogger, Instagram, SnapChat and more.  But the only thing worse than not being on a platform is to not appear active on that platform. If someone’s first impression of you or your company is your activity on a forgotten profile it is more damaging than not having been there to begin with.

IFTTT And Buffer

Thats where IFTTT has stepped in and been able to save time while helping to get a message out consistently.  From WordPress IFTTT automatically shares and posts each update to a slew of other sites and until recently its been the most effective means for auto updating social media.  Now that Google+ has ended and with the loss of Gmail applets on IFTTT it may be a good time to look again at social media auto posting techniques.  Recently it appears LinkedIn may have discontinued its connection to IFTTT as well, which is a shame and hurts both LinkedIn and IFTTT.

In researching IFTTT applets came to light.  Its mostly a paid version of what IFTTT did for free but it also includes a free options which allows integration with 3 social media platforms.  In the use case of Ultimate SEO that meant connecting to LinkedIn.  The other two positions going to Facebook and Twitter as those are the powerhouse social media platforms.

Automated Cross Posting In Social Media

My ultimate goal is to fully automate this process and I haven’t yet seen that in but further testing may reveal that an action from IFTTT completes this chain.  Its not enough to be able to post an individual article from one site to all, we need something that checks all sites and then auto publishes what isnt published on others to those sites.

You might think of this daisy chain of social media as if it were a PBN.  It’s a network of separate sites but all you.

I’ll keep you updated on this case study.  At present though IFTTT still appears to be the best auto posting option for social media.  It can start from a sites RSS feed or an integrated service like WordPress then post to a central site such as Blogger which has a lot of versatility due to the number of connections available.

Connectors Applets Or Recipes

Some connections utilized for Ultimate SEO include:

(The WordPress to X recipes are available but I’d recommend making these connections through Blogger where possible for consistency)

Blogger applets

Blogger applets

  • WordPress to Blogger
  • WordPress to Photostream
  • WordPress to Tumblr
  • WordPress to Facebook
  • WordPress to Twitter
  • Blogger to Buffer – this recipe enables the auto posting into LinkedIn
  • Blogger to Flickr
  • Blogger to Pinterest
  • Blogger to Bitly
  • Blogger to Diigo
  • Blogger to Instapaper
  • Blogger to Reddit
  • Blogger to Pocket
  • Blogger to Trello
  • Blogger to Dropbox
  • Blogger to OneNote

It may appear that I love Blogger but its important to have a centralized distribution point.  Consider how easy it would be to accidentally create an auto updating loop if you didn’t have a defined start.  I accidentally created one of these months ago and it was annoying first discovering it and second reviewing where in the chain I was picking up the update I was trying to put down.  So blogger serves in that regard as a check point on redundancy.  I also prefer a secondary site from WordPress.  If after publishing something on WordPress you realized the permalink is too long or something just didn’t look right, you at least have another spot to stop that mistake from going out to everything else.

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