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What Is Duda Website Platform And Is It A Good Fit For Agencies?

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What Is Duda Website Platform And Is It A Good Fit For Agencies?

There have never been more high quality choices for creating a web presence as there are today, which ultimately comes down to choosing a website platform that best serves your business needs. Duda focuses on the business needs of agencies that require the infrastructure to grow with more customers.

This article began with a WordPress versus Wix versus Duda angle.

But as I discussed each platform with the various stakeholders I came to realize that each platform did what they did really well serving, to a certain extent, a different user base.

Thus, this article became a three-part series exploring three different publishing platforms (Duda, WordPress and Wix) to understand what makes them the best in their chosen market.

Each platform is the best at what they do and today we look at why Duda is popular with web design and SEO agencies.

Choosing the Best Website Platform

Today there are two competing ways to create a web presence, proprietary (also known as closed source) and open source.

Proprietary content management systems take care of the technology underneath each website, freeing agencies and business owners to focus on growing their business.

Choosing a content management system (CMS) platform is not a matter of choosing the best CMS. It’s about choosing the platform that’s best for your business model.

The business case for closed source website building platforms like Duda or Wix is that they handle the technical aspects of building a website, allowing businesses to focus on their business without having to worry about updates, structured data, or optimizing for search engines.

Duda Professional Website Builder

Duda is a closed source platform designed to fulfill the needs of agencies and web professionals, regardless of size.

It offers collaboration and client management tools to help web professionals scale the process of launching and maintaining websites.

The focus on helping agencies scale is evident in the fact that Duda doesn’t charge customers extra for additional bandwidth or storage space.

What Duda excels at is making it easy and fast for agencies to prototype designs, collaborate with team members and clients and have all the features necessary for running a business on both the agency and the client side.

I asked Duda what makes Duda a good choice for agencies:

“The Duda platform is designed to help agencies build beautiful, modern websites for their clients faster than they ever thought possible at any scale.

No matter whether you have 10 or 10,000 clients, Duda provides agencies with an ultra-flexible platform that enables them to create conversion-driving websites with everything they need included–from hosting, templates, widgets, and SSL certificates all the way to our very knowledgeable support staff that is there to help agencies every step of the way.

Duda provides agencies with a user-friendly web design interface clients can access to update websites on their own.

And since the entire platform is white labeled, clients will only know you’re using Duda if you want them to.

Duda’s APIs and advanced development assistance are available for Duda partners with a high volume of websites.

Finally, Duda’s purpose is not only to be a leading website-building platform for agencies but also a valuable business partner for our agency customers, constantly seeking to support their business growth.

This vision guides us in everything we do as a company – from strategic business decisions to our product roadmap.”

Duda Scales Up for Growth

Wix’s model focuses on helping businesses easily build high performance websites and do business, with no technical knowledge necessary.

Duda’s approach is providing the white label technical infrastructure for agencies to build high performance websites for their clients, at scale.

Many SEO and web design agencies aspire to scale up to hundreds or even thousands of clients. Doing that demands a lot of technical infrastructure and human talent to take on the  prototyping, development and client collaboration at scale – all things that Duda provides.

I asked Duda how well they scale:

“Duda scales effectively.  In fact, Duda doesn’t charge its customers for storage or bandwidth, enabling them to scale without being concerned about incurring additional cost.

Duda’s platform is hosted on AWS. We guarantee 99.9% uptime and believe in transparency with regards to our uptime SLAs.

With Duda’s API, agencies can automate workflows to significantly increase efficiency and build client websites at scale.”

SEO is Baked into the Duda Platform

Performing well on search engines is critical.

As a closed source website building platform, Duda takes care of technical SEO factors as well as site speed performance, especially as measured by Google’s core web vitals metrics.

Core Web Vitals are performance metrics designed to measure how well a webpage performs for users.

A high core web vitals score will generally be matched with a better user experience, less visitor frustrations and higher conversion rates on sales.

Google’s support page about core web vitals shares why core web vitals track with higher sales and earnings:

“Studies show that better Core Web Vitals improves user engagement and business metrics. For example:

  • When a site meets the Core Web Vitals thresholds, research showed that users were 24% less likely to abandon page load.
  • With each 100ms reduction in Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), web conversion rate for Farfetch increased by 1.3%.
  • Reducing Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) by 0.2 led Yahoo! JAPAN to a 15% increase in page views per session, 13% longer session durations, and a 1.72 percentage point decrease in bounce rate.
  • Netzwelt improved Core Web Vitals and saw advertising revenues increase by 18% and page views by 27%.
  • Reducing CLS from 1.65 to 0 significantly uplifted domain rankings globally for redBus.”

Clearly, a high core web vitals score is important for websites and in general those high scores are difficult to achieve, except for sites created on the Duda platform.

Duda has long been known as the Core Web Vitals champion, as reported by the independent HTTPArchive, a score derived from a sampling of website performance as experienced by real website visitors.

The current core web vitals scores on HTTPArchive shows Duda outperforming both WordPress and Wix by a wide margin.

Screenshot taken on May 24, 2023 of HTTPArchive Core Web Vitals Scores

Duda shared this about how SEO is native to the platform:

“Duda sites are born SEO-ready (Duda leads Google’s Core Web Vitals and PageSpeed Results) and are built on a reliable AWS-hosted infrastructure that delivers 99.5% uptime.

This makes it possible for agencies to offer websites to their clients with low/no maintenance load.

In addition, Duda provides agencies with a user-friendly web design interface clients can access to update websites on their own.

And since the entire platform is white labeled, clients will only know you’re using Duda if you want them to.

Duda’s APIs and advanced development assistance are available for Duda partners with a high volume of websites.

Finally, Duda’s purpose is not only to be a leading website-building platform for agencies but also a valuable business partner for our agency customers, constantly seeking to support their business growth.

This vision guides us in everything we do as a company – from strategic business decisions to our product roadmap.”

Why Agencies Choose Duda

There are over 20,000 agencies who rely on Duda to help build and manage client websites, currently totalling over a million websites now hosted on the Duda platform.

I asked Duda why it was so popular with agencies.

They answered that there are five reasons why agencies choose Duda:

1. Faster build times:
Agencies can build and maintain sites twice as fast compared to any other platform.

In addition, by integrating our platform directly into their service agencies can automate workflows, such as instant site creation, data collection, content management & more.

2. All-in-one solution:
Duda offers numerous built-in tools that help agencies drive success for their clients without relying on third-party plugins.

The platform includes hosting, templates, widgets, SSL certificate, client billing module, site comments for collecting client feedback, and much more.

3. Security:
Duda’s platform is regularly updated and maintained, ensuring a secure environment for websites.

Agencies don’t have to worry about keeping up with security patches or updates, as Duda handles this automatically.

4. White-label solution:
Duda’s white-label capabilities allow agencies to fully brand the platform as their own, offering a cohesive and professional experience for their clients.

5. Dedicated support:
Duda provides dedicated customer support, ensuring agencies have access to expert assistance whenever needed.”

In short, Duda makes it easier for agencies to grow their business by making it easy to service more customers.

Brian Lewis, CEO of WebAct Inc (LinkedIn profile), shared why he is enthusiastic about Duda:

“With Duda we have all of our clients under one dashboard where we can manage everything in a single location.

For the development side of things, we can create custom widgets and apps and do custom API integrations with ease.

The ability to customize the experience for our clients and agencies is very helpful for integrating a custom solution or vertical.

For example, an automotive company may need a custom filter that connects to their software to upload vehicle information as well as having the users of the website search the entire inventory.

We have been using Duda for 11 years now.

Overall the platform is great, it gives us a complete solution for serving our clients.”

Duda Professional Website Builder

Duda calls itself a professional website builder as a way to distinguish itself as a tool for professionals who service clients.

I don’t think it’s fair or accurate when people plant a flag on the ground and proclaim that one platform is better than another.

An apple is an apple and an orange is an orange.

Duda happens to be a fine choice that professionals should consider when planning how to best serve their clients and grow their business.



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Google Quietly Ends Covid-Era Rich Results

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Google Quietly Ends Covid-Era Rich Results

Google removed the Covid-era structured data associated with the Home Activities rich results that allowed online events to be surfaced in search since August 2020, publishing a mention of the removal in the search documentation changelog.

Home Activities Rich Results

The structured data for the Home Activities rich results allowed providers of online livestreams, pre-recorded events and online events to be findable in Google Search.

The original documentation has been completely removed from the Google Search Central webpages and now redirects to a changelog notation that explains that the Home Activity rich results is no longer available for display.

The original purpose was to allow people to discover things to do from home while in quarantine, particularly online classes and events. Google’s rich results surfaced details of how to watch, description of the activities and registration information.

Providers of online events were required to use Event or Video structured data. Publishers and businesses who have this kind of structured data should be aware that this kind of rich result is no longer surfaced but it’s not necessary to remove the structured data if it’s a burden, it’s not going to hurt anything to publish structured data that isn’t used for rich results.

The changelog for Google’s official documentation explains:

“Removing home activity documentation
What: Removed documentation on home activity structured data.

Why: The home activity feature no longer appears in Google Search results.”

Read more about Google’s Home Activities rich results:

Google Announces Home Activities Rich Results

Read the Wayback Machine’s archive of Google’s original announcement from 2020:

Home activities

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Olga Strel

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Google’s Gary Illyes: Lastmod Signal Is Binary

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Google's Gary Illyes: Lastmod Signal Is Binary

In a recent LinkedIn discussion, Gary Illyes, Analyst at Google, revealed that the search engine takes a binary approach when assessing a website’s lastmod signal from sitemaps.

The revelation came as Illyes encouraged website owners to upgrade to WordPress 6.5, which now natively supports the lastmod element in sitemaps.

When Mark Williams-Cook asked if Google has a “reputation system” to gauge how much to trust a site’s reported lastmod dates, Illyes stated, “It’s binary: we either trust it or we don’t.”

No Shades Of Gray For Lastmod

The lastmod tag indicates the date of the most recent significant update to a webpage, helping search engines prioritize crawling and indexing.

Illyes’ response suggests Google doesn’t factor in a website’s history or gradually build trust in the lastmod values being reported.

Google either accepts the lastmod dates provided in a site’s sitemap as accurate, or it disregards them.

This binary approach reinforces the need to implement the lastmod tag correctly and only specify dates when making meaningful changes.

Illyes commends the WordPress developer community for their work on version 6.5, which automatically populates the lastmod field without extra configuration.

Accurate Lastmod Essential For Crawl Prioritization

While convenient for WordPress users, the native lastmod support is only beneficial if Google trusts you’re using it correctly.

Inaccurate lastmod tags could lead to Google ignoring the signal when scheduling crawls.

With Illyes confirming Google’s stance, it shows there’s no room for error when using this tag.

Why SEJ Cares

Understanding how Google acts on lastmod can help ensure Google displays new publish dates in search results when you update your content.

It’s an all-or-nothing situation – if the dates are deemed untrustworthy, the signal could be disregarded sitewide.

With the information revealed by Illyes, you can ensure your implementation follows best practices to the letter.


Featured Image: Danishch/Shutterstock

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How to Persuade Your Boss to Send You to Ahrefs Evolve

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How to Persuade Your Boss to Send You to Ahrefs Evolve

There’s one thing standing between you and several days of SEO, socializing, and Singaporean sunshine: your boss (and their Q4 budget 😅).

But don’t worry—we’ve got your back. Here are 5 arguments (and an example message) you can use to persuade your boss to send you to Ahrefs Evolve.

About Ahrefs Evolve

  • 2 days in sunny Singapore (Oct 24–25)
  • 500 digital marketing enthusiasts
  • 18 top speakers from around the world

Learn more and buy tickets.

SEO is changing at a breakneck pace. Between AI Overviews, Google’s rolling update schedule, their huge API leak, and all the documents released during their antitrust trial, it’s hard to keep up. What works in SEO today?

You could watch a YouTube video or two, maybe even attend an hour-long webinar. Or, much more effective: you could spend two full days learning from a panel of 18 international SEO experts, discussing your takeaways live with other attendees.

How to Persuade Your Boss to Send You to AhrefsHow to Persuade Your Boss to Send You to Ahrefs
Evolve speakers from around the world.

Our world-class speakers are tackling the hardest problems and best opportunities in SEO today. The talk agenda covers topics like:

  • Responding to AI Overviews: Amanda King will teach you how to respond to AI Overviews, Google Gemini, and other AI search functions.
  • Surviving (and thriving) Google’s algo updates: Lily Ray will talk through Google’s recent updates, and share data-driven recommendations for what’s working in search today.
  • Planning for the future of SEO: Bernard Huang will talk through the failures of AI content and the path to better results.

(And attendees will get video recordings of each session, so you can share the knowledge with your teammates too.)

View the full talk agenda here.

There’s no substitute for meeting with influencers, peers, and partners in real life. 

Conferences create serendipity: chance encounters and conversations that can have a huge positive impact on you and your business. By way of example, these are some of the real benefits that have come my way from attending conferences:

  • Conversations that lead to new customers for our business,
  • Invitations to speak at events,
  • New business partnerships and co-marketing opportunities, and
  • Meeting people that we went on to hire.

There’s a “halo” effect that lingers long after the event is over: the people you meet will remember you for longer, think more highly of you, and be more likely to help you out, should you ask.

(And let’s not forget: there’s a lot of information, particularly in SEO, that only gets shared in person.)

The “international” part of Evolve matters too. Evolve is a different crowd to your local run-of-the-mill conference. It’s a chance to meet with people from markets you wouldn’t normally meet—from Australia to Indonesia and beyond.

How to Persuade Your Boss to Send You to AhrefsHow to Persuade Your Boss to Send You to Ahrefs
Evolve attendees by home country.

If you’re an Ahrefs customer (thank you!), you’ll learn tons of tips, tricks and workflow improvements from attending Evolve. You’ll have opportunities to:

  • Attend talks from the Ahrefs team, showcasing advanced features and strategies that you can use in your own business.
  • Pick our brains at the Ahrefs booth, where we’ll offer informal 1:1 coaching sessions and previews of up-coming releases (like our new content optimization tool 🤫).
  • Join dedicated Ahrefs training workshops, hosted by the Ahrefs team and Ahrefs power users (tickets for these workshops will sold separately).

As a manager myself, there are two questions I need answered when approving expenses:

  • Is this a reasonable cost?
  • Will we see a return on this investment?

To answer those questions: early bird tickets for Evolve start at $570. For context, “super early bird” tickets for MozCon (another popular SEO conference) this year were almost twice as much: $999.

There’s a lot included in the ticket price too:

  • World-class international speakers,
  • 5-star hotel venue,
  • 5-star hotel food (two tea breaks with snacks & lunch),
  • Networking afterparty, and
  • Full talk recordings to later share with your team.

SEO is a crucial growth channel for most businesses. If you can improve your company’s SEO performance after attending Evolve (and we think you will), you’ll very easily see a positive return on the investment.

Traveling to tropical Singapore (and eating tons of satay) is great for you, but it’s also great for your team. Attending Evolve is a chance to break with routine, reignite your passion for marketing, and come back to your job reinvigorated.

This would be true for any international conference, but it goes double for Singapore. It’s a truly unique place: an ultra-safe, high-tech city that brings together dozens of different cultures.

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Little India in Singapore

You’ll discover different beliefs, working practices, and ways of business—and if you’re anything like me, come back a richer, wiser person for the experience.

If you’re nervous about pitching your boss on attending Evolve, remember: the worst that can happen is a polite “not this time”, and you’ll find yourself in the same position you are now.

So here goes: take this message template, tweak it to your liking, and send it to your boss over email or Slack… and I’ll see you in Singapore 😉

Email template

Hi [your boss’ name],

Our SEO tool provider, Ahrefs, is holding an SEO and digital marketing conference in Singapore in October. I’d like to attend, and I think it’s in the company’s interest:

  • The talks will help us respond to all the changes happening in SEO today. I’m particularly interested in the talks about AI and recent Google updates. 
  • I can network with my peers. I can discover what’s working at other companies, and explore opportunities for partnerships and co-marketing.
  • I can learn how we can use Ahrefs better across the organization.
  • I’ll come back reinvigorated with new ideas and motivation, and I can share my top takeaways and talk recordings with my team after the event.

Early bird tickets are $570. Given how important SEO is to the growth of our business, I think we’ll easily see a return from the spend.

Can we set up time to chat in more detail? Thanks!

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