Official: Google, SEO, and JavaScript

In a video for beginners, Google’s Martin Splitt talked about JavaScript and SEO. Here are the main facts from that video.

Google, JavaScript and SEO

Google wants to show unique URLs

If a dynamically created web page does not have a unique URL, Google has difficulty to show it in the search results. For that reason, your web pages should have individual URLs. Do not create a JavaScript website that uses the same URL for all of the pages:

“We only index pages that can be jumped right into. […] I click on the main navigation for this particular page and then I click on this product and then I see and everything works. But that might not do the trick because you need that unique URL.

It has to be something we can get right to. Not using a hashed URL and also the server needs to be able to serve that right away.

If I do this journey and then basically take this URL and copy and paste it into an incognito browser… I want people to see the content. Not the home page and not a 404 page.”

You should pre-render your JavaScript pages for Googlebot

Pre-rendering your web pages means that your web server processes much of the JavaScript before it is sent to the user and/or the search engine crawler. Search engine crawlers get much more parseable content if you pre-render your JavaScript web pages. Pre-rendering is also good for website visitors:

“I think most of the time it is because [pre-rendering] has benefits for the user on top of just the crawlers. […]

Giving more content over is always a great thing. That doesn’t mean that you should always give us a page with a bazillion images right away because that’s just not going to be good for the users. […]

It should be always a mix between getting as much crucial content and as possible, but then figuring out which content [images and other non-crucial content] you can load lazily in the end of it.

So for SEOs that would be you know, we we know that different queries are different intents. Informational, transactional… so elements critical to that intent should really be in that initial rush [i.e. pre-rendered].”

JavaScript should not make a page slower

If fancy JavaScript effects make your website slower, it’s better to avoid them. Website speed is important and Google doesn’t like slow loading pages.

“As a user, I don’t care about if the first byte has arrived quicker, if I’m still looking at a blank page because javascript is executing or something is blocking a resource.”

More detailed information about JavaScript and SEO 🏆

The video was aimed at beginners. During the past few months, Google has published a lot of information about JavaScript and SEO. You can find it in our blog.

For example, you should avoid client-side rendering and you shouldn’t trigger lazy-loading elements by scroll events (search engines do not scroll). If possible, serve content without JavaScript.

Google will not follow links in JavaScript. If you want to get high rankings, avoid content that is served by JavaScript only. Google says that it’s difficult to process JavaScript.

Check how search engine crawlers see your web pages

Use the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to check how search engines see the content of your web pages. If the website audit tool cannot find the content of your web pages, there are issues on your website that have to be fixed:

Check your pages

Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".