A long time ago, some friends in the field of SEO suggested that I write an article on the place of the environment in SEO.
A priori, we see no connection, except that everyone is ready to do their little “greenwashing” by inserting a CSR page at the bottom. Or, if there is a report, it is negative: the SEO consultant proposing to bring growth would harm the carbon impact. Because it is necessary to remember that evolution does not rhyme with ecology if it is not a question of the growth of trees but that of the company and its capital, which requires and often implies useless consumption.
If I approached this subject, it is because it is close to my heart, and those who teased me about it by inviting me to explain myself know it very well.
I will explain my point of view on the subject.
The first impact on the environment: site cleaning, essential action of the SEO
During the SEO audit, one of the tasks of the SEO consultant is to list the pages that are not useful for SEO.
Most websites (well, site designers) need to ask the question: should a page visible on my site be referenced and indexed by search engines?
Indeed, some static pages are not intended to become SEO entry pages. These include static pages such as legal notices, CSR pages (exactly), sometimes contact pages, who we are, etc. But this is also the case of “landing pages” dedicated solely to being visible via paid referencing.
A reasonably effective Seo Company in Pakistan for several years, popularized among others by Olivier Duffez of Webrankinfo, is the hunt for inactive pages, also called dead pages or “zombie pages.” These pages do not generate natural traffic, which is not part of the entry pages for natural referencing. This is often the case for ancient, obsolete, and poorly meshed articles on a site.
The Oncrawl tool also makes it possible to detect these dead pages by cross-referencing the crawled pages with data from Google Analytics:
SEO inactive pages (in gray) versus active pages
In front of this type of page, you have mainly three solutions:
- de-index these pages to remove them from the index of search engines
- merge them with other pages
- enrich them and “wake them up.”
In the first 2 cases, it is indeed a question of cleaning.
Other types of pages can harm your SEO: the pages of your site that Google (or additional) references, so-called ghost pages, or orphan pages. These pages are absent from your structure but present in the Google index. More complex to discover than inactive pages, they can come from an old version of the site, a technical problem with the CMS, a “crawl leak” (poorly managed pagination, or an AJAX call not protected, for example).
And I come to the indirect impact of this action: by giving fewer pages “to eat” to the engines, we reduce the digital effects of the site since the machines no longer have to store useless data.
This is one of the most technical professions of the SEO expert, and frankly, lightening a site of its “dead weight” is suitable for everyone.
The second impact on the environment: is the weight of pages and sites
Once this site slimming cure has been carried out (or before, it depends), another optimization task awaits the technical expert: reducing the weight of the pages.
According to HTTPArchive, in December 2019, the average size of a web page was 1.98MB. The average weight of web pages continues to increase, as shown in this evolution graph:
Average page weight evolution
It’s like driving more prominent and significant cars to do the same thing as before, and frankly, it could be more efficient…
But why are internet pages getting bigger and heavier? People have no more patience when we keep saying that the pages should be faster than before, especially when they surf from a phone.
On the one hand, web pages display much more media than before: videos, images, infographics, etc.
This was made possible by the increase in flows, moreover. So more data is loaded faster. So we’re having a field day… It’s a bit like watching a Youtube video to listen to music. Absurd.
In short, as an SEO consultant, I point out the weight of the pages in my SEO audits, which is often too high. It is common to see a home page displaying six small images showcasing the company’s services, which are huge resized images. The majority of the sites I analyze have never bothered to optimize images. At the same time, several tools are available: my favorite is ShortPixel, which allows me to optimize images through an API.
Of course, it’s not just the images to optimize: there are also all the other static resources, such as CSS, PDFs, etc. This point could be the subject of an article, as it can sometimes be complex. So I end this chapter with a little teaser (article to come one day): using the Coverage analysis option in the Chrome development console allows you to hunt down unnecessary CSS code. This method finds that some big CSS files are only used at less than 1%!
Local SEO and remote work
A more indirect impact this time, but which seems insignificant to me: the way SEOs work.
On the one hand, many SEOs work on local best Seo Services in Pakistan to bring businesses closer to their local customers. For example, half of my clients are in the Rennes region, and I can go to meetings by bike. Of course, I can find a client in Lille or Bordeaux, but the way I present my offer and my contact details on Google My Business gives me much more visibility near Rennes.
And even if I have clients in Paris or Germany, it is straightforward for me to hold my meetings via videoconference and carry out SEO or semantic audits remotely: it is scarce for a consultant in SEO to be on the premises. I am writing the end of this article during the painful period of confinement to fight against the coronavirus. Teleworking is more life-saving than ever, in addition to being more ecological.