A friend reviewing AdWords accounts forwarded this notice to me:
Cloudflare, a web infrastructure company with their own CDN and website speed tools, has been a partner with Google for quite awhile. Cloudflare does lots of things that endears it to Google – providing a high-performance CDN, free SSL certificates, and basic security web services. Google abandoned its own Pagespeed service in 2015, and seems to have designated Cloudflare as it’s designated successor. In January 2017, Google teamed up with Cloudflare to improve AMP ads.
Starting in February 2017, Google started emailing approximately 10,000 AdWords customers with “slow” websites to encourage them to try out Cloudflare’s pro services for free for 3 months. Cloudflare, in turn, set up a dedicated support team to get AdWords customers on board.
Apparently, there are a lot more slow websites out there that Google thinks Cloudflare can help. Which explains the expansion push into AdWords notices. With this recent push in AdWords to get clients to signup with Cloudflare, Google is signalling how important page speed is to its own long-term success. After all, if AdWords clients don’t get the conversions they expect, they won’t blame their webmaster, their hosting service, nor their landing pages. They will blame Google, and take their ad business elsewhere.
Google will continue to push mobile performance in every channel they have access to. If content is king, then website speed seems to be the new kingmaker.
So Should I Pay to Have My Small Business Website on Cloudflare?
Cloudflare offers a small business a lot of benefits. But are the premium offerings worth the additional bucks? For most small business websites, Cloudflare’s free version is a pretty good bet. Cloudflare serves your website traffic cached versions of your content from a nearby location, speeding up slower websites. If your site is on WordPress, you can even combine Cloudflare and Jetpack. However, before moving to Cloudflare, check with your own hosting provider.