​When JavaScript does and doesn’t work for SEO

Jan 07, 2021

It is not always necessary to be worried about JavaScript in relation to SEO. It is important to note that not all sites that use JavaScript are JavaScript sites. If a site can load its content without JavaScript, then it is not considered a JavaScript site. On the other hand, if a site does rely on JavaScript to fully load all of its content, then it is considered to be a JavaScript site.

JavaScript is also used for a single page site like Instagram where the header and the footer bars are fixed with JavaScript being used to display the single page app by fetching and displaying the data.

So when is JavaScript important for SEO?

GoogleBots need to access all of the information on a site in order to effectively index the website. The Googlebot will draw from the information made available to it and, if it can only see parts of the information, then only parts of the site will be indexed.

In short, JavaScript is important to SEO when a site relies heavily on loading JavaScript for the bulk of its content. During the first wave of indexing, content that is seen on the source page will be indexed and information rendered using JavaScript will be indexed during the second wave of indexing.

Unfortunately, SEO developers are still at the very first stages of making JavaScript frameworks searchable and this has resulted in many JavaScript websites failing on Google. The Google blog “Understanding webpages better” does help to shed some light on Google’s abilities in making JavaScript searchable and stated:

“Sometimes things don’t go perfectly during rendering, which may negatively impact search results for your site . . . Sometimes the JavaScript may be too complex or arcane for us to execute, in which case we can’t render the page fully and accurately . . . Some JavaScript removes content from the page rather than adding, which prevents us from indexing the content.”

It is evident that using SEO for JavaScript sites may be a little bit shaky at the moment, however, users are hopeful that this will improve in the future and that the SEO developers and programmers will be able to optimize Google bots to help index all of the information on JavaScript sites.

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