It’s likely fair to say that Virtual Private Networks have been enthusiastically promoted by web hosting providers in Canada enough for the foreseeable future, at least from a consumer’s perspective. But it’s also fair to say that if the interests that lead you to have an online presence have SEO and search engine page rankings among them then the benefits of a virtual private network can’t be overstated. We may have touched on this before, but in a new decade where the digital sphere is scheduled to become even more prevalent in the business world it needs to be said again.
So that’s what we’ll talk about here today. Part of being a leading Canadian web hosting provider here at 4GoodHosting is being attuned to what’s important to people who trust us to ensure their website is up and open 24/7 and 365. We don’t need to take a survey to know that for the vast majority who have business interests with their website, ranking well in SERPs is going to be well up there. That people aren’t inclined to sift past the end of the first page – if they even get that far – isn’t likely ever going to change. And so the importance of 1st page search rankings isn’t going to change either.
So let’s take a short but thorough look at it for anyone who’s open to the idea of anything that can improve my website’s SEO and search engine rankings.
Brief VPN Introduction
Virtual private network services, or VPNs, are different from shared networks in that the user is able to create a new path for their online activities to connect to the Internet. Rather than directly connecting to the web, a virtual private network directs the traffic via one of its own servers in advance of sending it on to the resource. Data is also encrypted in this process, and that’s also a big part of the appeal of VPNs, but we’ll leave that for anther discussion.
We will say that when end-users connects to the Internet in this way, there’s a lot of security benefits; Their identity, IP address and what they’re accessing online is all kept entirely private and masked from view. This functionality has plenty of practicality for people working in SEO, but what that is may not be immediately clear.
Local SEO Results
Anyone working on SEO projects for global clients will be aware that achieving good organic results and paid ads on search engines can be quite challenging. The difference with a VPN is that since it allows people to choose their country of connection, they are then able to search via the VPN to get a clear view of how competitive it is to rank for certain keywords. Being able to easily switch between countries makes it a lot easier to handle multiple clients, especially when those clients are a geographically diverse bunch.
Better Visibility with Domestic Searches
Unless you’re extremely SEO savvy, you likely won’t know that the search results that Google shows a person is based strongly on their search history and location, plus other markers that the search engine uses to identify an individual. As a result, simply checking on rankings to see whether they made progress with their clients’ sites isn’t a very accurate representation of the strength of a site’s SEO. They will be a viewing a skewed representation that may not reflect how frequently or withing what phrasings people are searching for these keywords. However, when a user’s identity is masked, the VPN service takes out the identity-based adjustments that Google makes and allows the webmaster (or anyone else) a much more accurate representation.
They can then report this information to their client and give them a more smartly designed plan to improve their search engine rankings. By being able to see the competition and exactly how far they have to go, they can create a plan that best addresses the reality of their search engine ranking deficiencies.
Protection of Sensitive SEO Data
Effective SEO strategies and targeted keywords will be something you will want to keep to yourself, not only for a competitive advantage but also because this can be sensitive information. You won’t want the competition or another unauthorized entity to get their hands on it. Malware exists in many forms and hackers are quite sophisticated in their strategic approches these days, so anything extra an SEO pro can do to protect this information when it’s moving from their computer to the client is going to be helpful.
A VPN offers this to the user, with strong encryption built into the system that makes it fairly unlikely that a hacker would be unable to access useable information, even if they mange to intercept the transmission.
It’s also true that some VPN services have infrastructure in place to block ads and protect the user against malware and phishing attempts automatically. That’s always going to be a big plus, no matter what you’re doing and how vigorously you’re working to improve your SEO.
Stay Safer on Public Wi-Fi
SEO experts do enjoy the freedom to be a digital nomad as one of the perks that come with the nature of their work. Working remotely in different locations is almost always going to involve public Wi-Fi internet connections now and then. They’re great, but they put data and systems at risk. The potential risks of public Wi-Fi networks are nothing new, but some people have more to lose than others
The good news with a virtual private network in this regard is that A VPN encrypts all of the traffic going from the person’s computer through the VPN server. Plus, not needing to tether to mobile data-reliant device in order to get the same level of safety is advantageous for obvious reasons too.
Advanced Understanding of Google Ads
The benefits of a VPN don’t end there. It’s also a better choice for anyone who makes regular use of Google Ads in the promotion of their business. When you use a VPN for paid ad placement it allows you to see whether it’s showing up in the position you’re expecting it to. You can see the geographic disparity as they move around servers. Information learnt from this process can prompt you to make smart strategic changes to your SEO strategy and other improvements.
Some countries have geo-restricted content, and for some people that impedes their efforts to do their job. A VPN gets around these limitations since that traffic will look like it’s coming from a different country. Firewalls aren’t much of a wall at all when you’re working from a VPN.
Choosing the Right VPN
A good place to start is by looking for ones that have a variety of supported countries. Another important consideration is the type of encryption that the service uses. Look for VPNs that have military-grade or bank-grade levels of encryption. If someone has the means of getting through this type of security, they’re probably the type who would be getting through no matter what you had in place to lock them out.
Most quality VPNs will also have a kill switch that stops all Internet usage if the VPN connection goes down. Price is also a consideration, but those who opt for a free VPN will almost certainly find it’s bare boned nature isn’t to their liking. Typical restrictions for free services include a small number of supported devices and connections, and a data cap. Premium services don’t have these types of limits or eliminate them entirely to make life easier for their users.