Web Services CT Delves Into Google's New JavaScript SEO Advice

Developers and search engine optimization experts can take concrete steps to make sure dynamic, JavaScript-driven pages do not interfere with Googlebot indexing, Web Services CT reports

August 16, 2019 – JavaScript is one of the world's most popular programming languages, and most modern websites make heavy use of it. While JavaScript is a powerful tool that enjoys support from all of today's web browsers, it can also pose some problems.

When a website's use of JavaScript is such that content remains concealed from the automated crawlers operated by search engines, for example, valuable traffic can be lost. A recent report from Google details how web developers and search engine optimization (SEO) experts can avoid this undesirable fate.

A widely cited study conducted by BrightEdge revealed that businesses derive an average of 51 percent of their web traffic from search engines. If a web page's JavaScript keeps useful content from being indexed, it will never have a chance to appear in the search results at all.

Relatively technical issues like these keep SEO agencies like Web Services CT busy making sure that their clients receive plenty of free, organic traffic. In fact, there are dozens of others on-page issues that experts can see to in order to boost traffic levels for their customers.

With regard to the JavaScript situation, Google's newly published guide advises SEO experts to learn about just how its crawlers work. When JavaScript is used to serve up content dynamically or keep it hidden until it is needed, timing and context will have major impacts on indexing.

A JavaScript function that never gets called by an automated crawler might keep a page from ranking well for certain valuable search terms. The safest choice, Google advises, is too render pages preemptively on the served side, since "not all bots can run JavaScript."

Some sites even fall prey to the mistake of overusing "meta" tags that dictate what well-behaved bots are allowed to do. While "noindex" and "nofollow" directives can be valid and useful, they can also interfere with search results placement if employed improperly.

When sites use JavaScript to dynamically alter meta tags aimed at robots, things become even more complex. The same approach can be used, however, to make it more likely that a JavaScript-heavy site will be indexed accurately and completely.

Some sites even suffer because of relying on JavaScript features that Google's "Googlebot" does not yet support. While most website developers are accustomed to using "polyfills" to help older browsers keep up, fewer ever think about the needs and capabilities of page-indexing robots.

Accounting for details like these and many others keeps SEO experts busy. Just about every aspect of a website, from its navigational features and layout to the links pointing to it elsewhere destinations, can significantly impact its visibility in the search results returned by Google and others.

One SEO company lists two dozen different details that need to be accounted for to maximize the search results visibility of a website. For locally oriented businesses in particular, highly effective SEO can produce huge increases in traffic and sales.

As a result, staying on top of issues like how to make SEO-friendly use of JavaScript will remain a pressing concern for developers, marketers, and those who depend upon them. The most successful SEO companies have been masters of the strategies detailed in Google's new guide for years already. While SEO might sometimes seem a bit mysterious to business owners, there is always a lot going on under the hood.

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Name: Web Services CT
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