Words like VPN are thrown around all the time. It’s so easy to tune it out after the first few mentions, especially because you may not think it has much to do with you personally. While VPNs are usual for many people, they’re vital for anyone who works with SEO in any capacity. SEO stands for search engine optimization.
How VPNs Work
What is a VPN? The longform of VPN is Virtual Private Network. What a VPN does is it connects you to a third-party server that will channel your data through different servers around the world. Every bit of data exchanged between you and an internet application will first pass through your VPN.
According to SEO Cincinnati, everything going back and forth from your computer to the VPN and the end destination is encrypted, meaning it can’t be intercepted by an outside party, even if they do gain access to your network.
VPNs & SEO
Why does it matter where your data originates or how it gets to the recipient? If you’re doing SEO, these two things should matter quite a lot to you. Here’s why:
If you live in one area, you may not see the same things in your search results as people from a completely different area. Depending on where your search originates, you can get vastly different results than others. This is part of trying to deliver the best results to every user, but it makes SEO a lot harder if you don’t have a way to counteract it.
Getting accurate results is important. With the abundance of geo-restricted content, tracking cookies, and other filtering features, your view could be obscured by something completely outside of your control. Take back control using a VPN to cut through the noise and make sure you’re seeing what you’re supposed to be seeing.
In the same vein as getting accurate results from any location, you can also use a VPN to get location-specific results for the region you’re targeting with your SEO campaign. If you live in the UK and you want to draw leads from the US, you need to work on your SEO with some knowledge of what your US market is seeing.
Doing an SEO campaign for another location without a VPN or some other simple way to manipulate the results is like going in blind. You need to see what your target market is seeing in order to get to them more easily. Start using a VPN that has servers all over the world, so you can start viewing results from anywhere in the world that you’re interested in targeting with SEO.
Any attack on your site could have a long-lasting effect on your rankings. If a hacker gets into your site, they can do permanent damage and get you penalized or knocked down a few positions. Some damage is subtle and difficult to notice, but it can still throw a wrench in your SEO strategy.
If you get the best VPN you can, security won’t be an issue. Most of the top VPNs today have high level encryption and advanced security measures in place from the start. Unfortunately, not all VPNs have the same high standards. Free VPNs often have security issues, including selling data to third-party buyers. Choose wisely to keep yourself and your data secure.
Stop reCAPTCHA Madness
If you’re in the middle of an SEO project, there’s a good change you’re running an unusually large number of searches, often with similar keywords. Unfortunately, Google and other search engines aren’t fond of it. They might flag you for unusual search volumes and redirect you to reCAPTCHAs before you can continues searching.
Being redirected every few searches will slow you down terribly and make it difficult to be productive. It’s also not great to be interrupted from your workplace to fill in obnoxious, sometimes demanding reCAPTCHAs constantly.
Choose a VPN with the ability to change your IP address. This will eliminate the reCAPTCHA issue, since search engines will not be able to tell that all the searches are originating from the same location. You’ll be able to continue working in peace, regardless of the number of searches you need to run in a day.
Unbiased PPC Previews
Running PPC ads, you’re likely to be using Google Ads previews to see where your ads are positioned, in what order, and with what organic search results. However, this preview isn’t always accurate. You may want to run a search through a VPN to make sure your ads are showing up in the right places and in the right order.
Monitoring is important, so you can make changes as soon as necessary to keep up your great results. It’s a fast-paced environment that requires quick changes and staying on top of your ads, or you might fall short.
VPNs Vs Proxies
You may have heard of proxy servers before in your search for internet security or access to location-specific content. Proxy services can swap your IP address with one from another country, so you do get some of the same benefits as you would with a VPN. However, there are fundamental differences that them an ineffective replacement.
Proxy servers are limited to that single function. The only thing they can do is mask your IP address. Plus, they only do it on an application-by-application basis. You would have to configure every separate application you use to get the benefits across the board. There is no security benefit, only some location masking.
VPNs offer you a lot more than proxies, and you won’t have to configure them to work with each application separately. Overall, a VPN gives you much more for a lot less work, and is more useful for anyone doing SEO.
Your SEO efforts aren’t doomed without a VPN. But, if there’s a way to make things easier for you and to help you get the most accurate results and information possible, why wouldn’t you use it?