Softonic – Prerender Case Study

How Softonic Generates 40 Million+ Traffic to Their Dynamic Website

When Prerender optimized every page to be ready for indexing, Softonic scored high in their technical SEO scores. Consequently, they saw an uptick in their ranking and traffic.

Prerender is used and trusted by some of the most globally recognized online brands. Companies of all shapes and sizes — from Spotify to Domino’s — use Prerender to index their JS-based content.

Just like we’ve helped optimize these enterprise giants, we helped Softonic reach its growth goals and become one of the most widely-used websites in its niche. Here’s a bit of background: 

Softonic is the world’s largest software and app library. With more than 100 million users and 70 million downloads per month, internet users all over the world use Softonic to find software and apps for nearly every possible use.

Their extensive database of apps, games, software, and extensions makes it easy to download what you need, when you need it. Whether you are looking for web browsers, VPNs, media players, software editors, torrent clients, or security software, Softonic has you covered.

Furthermore, the brand differentiates itself from its competitors by putting visitor experience and security above anything else. Most app libraries on the internet have a reputation for having hazardous and unwanted spyware or malware in their downloads—but not Softonic. They offer a clean and secure environment, guaranteeing all the apps on their website are safe to download.

That said, Softonic had unique SEO challenges on their website that came from hosting millions of third-party applications, namely: How do you get Google to properly crawl and index all of their constantly changing app pages?

The answer is Prerender.

The Challenge

Serving millions of users a month, Softonic’s sheer size presents a significant SEO challenge.

When those tens of millions of users could be navigating off Softonic’s site and onto the original host of the app at any time, the stakes are high. Their in-house SEO manager, Nacho Mascort, makes sure they follow all industry best practices and each page is optimized for the right keyword.

Unfortunately, when hosting thousands of third-party applications, it’s impossible to ensure that each app lives up to the SEO standard Softonic sets.

“At Softonic, we care a lot about SEO and how we look in the eyes of Google and even other search engines,” says Marc Monguió, Softonic’s VP of Product and Engineering. “The truth is that this is not always the case for the third properties we onboard to our ecosystem. Sometimes, the sites have not been optimized and we see a huge bump in performance when we start prerendering.”

Nacho Mascort

SEO manager of Softonic

Softonic needed to get quick SEO wins without compromising user experience

The Solution

When Softonic implemented dynamic rendering using Prerender, they made sure that every page on their website was fully optimized and ready for Google to index — whether hosted within the company’s server or on one of their many third-party apps.

“As part of Softonic’s product ecosystem, we operate third-party website properties with tens of millions of monthly users,” Monguió said. “In order to integrate them into our ecosystem and mitigate complex operations in the mid-and long-term, we pursue technical migrations to use a single tech stack across all the domains. Prerender fits well as part of this migration process since it would allow us for quick wins on rendering times that benefit SEO, and ultimately UX.”

Softonic had toyed with SSR up until that point but it just wasn’t enough. They needed a solution that was fast, immediate, and produced reliable, consistent results.“We use server-side rendering on a regular basis. Prerender is a nice middle solution for quick results.”

The Results

After Prerender improved the crawl and indexing success rates of Softonic’s dynamic pages, the results influences Softonic’s SEO health to skyrocket. Consequently, they generated more organic traffic to their website.

Prerender also helps Softonic run at peak performance — which gives it stellar results across the most widely-used website diagnostic tests.

Google PageSpeed Insights gives Softonic’s desktop version a score of 92. Webpage Test gives Softonic an A grade across the board and an enviable TTFB latency of 446ms. It also earns an A grade from GTMetrix.

The results that Prerender brought to Softonic translates into real traffic and revenue. That faster speed and more secure web experience help Softonic bring in more than 40 million visitors per month on average.

“Getting to improve rendering times in a matter of DAYS instead of MONTHS, makes a difference to allow Google to pick up on our changes earlier, and therefore, improve the cumulative traffic,” said Monguió.

Softonic had unique SEO challenges that Prerender has successfuly solved. 

To create a better user experience for your customers, install Prerender today!

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