News Release: How SEO can stop your website from killing the planet – Sustainability Tips

    Sustainability and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) are two words that you wouldn’t expect to see in the same sentence. No trees are seemingly cut down every time you Google something or visit a web page, but websites do result in carbon emissions. Internet usage, and its supporting technologies, are responsible for almost four percent of global emissions. That may not seem like a large number, but it’s actually the equivalent of emissions caused by air travel.

    Did you know that your website may be killing the planet? Specialist SEO provider, Blue Array, discusses why your website can have harmful effects on the environment.

    The internet consumes a lot of electricity. According to the online carbon calculator Website Carbon, the internet consumes 416.2TWh of data per year. To give you some perspective, that’s more than what the entire United Kingdom uses. From data centres to mobile devices, they’re all-consuming electricity, which creates carbon emissions. The average web page tested produces 1.76 grams of CO2 per page view. For a website with 10,000 monthly page views, that results in 211 kg of CO2 per year. With over 1.7 billion websites out there, digital content is being published at an exponential rate.

    Websites today have a plethora of bells and whistles, from auto-play videos to animations. If you dislike those features, you’re not alone. Not only are they annoying, but they also slow down websites and increase carbon emissions. The faster a website is, the better the carbon footprint it will have. Every best website practice in SEO contributes to reducing carbon emissions in some small way.

    Rob Murgatroyd, SEO Executive at Blue Array, said

    “A lot of businesses don’t see their digital marketing practices as something that’s polluting the world. The internet equates to a whopping 3.7% of global emissions, which is just above the aviation industry. Working as an SEO, I’ve realised that a lot of technical SEO practices are already helping to minimise the impacts of climate change. A large part of our focus is on reducing the size of websites, increasing load time efficiency, and reducing unnecessary redirects. These areas help to reduce the strain on servers and ultimately reduce the number of energy sites require.

    The more on-page elements that a site has (i.e., multiple large images, numerous videos, and animations), the more data it requires to load. As technical SEOs, we’re always optimising site speed to ensure users can get to sites as fast as possible, using the least amount of data needed, and also ensuring they have the best experience once the page loads. General SEO best practices can also help to reduce emissions, as when you serve users with content that meets their needs from top search engine result pages this reduces server strain.

    Ultimately, the smaller websites are, the faster they’ll be. Which reduces their overall environmental impact. Most people wouldn’t think about SEO in this way but reduced environmental pollution from a site is a second-order outcome of page speed optimisation. Page speed is also seen as a breakeven ranking factor for SEO, wherewith all else being equal, a faster website will rank above a slower one.

    If you’re looking for ways to improve your site’s SEO and sustainability, I’m a big fan of a tool called Digital Beacon. It calculates the environmental impact of a web page, shows you a breakdown of page elements that use the most energy, and tells you what measures can be taken to improve it.

    Now I’ve started to think about it, what we already do as an SEO agency is having a positive environmental impact and we hadn’t even realised it.”


    Blue Array isn’t like a traditional SEO agency. From the day they launched in early 2015, they’ve pioneered a unique hybrid of agency and consultancy that they call consulgency®. It’s an approach that allows them to give their clients the individual attention they need, at the same time as using proven techniques and tools homed in-house in an agency environment. Their people are their number one priority and maintaining the culture as they grow is highly important to them. Find out more at

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