How Softonic Met Their SEO Goals Using Prerender

Case Study

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 ensure their websites provide the best user experience.

Just like Prerender helped optimize some of the biggest brands on the internet, they helped Softonic reach its growth goals and become one of the most widely-used websites in its niche. 

Softonic is the world’s largest software and app library. 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, security software, Softonic has you covered.

Softonic differentiates itself from its competitors by quickly connecting users to digital products that improve their web browsing experience. They always put the needs of their human users above those of the software companies whose products they offer. To Softonic, the purpose of technology is to serve people, not the other way around.

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

Most app libraries on the internet have a reputation for having hazardous and unwanted spyware and malware in their downloads. Not Softonic. Softonic offers a Clean and Safe guarantee to vet all the apps on their website and ensure users have a safe internet experience.

That human-first, user-centric philosophy goes down to their company culture. Softonic has consistently been rated as one of the best places to work in Spain.

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

The answer was Prerender. Here’s the problem Softonic needed to solve and how we helped them.

The Challenge

Serving tens of millions of users a month, Softonic’s sheer size presents a significant challenge from an SEO standpoint. When those tens of millions of users could be navigating off your site and onto the original host of the app at any time, the stakes are high.

Softonic treats SEO as one of its highest priorities. 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 for itself.

“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.”

Softonic needed to get quick SEO wins without compromising user experience

Prerender’s 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.io fits well as part of this migration process since it would allow us for quick wins on rendering times that benefit SEO, and ultimately of course the user experience.”

Softonic had toyed with using 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 when we need to get quick results.”

Prerender Got Softonic Fast and Immediate SEO Results

The results speak for themselves. Softonic’s domain authority — a scoring system that ranks a website’s strength on a 1-99 scale — is 92. For comparison, the New York Times’ domain authority is 95. CNET, one of the industry-leading app download libraries on the internet, stands at 94.

Softonic’s domain rating alone is an indicator that it’s among the most authoritative websites on the Internet.

In addition to increasing their traffic,  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 for Google to pick up on our changes earlier and therefore improve the cumulative traffic,” Monguió said. Softonic had unique SEO challenges that Prerender was uniquely positioned to solve. Install Prerender today, and create a better user experience for your customers.